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Hobo Dinner

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Serves 1 | Prep Time 5 minutes | Cook Time 10 minutes

Why I Love This Recipe


The early light of dawn woke me at four in the morning. For a second, I was at home. Maple was sitting at my feet and the light was coming from the window that's at eye-level by my bed.

But as I looked out the window, my expressionless face suddenly turned ugly. Really, there was nothing to be angry about. The view from my window was actually beautiful.

The sun was rising and cast a warm, bright light across Camp Jewell. There were no people and I could see squirrels and birds in the pine trees. The sky was a beautiful orange and pink.

I scowled again. This sucked. I didn't want to be here. I didn't like the girls in my cabin and my counselors didn't like me.

Well I don't give them any reason to like me, but they started it. I jumped down from my bunk and padded silently into the bathroom, where I brushed my teeth, threw on my favorite clean camouflage shorts (the long soft ones) and my ugly Utopian shirt.

I hated that stupid yellow shirt that said Camp Jewell on it. All Utopians had to wear these shirts. "Yellow is the color of flowers and dog piss," I muttered angrily to myself, then smirked at my reflection. Swearing is against the rules and it made me smile to break the rules.

The yellow shirt looked like a pile of dog puke after your dog has eaten grass, so I threw that back on my bunk and took out my plain hunter green shirt. I threw my hair back in a ponytail and then topped it off with my favorite Log Lifters hat.

You look like a redneck hillbilly. The voice rang out in my head. I didn't care about that, but the fact the some idiot girl from my cabin, Sidney, pointed that out made me angry.

"I don't give a s**t," I had glared. Nobody from Colebrook had ever commented on the fact that I sometimes wore long camouflage or cargo shorts. My friends Cammie, Maddie and Charlotte who are not from Colebrook didn't care. Why did these dumb city girls care?

I checked my watch. They don't have clocks at Camp Jewell and the counselors certainly wouldn't tell me the time.

It was four-ten in the morning. The bell rang at seven. It annoyed me that I was so angry and full of negative energy that I was barely getting five hours of sleep.

I had already made triangles out of dots on the ceiling mentally and reviewed the types of triangles. I was bored and I wanted to be alone, so I decided to break the rules again and take a little walk.

Nobody would miss me. I stuffed pillows into my sleeping bag so it looked like I was still there and grabbed some sunscreen.

Once I was outside, I sprayed myself down. All the other girls were tan. I still had my pale skin because I put so much sunscreen on.

One of the downsides of the sunscreen was that a thin layer of dirt and grime was forming on my skin because I refused to shower, simply because I didn't care and that it drove the counselors crazy.

As I walked, I stepped to the beat of a song running through my head. I hadn't heard the song since the end of school, a month ago. I remembered only the chorus and it ran through my head, that stupid Rascal Flatts song I sometimes caught myself singing. The song is called Here Comes Goodbye and was a little, okay, a lot depressing.

I jogged up to my sister, Laura's, cabin. I looked into the window of 3B and peered in her cabin. I saw her sleeping peacefully. That made me feel a little better.

My walk continued down to the waterfront, where I splashed water on my face. I checked my watch. It was four-thirty. I had to be back by five-thirty.

I sat down on the dock and dipped my feet into the water. If anyone came, I would jump in, despite the stupid yellow band that made me shake with anger. I remembered how I got it.

"Swim to the other end," the counselor instructed me. "You have to go under at least twice."

Easy. I took a deep breath and swam the 30 feet entirely underwater. It felt good to be in this underwater world, away from snotty people.

"You failed because you did not follow directions," the lady said. I clenched my teeth. I felt my insides bubbling with rage.

"I'll give you a yellow band, because I feel sorry for you."

"But I can swim, really well!" I yelled. I was about to say, "I don't need your flipping pity!" but then I would have said the worst four-letter word known to man instead of flipping.

"I said you had to put your head underwater."

"I did! You're just too -" I stopped. Screaming would get me nowhere.

I was so angry I was shaking.

"Are you okay?"

I took a huge breath and although my body was shaking uncontrollably, my voice was steady and calm, not shaking with anger. "I'm fine," I said and tried to calm down, but negative energy bubbled up and I was still shaking, although not as hard as before.

The memory made me angry. I had past that swimming test; it wasn't my fault I didn't get the lessons the snotty city girls did. When I got back to the cabin, I had ripped up that band to a million pieces outside and then kicked it away.

That day we had our overnight. The overnight sounded pretty good. I scowled at the lake. It would be good because the city girls were terrified of raccoons and bears. That made me laugh.

By five-thirty, I was back in the cabin, reading a book and after that, writing a letter:

Dear Dad,

I don't like Camp Jewell. They made me flunk the swimming test. The girls are idiots. Come pick me up. I'm running away on Saturday. I'll be safe on the road.

- Emma

PS They won't let Laura see me

PPS They call me a Utopian, but I'm a Dystopian.

