Rules of Camp Golden Oak

Part 1

Hey guys, did anyone here go to Camp Golden Oak? It's a long shot to reach out here, but I'm pretty sure my mind's playing some sort of trick on me and I'd like to know I'm not suddenly losing it after years of that place not even crossing my mind.

Let me back up, Camp Golden Oak was a summer camp in Michigan that took place from June to August for kids ten to thirteen. I went there all three years I could, and up until a few days ago I only remembered a few bits, making friends, playing in the crafts room, having the counselor tell spooky stories at night... you know, the fun parts.

I was doing some spring cleaning when I found a box of things from when I was a kid, tucked away behind the skis I said I'd throw out three years ago. It was full of participation medals, report cards, school pictures, that sort of thing, and I also found an old school folder labeled "CAMP GOLDEN OAK".

I expected it to be full of pictures and not much else, but I found a lot of things. Pamphlets, notices for counselors, and on a piece of folded-up paper signed by the owners of Golden Oak, I found the camp rules. I think the paper was given out during the first week, but... I don't remember these at all. There are some water stains on it but it's still readable. I've written what it says below and yeah, it's fucking weird. If anyone has any input on this, feel free to offer it, I'm just really confused right now. And a little creeped out.


At Camp Golden Oak, we want you all to have the best experience you can. Just follow the few rules below to help keep everyone safe and having fun!

  1. Be kind to your fellow campers and never be afraid to make new friends. But be respectful, remember the Golden rule!

  2. When on a nature hide, don't wander off the trail, even if you see something that catches your eye. No one wants to be a Lost Camper!

  3. Never waste food, clean your plate! If you have special food requirements due to religion or allergies, don't be afraid to tell Chef! He'll make a special plate just for you.

  4. Please don't start food fights. Sometimes things can get confusing and exciting, and sometimes someone can get hurt.

  5. Please don't start paint fights in the art center. Again, people can get hurt.

  6. No going out after dark. There are bathrooms in your cabins if you have an emergency. Do not leave the cabin under any circumstance, even if you hear someone calling your name outside. Even if it sounds like a friend.

  7. If you get locked out after lights out, immediately head to the cafeteria. Chef will put you up for the night, no questions asked. Don't be afraid to come clean. If you hear someone call your name while you're out, again, keep walking, don't turn around.

  8. We at Camp Golden Oak are open-minded and happy to accommodate any camper from any background. However, we do not allow religious jewelry (crosses, Stars of David, pentacles, etc.) to be worn on the grounds. Any form of religious writing must be examined during check-in. If we deem it necessary, it'll be held in Mr. Bram's office for the week(s) you stay at Camp Golden Oak. Don't worry, it won't be stolen, it'll be locked in an airtight safe.

  9. If you have any belongings you're afraid of being stolen, you can turn them in during check-in and they'll go in the same safe mentioned above.

  10. Please do not pray out in the woods. We understand it feels like a reverent place, but it just isn't safe. Pray in your cabin, in the cafeteria, and anywhere indoors, but do not pray to any form of deity outdoors where anyone (or anything) can hear you.

  11. The horse corral is a fun place, but only if you follow the rules! Be quiet, be courteous, and mind the horses - they are beautiful and wonderful creatures, but they must be respected.

  12. If for some reason you find yourself outdoors and unable to find the cafeteria, under no circumstances are you to go to the horse corral. The horses may sound like they're frightened or that something's wrong, but they're in no danger.

  13. Do not go into the marsh.

  14. If during an activity a camper you don't recognize joins in, ask their name and what cabin they stay in. If they -

    • Are unusually pale with blue lips

    • Are unable to look you in the eyes

    • Do not give their name

    • Change the subject and ask for your name

    • Tell you they stay in Cabin 16, 19, or 21

    • immediately end the conversation and tell your counselor that there is a Lost Camper in your group. They will end the activity and likely take you to the cafeteria. The Chef will keep you safe until the situation is handled.

  15. Under no circumstances do you tell a Lost Camper your name. Under no circumstances do you follow them to any of the following locations -

    • Any of the mentioned cabins above, they are unused and unsafe
    • The horse corral
    • The marsh
    • The arts and crafts room
  16. If one of your cabin mates goes missing, tell your counselor immediately. We may be able to save them from becoming a Lost Camper.

