Friends Forever

By giant30

One summer day, Jefferey McNeal was awaiting his first day of youth camp. It was a place kids could go to spend the summer, make new friends and meet other people. Jefferey was a bit nervous about going because this was his first time away from his parents in a long time.

Jefferey told his father, "I'm scared, Dad; I don't want to go to youth camp."
His father replied, "Everything will be fine, son; they will take good care of you." Jefferey wasn't so sure and tried everything in his power to get out of going, but his father insisted he go and promised him he would have fun.

Finally the big day was upon him. Jefferey's mother had his suitcase all ready to go and was waiting for the camp bus to come pick him up. Jefferey's mom said, "Don't worry honey, you'll be fine and will have lots of fun." She gave her son a kiss and when the bus pulled up, she helped him on.

When he got on the bus the other kids just stared at Jefferey. Sure he was short but he couldn't help it. He sat down in his seat and the bus began its journey to the camp. Jefferey was still uneasy about the whole thing but knew he had no choice about going.

When the bus finally got to the camp, Jefferey grabbed his suitcase and got off the bus. He went to the camp leader and asked what cabin he'd be in; the camp leader said, "You will be staying with the Chipmunks, that's the group for kids your age." Jefferey took his cabin tag and went to look for the cabin.

When he got to the Chipmunk cabin he went inside to find his bunk. As he was looking around the other 8 year olds looked at Jefferey strangely. "What are they staring at?" he thought to himself. Jefferey continued looking for a bunk and found one that was off by itself.

None of the other kids in the cabin would even come say hello to Jefferey; this made him rather sad; he was hoping to make some friends. Jefferey just sat in his bunk bed and stayed off to himself for a while, but then he decided to go off and try to meet some other kids.

The camp had a rule that as long as you didn't cause trouble with other campers you could go visit anyone you wanted. Jefferey headed for the Grizzly Bear cabin; that was for kids who were 15 to 18 years old. Jefferey was cautious to approach as his luck with making friends with older kids wasn't very good.

Just before he approached the cabin the door opened and a huge guy came out! He had to be almost 7 feet tall! The guy he saw was Randy; Randy was a really good guy but somewhat misunderstood because he was so big. He had friends too, but his size made it hard for the little kids to want to approach him.

Jefferey ran back to his cabin as fast as he could after Randy went back inside; he hoped he didn't run into him again because he was afraid he would get hurt by him. Jefferey went back to his cabin with the other kids his age to unpack the rest of his belongings.

The next day, Jefferey went for a walk toward the Grizzly Bear cabin again to see if Randy was still there. And just like last time: just as he approached the door to the cabin opened, Randy walked out. Jefferey couldn't believe how big Randy was; he was the biggest guy Jefferey had ever seen in his life!

Jefferey went to run off before Randy saw him but as he turned he tripped over a stick that was on the ground. He was about to get up when he sensed a shadow over him; he looked up....and up....and up and there larger than life was Randy himself!

Randy was even bigger than Jefferey imagined! He had huge arms and had a thick build; he looked like he could lift the bus that brought him to camp. Randy reached down to help Jefferey up but before he could Jefferey got up and ran off like he was going to a four alarm fire.

Jefferey didn't stop running until he reached his cabin; he went in and closed the door and hid under his bunk in case Randy happened to walk by. Meanwhile back at the Grizzly Bear cabin Randy sat on the steps and thought to himself, "All I wanted to do was help the little guy."

Later that day, the camp leader came to the Chipmunk cabin and told the kids it was time to go out and interact with the other campers. Jefferey didn't really like that idea too much but knew he had to listen to the camp leader. He waited for the camp leader to assign to him which cabin he would go to.

As the cabin leader approached, Jefferey waited to hear which cabin he'd be visiting. His worst fear came true as the cabin leader said, "Jefferey, you will be going to the Grizzly Bear cabin." Jefferey knew that Randy was there and was scared to death.

After the cabin leader left, Jefferey walked back to the Grizzly Bear cabin to make his visit. When he got there he knocked on the door and a skinny kid with glasses answered the door. "Can I help you?" The skinny kid said politely.

"My name is Jefferey, I'm here on visitation." Jefferey replied.

"Come right in." said the skinny kid in a friendly voice. Jefferey took 2 steps inside then suddenly stopped in his tracks. "What's wrong?" asked the skinny kid.

Jefferey replied, "It's that big guy again!, I'm scared of him!"

The skinny kid said, "That's Randy, you don't have to be afraid of him; he's a good guy."

Jefferey said nervously, "Are you sure? Look at the size of him!" The skinny kid replied, "Go over and talk to him; I promise you he's a nice guy." Jefferey very slowly walked over toward Randy but as he was walking toward him, Randy went to the other side of the cabin.

Jefferey went to his bunk to wait on him but after a few minutes he gave up. He was about to go around to the next bunk when a voice said, "Hey there buddy, where ya going?" Jefferey turned around and standing in front of him like a huge redwood tree......was Randy.

Jefferey was frozen with fear. He wanted so much to run away but he was so scared he couldn't move. Randy looked at him with concern and said, "What's wrong, little guy?" Randy went to reach for him but Jefferey backed away; Randy said in a friendly voice, "It's ok little guy; I'm not gonna hurt ya."

Jefferey looked at Randy and said, "But you're so big! Are you sure you aren't trying to trick me?"

Randy said, "You've got nothing to worry about buddy, I promise I won't hurt ya." Randy noticed something else was bothering Jefferey and asked, "Are you ok little guy? You look upset."

