Custom Text -- Chapter one
Steve and Larry were friends ever since they could remember. Their parents had bought houses next door to each other when the boys had just started kindergarden, and they had been best friends ever since.
They went to the same school, joined cub scouts together, did summer Bible camp for a couple of summers, and anytime one of the families decided to do something special, like celebrate a birthday, or have a family bowling night, the boy from next door was almost always included. As a matter of fact, about the only time that the boy next door was not included, was when one of them left town to go and visit a grandparent. Visiting grandparents was something that each family did, but decided to not invite the best friend, just because there was not enough to do to keep one boy amused. When two of them was bored at a grandparents house, the only thing that seemed to happen was that the trip to visit the relative would get cut short. The parents decided that it just was not fair to grandma, who only got to see the family maybe once or twice a year, to have the visit cut short because the boys would not be able to find things to do. Beside that, each of their dads explained, that the reason for the visit was not a funtime vacation, but was meant to be something special for the grandmas, and as the boys got older it became embarrassing for them to do some of the family traditions in front of each other. Like who wanted to have their best friend see them sit in their grandmothers lap, or to wear grandma's pink apron when helping her in the kitchen.
So at the beginning of things, when they were in about the first or second grade, they made the rule that the annual visit to Grandma's house would not be shared with best friends. Just about everything else was shared. Steve's dad had helped the boys build a treehouse in the big old oak tree in their backyard. It was pretty cool up there, for the boys had slowly taken one thing at a time up the ladder, and eventually the treehouse took on the look of a miniature real house. They had a couple of makeshift cots, a small table, a bench, a stool, and if need be they could even run an electric cord from the garage and could have lights, or even watch tv on the small black and white set that had been forgotten out in the garage at Larry's house a couple of years back.
As it was, both boys were very happy with the friendship they had kept over the years. Neither boy had any sisters, and it was only this summer that Steve's mom had announced that there was the possibility of Steve having a younger brother or sister next winter, probably right before Christmas she had said. But for the time being, it was only the two of them that they had to worry about.
Since school was out, they had planned on going on the boy scout camping trip that was to be coming up in a few weeks. They needed time to prepare for it, for it was supposed to be so that the scouts could finish earning the rest of the merits needed to complete their wilderness, camping, and outdoor life badges. Some of the scouts had completed the merits, but for the most part all of the boys in the troop had areas missing that was keeping them back from getting their badges. The completion of the outdoor living had things that you could only do while out on a camping trip, and so the scout leaders decided that this summer would be a perfect time to go on a camping trip for a week, and thereby allowing the boys time to do what they needed to get everything signed off. There was a lot to do to get ready for this trip, for they needed to gather first aid kits, backpacks, sleeping bags, and they had to find someone they could barrow a tent from. Yes, it was going to be a lot of fun. The boys could not wait.