  17. If you feel anything is not right, anything at all, tell your counselor.

  18. If you feel your counselor can no longer be trusted, talk to the Chef.

  19. And remember to have fun!


-Mr. and Mrs. Louis Bram

Part 2

Hi again, wow, I did not expect so many people to be interested in Camp Golden Oak. Some of you questioned what the hell was going through my parents' minds when they sent me there, and after reading that rule list, I completely agreed. I managed to get my dad on the phone and brought up I'd found some of the souvenirs from Camp Golden Oak as a way to bring up the old place.

One of my suspicions was correct - Dad never saw this "rule sheet", and I'm betting Mom didn't either. I don't know why I didn't show it to them or talk about the camp's bizarre rules. The more I pick my brain about it, the more I feel like I've forgotten something really important.

But anyway, I'm getting off track. I dug more through the folder, there's a lot there, but the next thing that really caught my eye was the "Leech Advisory". Yeah. It's just going to get weirder from here.

The notice looked like it's been pinned to a wall, and judging by the rip near the top, I tore it down to take with me. Younger me was a little shit.

The paper has some sort of tacky stain near the corners, I'm assuming from a sticky child's fingers, and it's meant for the campers to read.


Greetings, campers of Camp Golden Oak! I hope you're having the time of your life this summer!

Now, we've had some heavy rain lately, I hope you've had fun with your extra time in the arts and crafts room and are ready to go out and have fun! This week's activities will include more nature hikes through the woods and seeing who will be the first camper to climb to the top of the rock wall this summer!

However, part of the rain means the ground is quite muddy, and although they usually stick to the marshes, the leeches love to go exploring when the ground's like this. Don't worry! Leeches are nothing to be scared of! They're a part of nature, just like the raccoons we see reclining around the dumpster behind the cafeteria. Here are some things you can do to make sure you don't get hurt:

  1. Wear long pants and tennis shoes, tucking your pants into your socks. It looks silly, but it prevents the leeches from hooking onto your skin! If it's too warm to wear a jacket, don't worry about it, but some of the leech species around here can drop from the trees and land on your arms and neck. You'll feel them a bit quicker, but it's better to be safe than sorry!
  2. If you find a leech on your body, don't panic! First, call for your counselor. If they are a distance away, determine if the leech has bitten into your skin. You should be able to feel it. Give them a quick tug, if they come right off, then place them on the ground and wait for your counselor to come and identify the type.
  3. If the leech has attached itself to you, remember, do not panic. Wait for your counselor. Do not attempt to remove it by yourself.
  4. Once your counselor has removed and identified the leech, you will either be taken to the main office where Mrs. Bram will clean off the wound and send you on your way, or to Chef in the cafeteria. Some of the leeches around here have some nasty germs in their mouths, but Chef knows exactly how to clean up the wounds so you don't get sick!
  5. Remember to tell your counselor immediately if you find a leech on your body. Don't be embarrassed if it's crawled somewhere that is covered by a bathing suit, we're here to help. If any young women are too embarrassed to have the Chef take care of their leech bite, then Mrs. Bram will do her best to treat it.

Thank you very much! Reminder that all horse-related activities are suspended with the trails being in the condition that they're in. Be safe out there, campers, and remember to have fun.


-Mr. and Mrs. Louis Bram


Okay, that one's not too weird. I do remember the leech infestation that happened when I think I was eleven, now that I think about it. One of the kids had to go home early because of a leech bite that had gotten infected. I guessed he just didn't go to the counselor about it.

I thought it was nothing until I got my finger stuck on the tacky substance in the corner, and I realized that the paper felt a little thick. With a little careful tearing, I found that there was another paper stuck to the back. It's the same print, and it's also talking about the leeches... but this time it's directed at the counselors of Camp Golden Oak.

I remember my counselor, Maggie. She seemed a bit dippy but she meant well. I don't know how I didn't rip the back page to shreds attempting to get it unstuck from the front, but it's readable, and... this has taken a bit of a turn. I'll let you guys read it for yourselves.


Counselors of Camp Golden Oak,

I hope you're having a good time. I'm proud of each and every one of you for taking care of your campers, you're all doing a great job. A special shoutout to Margaret Wyler for handling the situation last week with the Lost Camper, you immediately took action and proceeded calmly and efficiently, and because of that, you may have saved a child's life.

The leech infestation has invaded the main campground rather than just sticking to the marsh as usual. The heavy rain and high winds are likely to blame. Although this means we'll likely have a reprieve from the Lost Campers as they seem to have a distaste for harsh weather, it means we have to be on our A-game when it comes to these leeches.

If a camper tells you there is a leech stuck to them, immediately call your other campers to your presence and have them check themselves over for any parasites. Examine the child in question and the leech.