I folded the letter up so nobody could see and then put it in an envelope. Just as I shoved it under my mattress, the bell rang.

"Time to get up!" the annoyingly cheerful voice of the coordinator, Molly, rang out. She turned to me, "How are you doing, Emma?"

"Just peachy," I said in a sickeningly sweet Southern accent.

"She talks like a redneck hillbilly," I heard one girl remark.

I jumped down from my bunk. "That's my mocking accent," I glared.

"Then what's your Southern accent?"

"This is my Southern accent. Have a problem with that?"

The counselor, Sonya or something like that, glared at me. "Let's go to breakfast, girls."


The rest of the day dragged on. I went to soccer (tacked the boy who was picking on my sister), scored in basketball and my friend, Lauren, set me up and I spiked the ball in our volleyball game. It hit a girl from my cabin, Connie, in the head, accidently. She glared at me while Lauren and I were talking.

"You have your overnight after this, don't you?" Lauren asked.

"Yep," I smirked.

"What are you going to do?"

"Nothing, just laugh at them later," I dropped my voice down to whisper. "They're afraid of bears and raccoons."


Three things that pleased me happened that afternoon.

First, the canoe I was in almost sank. I sat on top of someone else's gear and held mine in my lap so it wouldn't get wet. My stuff stayed dry. Then, we couldn't find our campsite. Everyone but me was scared and tired.

We finally camped with a different bunch of Utopians. The girls from my cabin were just straight up rude about getting firewood and having to wait to eat out Hobo Dinners.

The third thing that happened that pleased me was that I got my Hobo Dinner first, because my counselor grudgingly admitted I had collected the most firewood. I put ground meat in it, then some onions for flavor and bread and potatoes.

For dessert, we had s'mores. Since I didn't want to be near the girls from my cabin, I ate the chocolate and the graham crackers, then threw the marshmallows into the woods, hoping that a real bear or raccoon would find them and scare the crap out of the girls in my cabin.

My counselor was worried about our supply of water. I drank some of the water I had packed for myself, then filled my water bottles up with their supply.

I slept on the edge of the tarp that night. Just as I had predicted, the girls flipped out over a shadow in the woods. Their screams woke the counselor up and she was extremely angry. I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my sleeping bag. Nobody else thought it was funny.

The next morning, we hiked back through Ranch Camp. I practically ran through the woods so I could get to Laura in time and to keep ahead of the whiners.

We surprisingly got to the Mess Hall in time for breakfast. I told my mom all about my overnight, and she laughed.

That night was Sisters Night for Utopians, me (I considered myself a Dystopian) and the Nit Nois, like my sister. We watched a boring movie.

Laura's counselor, Chelsea, was mean as dirt to her. She shrank back as Chelsea approached.

"Laura, you have to stop going near your sister." Laura was silent.

"I have permission from my and her coordinator, who are much more important than you could ever be," I spoke up.

"Well, Laura, what are you going to do when you're eighteen and have to go away to college? You won't have your sister then."

"That 's in ten years," I glared. "She has ten years to grow up, so go! Leave my sister alone!"

Laura and all the other Nit Nois from her cabin looked at me. I was about to say, "What are you looking at?"

Then Laura said admiringly, "Nobody's ever talked to Chelsea like that,"

"Well, she better leave your alone," I looked over and saw Chelsea sulking in the corner, like an eight-year-old.

After the movie, we had Spirit Night. I was allowed to sit in the back because my ears were sensitive. A few minutes into it, I saw Laura walking back from the bathroom.

I looked at Molly, who was there "supervising" me. "The noise bothers my sister, too."

"You can ask her coordinator," Molly said, doubtfully.

I begged and pleaded. I finally got what I wanted, and dragged Laura to the back with me. We talked and at the end, I told Laura about my agreement with our parents.

"Tomorrow morning, I'm going home. You can have my toothbrush and toothpaste, since you lost yours."

The next morning, I saw Laura leaving for Chapel. "Bye, La, I'll see you next week," I pressed a note and her toothbrush and toothpaste into her hand.

She looked sad, but took everything I offered her. "Bye Emma,"

I watched her until I noticed I was the only one left. I turned back, then gave her one last wave. That was the last time I saw her for a whole week and two days.

Submitted by: "Emma K."

Ingredients You'll Need

1/8 lbs. hamburger
1/8 - 1/4 cup chopped potatoes (adjust to your own taste)
1 tablespoon onions
1/8 cup chopped carrots (optional)
1/2 cup water
1 slice of shredded bread
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt


Take a piece of aluminum foil about 10 by 12 inches.

Break hamburger up into small pieces.

Add potatoes, onions and carrots.

Mix all up.

Add pepper and salt.

Put on the aluminum foil.

Pour the water on top of the ingredients on the aluminum.

Add bread.

Fold aluminum foil up and put in the campfire.

Leave it until the top turns brown, then flip and wait five minutes. Remove from flames.

Mix one more time.

Source: family recipe

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