Excerpt - Girls Only: Girl Scout Trip

Selena Kitt

What can you do with a dozen fourteen-year-old Girl Scouts, three dozen Hershey’s chocolate bars, two boxes of graham crackers and four bags of marshmallows when you’re thirty miles from any known civilization?

Paige could think of a few things, not the least of which involved going to prison for homicide—those pointy marshmallow sticks would make a great weapon, she mused—but she gritted her teeth and agreed to take them all down to the lake to swim so Brandi could finish setting up camp.

“Are you sure you know how to pitch a tent?” Paige asked doubtfully, watching the other “adult volunteer” in their little band of merrymakers pulling tent poles out of a bag.

Even though Brandi had taken charge once the bus had arrived at the camp site, barking orders clearly enough to get the girls moving, setting up their tents and unpacking their gear, Paige still wasn’t quite sure Brandi knew what she was doing, exactly.

Maybe it was her own brunette’s natural prejudice against the petite blond—or maybe it was Brandi’s bright idea that using some of the kerosene would help the fire start a little faster. Paige had thankfully made it to the girls before they tried that brilliant idea, or all of them would have gone home to their parents without eyebrows.

“I’ll be fine!” Brandi blew a stray length of blond hair out of her eyes, sitting back on her heels in her hiking boots. She was wearing her green Girl Scout sash with all her badges, everything from her Brownie wings to her Senior Scout badge and Paige had to resist the urge to make a joke about Girl Scout cookies being made from real Girl Scouts so hard she actually bit her tongue. “Please, just take the girls down to the lake. Let them swim and have fun. I’ll finish up here.”

“If you’re sure?” Paige glanced over at the giggling group of girls, already in their suits, towels slung over their shoulders, among them Paige’s little sister, Jess—the sole reason she’d agreed to come along on this exasperating outing in the first place.

“Go!” Brandi insisted, flashing her a very broad smile as she struggled with the tent bag. “I’ll have it all fixed up by the time you get back. That’s your tent, isn’t it?”

“Uh, yeah, but…” Paige looked over at her gear—less than half of what most of the other girls had dragged along. She was a seasoned camper, even if she’d never been a Girl Scout.

“I’ll set your tent up too, as payback, okay?” Brandi stood, brushing her hands off on her khaki shorts and shooing Paige toward the waiting gaggle of girls. “Then we can get that fire going and roast hot dogs and marshmallows!”

“Okayyy, but no kerosene, right?” Paige backed away, still doubtful, but there was no arguing with that blinding, over-confident smile and squeaky reassurance. Besides, what trouble could she get into setting up tents, Paige reasoned, directing her charges down the path toward the beach. 

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