  1. Is the leech brown/black, possibly with darker patterns on its skin? Immediately remove the leech, try to be gentle as to not hurt your camper, and dispose of it by sprinkling it in salt and putting it in a dry place. If you have your partner counselor with you, the rest of the campers can stay with them as you take the bitten camper to the main office. My wife will clean the wound and calm them down. There is nothing to worry about.
  2. Is the leech gray or white, with either red patterns on its back or what look like green boils in its skin? Do not panic. Put on your gloves, take the salt you should have in your first aid kit and sprinkle some on its back. It should immediately detach, but careful! It'll try to make a run for it and they are quick. Grab it and crush it beneath your foot multiple times until its black blood soaks the ground. Do not attempt to crush one if you're not wearing shoes or only wearing flip-flops, use the first aid kit if you have to. Once it's destroyed, have your partner counselor bury the remains in salt.
  3. Immediately after killing the infected leech, have your partner counselor look over each of the children while you take the bitten one to the cafeteria. Chef will likely be in the kitchen preparing the next meal or he'll be putting together a puzzle in his private quarters. Loudly knock three times on his door before entering and explain the situation.
  4. Treating one of these leech bites is extremely painful for the one bitten. It involves burning the bite wound and spreading on some herbs that burn even more than the flame. Even though it might be frightening, please stay there for the camper. Hold their hand and remind them it will be okay. You might see something drip from the wound that is not blood, that means the treatment is working. I'd advise not looking though, it isn't pleasant to see.
  5. Once the bite has been purged, take the child back to the cabin and put them on bed rest for a few days. The wound may have been purged but infected leeches will be attracted to the bite mark left by another of their kind. It's better to have them rest up while they heal. We have coloring books and materials in the office, request them for your laid-up camper so they have something to occupy their time with. If they have to go outside, make sure they wear long sleeves and pants so the scent of their blood is at least partially masked.
  6. There are some times when your campers do not tell you when they have been bitten by a leech. You must stay on high alert, especially after tramping through muddy trails or if you stray too close to the marsh. Do not be ashamed if the latter happens, this may be a huge campground but even I find myself walking toward the marsh on days my mind wanders. Keep your eyes open for:
    • Leech bites, they should bleed quite a bit and they'll have a triangular shape if they're fresh. If they've aged a bit, they'll probably closer resemble a mosquito bite. Have Chef look at a bite you find suspicious, particularly if your camper is acting shifty about it.
    • Your camper experiencing a combination of any of the following symptoms - insomnia, seeming to mentally "check out" during activities, irritability, rashes on their necks and/or wrists, skin going pale, vomiting, sleep-walking, reckless behavior, random bouts of uncontrollable and unexplainable giggling, reddening of the eyes, and bleeding of the gums.
    • Your camper purposely distancing themselves from you but watching your every move intently.
    • Your camper daring others to either kiss them or drink their blood.
    • Your camper trying to attach leeches to others.

If caught early on, Chef can still expel the poison and the child will be fine, although they'll likely have to be sent home early with how exhausted they'll be from the ordeal.

However, and I cannot stress this enough, if the infected camper attempts to attack another one of your campers, your priority is the healthy campers. Do what you have to do to not let the others get bitten. The transmission is much more effective when going from human to human. If the infected camper runs off to the marshes, let them go. The Lost Campers do not tolerate Infected Campers, and if the Infected Camper manages to fight them off, Chef will make sure it's handled.

If the worst happens, you will not be blamed. I've personally interviewed each and every one of you. I know I can trust you with the safety of your campers, and if we escape this wet summer with only one or two Infected Campers, I'll consider it a good year. You can do all you can and there might be one that slips through the cracks.

May the Wild's God protect us this summer.


-Mr. Louis Bram

Part 3

Hey, it's me again, the camper from Camp Golden Oak. Thanks for all the responses so far, I've even managed to get in contact with a few other people who have actually gone to the place. Nothing too exciting, other than some of the odder occurrences I've already mentioned, but at least I know I'm not alone.

I'm still going through the folder's contents, there is a lot of shit in here, not to mention some things seem to have fallen out and got shuffled around in the box. I think I found a series of notes passed between me and a friend at the time, her name was Marie, she was the kid with all the allergies, we've all had a friend like that growing up, I think. I haven't spoken to her since Camp Golden Oak, but I'm still working on reading the notes - some of them are smudged and it's probably going to be impossible to get them entirely legible but I hope to have them done soon. For now, I found another set of rules, specifically for the horse corral.

