Shrieking Toad And Dancing Ant
Highlights Champs|July 2019

A lot of kids who go to summer camp get nicknames.

John Samony

I’d been at Camp Eggleton for only two days before I got mine. Shrieking Toad.

Why couldn’t I have gotten a cool name like Running Bear or Soaring Eagle?

I guess it was my own fault. A bunch of us campers were on our first nature walk. When we broke for lunch, we all sat down on rows of logs lining the path. I was on my third handful of trail mix when a tree frog dropped onto my shirt from the branches above.

I shrieked. It was totally involuntary. I didn’t even know I could make a sound like that.

Most kids laughed it off and forgot about it.

Except for Sonu. He wouldn’t let it go.

Whenever I’d walk by, he’d shout, “Hey, look. It’s Shrieking Toad. Show us how you can hop!”

I corrected him that it had been an eastern gray tree frog, not a toad, but that just made things worse.

Three days later, Counselor Mohan made the announcement that would change everything. “Gather round, Eggies. Last night, 10 treasures were hidden in the woods. The two-person team to find the most treasures gets something cold.”

Excited murmurs rippled through the camp. Thoughts of ice cream froze our brains.

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