Jefferey sat down and buried his face in his hands. Randy knelt down beside him and said, "It's ok buddy, tell me what's wrong so I can help you. That's what the grizzly bear troup is for; we help little guys like you who need it." Jefferey regained his composure and said, "None of the others in my cabin will talk to me, they look at me like I'm not good enough to talk to them."

Randy said, "Have you tried telling them how you feel?"

Jefferey said, "No; every time they look at me like that I leave the cabin because it upsets me."

Randy said, "I'll talk to your cabin leader and see what I can do bud, but in the meantime you can stay here and hang out with me and the rest of the guys."

Randy introduced Jefferey to the other guys in the cabin and soon Jefferey had the entire cabin talking to him. It made Jefferey feel much better; he felt like one of the group unlike at his regular cabin. After a while it began to get dark, Randy said, "You'd better hurry back to your cabin buddy, it's getting dark and I don't want you to get lost going back."

"But what if the other kids make fun of me?" asked Jefferey. Randy said, "Do what I do and ignore them; people who disrespect others just because of a difference in a person are small minded and need to see you for what is on the outside." Jefferey asked, "Did you have the same problem I'm having now?" Randy replied, "All the time buddy, but when I came here and joined the grizzly bear troop it all changed; no one cared how I looked on the outside."

Jefferey thanked Randy for letting him visit and promised he would come back and let him know if he needed anything. He just hoped he could get through the next 3 weeks with no problems..

The next day, Randy took Jefferey to his camp leader to discuss Jefferey's problem. Randy explained the situation to the camp leader to which he replied, "This is against the rules to do this but I can understand your situation Jefferey; I will move you to the Grizzly Bear cabin."

Jefferey was overjoyed; he was so happy he ran to his cabin and gathered his things. One of the boys in his cabin came up to him and asked, "Where are you going?" Jefferey replied, "I'm moving to the Grizzly Bear cabin because you all don't like me. I'm not staying where I'm not wanted."

The boy said to Jefferey smartly, "I'm going to tell the camp leader, you can't move into the Grizzly Bear cabin, it's against the rules."

Jefferey said, "He's the one who told me I could move in." Jefferey gathered up his things and waited for someone from the grizzly bear cabin to come get him.

There was a knock at the door and one of the kids answered it. When he opened it there was Randy towering above him. The boy took off like a shot from the door and hid under his bunk. Randy said, "Relax kiddo, I'm just here to walk Jefferey back to our cabin."

Apparently, Jefferey was the only one who knew about Randy because every one of the other boys in the Chipmunk cabin hid under their bunks. Randy and Jefferey were about to leave but Randy wanted to talk to the other kids so he sat down on the floor and asked the rest of the Chipmunk campers to gather.

When they all gathered around Randy asked, "Why do you treat Jefferey so differently? He hasn't done anything to you." One boy replied, "He doesn't belong with us, he's too small to be a chipmunk; he's too small to even be at camp! He's nothin' but a baby!"

Randy wasn't very happy with the boys' comments and said, "You shouldn't treat others differently because of their size or things like that; it is very hurtful to Jefferey that you treat him that way. All of you need to see Jefferey for what is on the inside, not what's on the outside."

The other kids weren't so sure; they just couldn't see why they should be friends with Jefferey. Randy said to them, "I'm taking Jefferey with me; while he is gone think about what I told you. I think you all owe Jefferey an apology." Randy help Jefferey with his belongings and they left the cabin.

That night Jefferey and Randy were playing a game of go fish with some playing cards when Jefferey asked, "Do you think the other's will apologise to me?"

Randy said, "I'm sure they will Jefferey, they just need to realise that what they did to you was hurtful; they will come around."

Finally the 3 weeks were up and it was the last day of camp. The kids from all the cabins gathered for one big get together by the lake. While they were celebrating someone began shouting for help; it was one of the kids from Jefferey's cabin, he had fallen in the lake and couldn't swim!

Jefferey didn't hesitate; he jumped in the water and swam out to the middle of the lake to save his cabinmate. He said to the other boy, "Put your arms around my neck and hold on tight." The boy held on and Jefferey swam him to shore. The rest of the campers applauded as Jefferey safely brought him out of the water.

"Why did you save me?" asked the boy, "I was so cruel to you." Jefferey just said, "When a person is in danger you save their life no matter what."

The boy thanked him and said, "I'm sorry I was so mean to you, I owe ya one."

Jefferey said, "You don't need to apologise, I don't hold a grudge."

Randy came up to Jefferey, high fived him and said, "That was quite a display you put on there, little buddy; good work!" The camp leader heard about what he had done and awarded Jefferey with a bravery badge. It was the camp's highest honor, the kids usually only got one if they braved staying at camp; but Jefferey's situation was different.

That evening all the parents came to get their kids. Randy's parents had arrived and it was time for him to leave. He said to Jefferey, "It was great knowing you Jefferey, you are a good friend. Here is my address and phone number; keep in touch ok?"

Jefferey and Randy exchanged addresses and phone numbers. Jefferey looked up at Randy and said, "Thanks for everything Randy."

Randy said, "No problem kiddo, I was glad I could help, if you need anything during the rest of the summer just let me know ok?"

Jefferey said, "I will, Randy." They shook hands and gave each other a friendly hug and Randy got in his car with his parents and left. Jefferey watched as Randy left the camp. When his parents came to get him, on the way home Jefferey told his parents all about camp and all about his new best friend Randy.