Yeah, there are more rules, who's fucking surprised. I had one of those disposable cameras as a kid, I took at least one each year I was at camp. I must've snapped a pic of the rules hung up in the stables. The picture's pretty dark, but I can make out the rules clear enough. I double I'll post any of the pics here, mostly because 98% of them have my fingers in the way of the lens or they're incredibly blurry.

Listen, disposable cameras were not user-friendly to a clearly oblivious ten-year-old.

If we're going by my memories alone, I loved the horses. I always wanted to ride this beautiful one named Onyx. She was a sweetie and liked to have her neck pet. I'm learning that I can no longer trust my memories though. Which is probably the worst part of this experience.

Anyway, rules are listed below.


Welcome to the Horse Corral! We hope you're here to have a good time! The horses at Camp Golden Oak are gentle creatures who love to be fed carrots and to have fun. Just remember to follow the rules below and we'll all have a great and safe time!

  1. Horses are living creatures who deserve our respect. They are not toys. You are not to hit, shout at, or kick the horses. If you are caught abusing one of our horses, you will be sent back to your cabin for the rest of the day's activities and will be strictly reprimanded. If you are caught twice, you will be sent home.
  2. There is no room to fool around in the stables or the corral. Horseplay is reserved for the horses. Roughhousing could lead to someone getting hurt, and we don't want that to happen.
  3. If you want to help out with care of the horses, be sure to ask the Stablemaster, Ms. Grace Triggs. She always can appreciate a gentle hand!
  4. All the horses in the stable are for the campers to ride, except for Domino. He is to be ridden by counselors and Ms. Triggs only. Do not ask to ride Domino.
  5. All the horses at Camp Golden Oak that are safe for riding are colored bay, black, or dappled gray.
  6. There are group rides every week led by Ms. Triggs, be sure to sign up quickly as spots will go quickly!
  7. Remember that horses can see things that we do not. You may have to go back early from a ride if Domino becomes spooked, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
  8. Do not come to the corral alone. It isn't safe. Be sure to go with your counselor or Ms. Triggs! They know how to keep you safe.
  9. If you're about to go on a ride and you see a white or palomino horse approaching the group, do not approach this horse. This is not one of Golden Oak's horses. Leave them alone.
  10. These horses can occasionally be spotted near the lake and marsh. Again, do not approach them. They will wander off on their own sooner or later.
  11. If you see Domino walking around the camp with no rider, do not be alarmed. He occasionally likes to open his stall door and go for a walk. He likes to make sure we're all safe! He'll be back for supper time. Please do not attempt to pet him or distract him from his duties.
  12. If you see your friend trying to play with one of the white or palomino horses, call them back to you. They might tell you that they think it's okay, but these horses are not safe. Under no circumstances are you to climb on their backs or attempt to guide them by their reigns, especially if they're near the lake or the marsh. It's better to just leave them alone rather than get hurt.
  13. If you see a camper riding a white or palomino horse, yell as loud as you can. Get the attention of a counselor, Chef, or Ms. Triggs immediately. They will handle the situation.
  14. There may seem to be campers on occasion that seem to have control of these strange horses and are able to guide them. Take a closer look but do not approach. Does this camper resemble a Lost Camper? (See your camp rules.) If they're a Lost Camper, then immediately leave the area and tell your counselor.
  15. If a Lost Camper attempts to approach you while riding one of these horses while you are alone, if you are near the stables, run inside and find Ms. Triggs. If you cannot find Ms. Triggs, get into Domino's stall. He might not be for you to ride but he will not hurt you.
  16. If you want to give a horse a snack, ask Ms. Triggs for a carrot, an apple, or a sugar cube! The horses love a snack!


-Mr. and Mrs. Louis Bram


Update: I... think I remember something.

I was trying to organize the series of notes that were exchanged between me and Marie when the memory just hit me. I suppose thinking about the damn place enough shook something loose. Part of me wonders if it's just something my mind made up, but after going through this folder, I'm not sure anymore.

I think this happened my second or third year at camp. I was running down one of the horse trails, it was late at night. My heart was pounding in my chest, but I didn't dare turn around. I heard a voice call out for me and I stumbled over a root and fell to the ground, my knee scraped against a rock.

That's when I heard it.

You know that squelch your tennis shoes make after they've been soaked? It was that. The sound grew closer, and I scrambled back to my feet and took off again.

I saw the stables, lit up by two lanterns at the front, and I ran faster. I didn't want to see what was behind me, but I knew if I stopped it would catch me. And I didn't want it to catch me.

I opened the stable door and slammed it behind me, my head whipping around, searching for something, anything... and then I saw Domino.

I was a pretty tiny child, but Domino was an enormous horse. Easily the biggest of the stables, he was jet-black with a white spot over his right eye. He looked over at me before quietly bickering. I took that as my invitation. Feeling my fingers shake, I opened up his stall and slipped inside. My legs turned to jelly and I fell to the ground. Domino ignored me, choosing to eat hay and flick his tail.

The door opened and Domino's head raised.

I heard the squelching of wet tennis shoes slowly approach, and I managed to stand enough to peer over the stall door.

There is was. A Lost Camper.

He was a boy, probably around twelve, with sunken, pale cheeks and bangs hanging into his eyes. He was completely soaked, I saw goosebumps on his arms but he wasn't shivering. He didn't look up, but he knew I was there.

"...Can we go play again? Like we did last summer?" His voice was so sad, and I was sad too.

I shook my head. "We can't play anymore, Michael. I'm really sorry. Go back to the other Lost, please, or Chef will come get you."

"Michael" rested a wet hand on the stall door, but withdrew it quickly as Domino lunged, his body slamming against the door. He gulped as he stared at the horse. And I saw his eyes.

They looked watery, like he was sick, but his pupils were shrunk down to pinpoints, black dots in a blue expanse. He looked at me and I felt like he recognized me. He opened his mouth to say something when the stable door banged open and a bright light shined in.

"Get your arse out of here, you lil demon! Out!"

Michael bolted, his shoes squelching, slowly disappearing into the distance.

Ms. Triggs walked up to the stable door, lifting up her flashlight. She wasn't a very big woman, but the gun on her waist wasn't the prop one she used for telling stories by the fireplace at the meal hall. She sighed and shook her head.

"There's no bringing back the Lost, kid. Come on, I'll let you bunk with me tonight."

I don't remember anything after that, except maybe heading back in the morning. Ms. Triggs didn't bring up anything about last night, only lightly ribbing me for snoring like an old man. I laughed and ran to get breakfast, I knew Chef always made his blueberry pancakes on Saturday morning and they always went fast.

I'm only getting pieces of the puzzle, it's still filled with giant holes, but I can tell you this -

I know Michael. But I remember him like that. I remember playing soccer with him, and splashing each other while we swam in the lake... and I remember that he didn't come back to camp next year.

Part 4

Hi guys, it's the camper from Golden Oak again. Sorry it's been so long, work got busy, some personal shit happened, I'm sure you all get it.

So last time I brought up the notes passed between me and Marie at Camp Golden Oak. It was a pain in the ass to get them sorted. Not to mention some weren't even legible, I've done my best to transcribe them below but you'll notice gaps, I'm sure.

I do remember a bit more about Marie. She went all three years of camp, we always ended up sharing a cabin at least two of those times. she was the camp friend, she lived in the UP (the upper peninsula of Michigan for the non-Michigan readers) and we just didn't live close enough to be friends all year round. But she was a sweet girl, a little bit of a crybaby, but sweet. She loved the arts and crafts room the most. I'm glad her handwriting was as nice as it was, it was hard enough working out my chicken scratch. I labeled the notes as "Marie" and "Sarah", Sarah being my name.

Anyway, might as well get on with it. I don't have any memories of the incidents described below... although I think I know an answer about what happened to Michael.


I'm so bored. - Sarah

If the Chef catches us passing notes during morning announcements again, we're gonna get in a lot of trouble. - Marie

He won't get us in trouble! He'll just glare before taking them again. You excited for riding horses today? - Sarah

Not really. That creepy Palomino keeps following me. It's scary. - Marie

Just ignore him! He's just a wild horse. He'll wander off when he gets bored. I call dibs on Onyx. - Sarah

What if Michael wants Onyx? - Marie

Don't be stupid. Michael always picks Patch. And why would I care what horses Michael wants to pick anyway? - Sarah

Sarah you're not fooling anyone. - Marie


I think I like Michael. Really like him. - Sarah

Took you long enough. Whatcha gonna do about it? - Marie

I dunno. Probably just pretend I don't. Michael's nice, but he's also nice as a friend. - Sarah

He is. You should totally hold hands with him at the bonfire on Saturday though. - Marie

Ugh, I might skip. Who cares about the Wild's God anyway? - Sarah

Don't be like that! I think I actually heard the whispers last time. - Marie

You did not. The Wild's God isn't real. - Sarah

I mean, the Brams seem to think so, and so does Chef. - Marie

Girls, note passing during night announcements isn't allowed - unknown handwriting that's quite large and blocky, neither mine nor Maries

Well. That was embarrassing. At least Chef didn't confiscate our notes this time. - Sarah

I think I saw a Lost Camper. - Sarah

What???? Is this why you were late to getting back to the cabin tonight? - Marie

Yeah, Michael asked to see me by the bathrooms after lights out. But on the way back, I heard someone calling my name and I turned... It looked like a Lost Camper at least. A really pale and soaking-wet kid wearing a camp shirt. I ran as fast as I could back, luckily the door wasn't locked or I would be in trouble. - Sarah

You're not supposed to look back at them. - Marie

I'm fine, Marie. I promise. Nothing bad happens by just looking. - Sarah

So you didn't kiss Michael? - Marie

Go to sleep or I'm hurling a pillow at your face. - Sarah


That stupid palomino followed me nearly back to camp this time. I feel sick. - Marie

Ignore him! He's being a dumb horse. - Sarah

I told Ms. Triggs and she seemed pretty mad. She's gonna go out riding with Domino to chase him away, or at least try. I hope she doesn't shoot the poor thing. He doesn't seem mean. - Marie

Of course he doesn't. But rules say don't touch the wild palominos. - Sarah

I know the rules Sarah. - Marie

Sorry. I'm gonna go to sleep. - Sarah


Did you see that thing on the hike today? - Marie

No, and you didn't see anything either. - Sarah

Sarah! It was the Wild's God! I'm sure it was! - Marie

It was just a stupid tree swaying in the wind. - Sarah

Trees don't walk. Except in movies. I swore it had a face too. And Domino didn't spook so it wasn't something evil. And the Wild's God isn't evil. - Marie

Marie, don't be silly. The Wild's God is just something the Brams made up to make the camp special. Listen, I don't wanna talk about this. Can we just talk about something else? - Sarah

Please don't skip the bonfire this Saturday. - Marie


I'm going to skip the bonfire. - Sarah

Why? Couples hold hands around there all the time! You could be a real couple with Michael. - Marie

Michael thinks the whole ceremony about the Wild's God is a bunch of crap. So we're skipping and going to take a walk around the lake. - Sarah

Are you crazy!? What about the marsh? - Marie

What about it? We're not gonna go near it, it's gross and smells terrible. And we're not crazy, we just want to be alone. - Sarah

You're making a mistake. I'll tell Chef if I don't see you. - Marie

If you tell the Chef, I'll never talk to you again. Ever. Leave me alone, and don't even think about sitting near me during arts and crafts. - Sarah


(Here I found a letter folded up several times and pretty crumpled up. It definitely isn't from me or even directed to me, but I have no idea how it's in my things.)

Chef,

My name is Marie. I have a best friend named Sarah. She's going to try to skip the bonfire on Saturday night to go hang out with Michael. She doesn't want me to tell anyone, but I'm scared for her. She could get hurt. I know she saw a Lost Camper following her last week, and I'm scared it'll find her again. Please try to stop her from going. I know she'll never talk to me again, but I need to make sure she doesn't get hurt.

Thank you,

Marie


Marie,

I'm really sorry about what happened. I know you're probably still sleeping after what happened, but I need to make sure you know I'm sorry.

You were right. I was being stupid. Michael was just so brave, and I want to be brave too. I wanted to impress him. And because of that, I'm never going to see him again.

The Lost Campers. Michael thought one of them was his friend. That was the one I saw after meeting Michael at the bathroom. They're evil. They smell like a wet, moldy basement. They started singing the camp song and chased us into the woods. I almost ran into the marsh when you saved me. You stuck a foot in instead though... you had like three leeches stuck to you, I'm so sorry. That must've really hurt.

Michael's still missing. The Brams and some of the counselors have been searching nonstop, but I don't think they'll ever find him. He's one of the Lost Campers now.

I'm so sorry. I should've believed you. Because I was stupid, you got hurt, and Michael's gone forever. I know you'll probably be going home after you feel a little better. I don't blame you if you hate me.

Please don't hate me.

-Sarah


Sarah,

The Wild's God spoke to me during my dream.

You need to open your ears to him or Michael's going to lead you to join the Lost.

I will be going home. And I'll miss you lots. But I'll see you next year, and we'll pick up right where we left off.

I don't hate you. You are and always will be my best friend.

-Marie