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But this summer, his first at Camp Ranger, Larry is making the best of it. He works hard to improve himself, and already his fellow campers and counselors respect him for his extra effort. "If you're in camp and don't make friends, you're in for a bad summer," Larry says. "You won't get passes in basketball games, you'll always be last in the baseball lineup and you won't get asked to go on any raids."
    Because of Larry's will to succeed, the camp doctor knows him well. Larry earned a black eye recently because he took on a much bigger opponent on boxing night, and he's already compiled a valiant list of minor injuries. "Larry's amazing," said one 

PROLOGUE

    It's just a tale of course, but as the older campers tell it, every, seventh year on July 12th the ghost of Mr. Cropsey reappears to haunt Camp Ranger. The legend, and it is only a legend, has it that 28 years ago the old Bunkhouse 19 burned down with Mrs. Cropsey inside. Mr. Cropsey rushed in to save her, but the roof fell in, and their remains were never extracted from the ruins. Seven years later, the campers rebuilding Bunk 19 heard scraping, then a scream. That night, "The Cropsey Maniac" picked the fattest kid out of one of the bunks and tore all his limbs off.


CHAPTER ONE:
A Fresh Start for Larry

   Camp has not always been a storybook experience for Larry.
    His first summer at sleep away camp, five summers ago, it was a difficult adjustment. "I cried a lot," says, Larry.
    The ensuing summers away from home cured Larry of his self-indulgence. They were rough times. Larry (which isn't his real name) has always been small for his age, only 4'9" and weighs but 78 pounds. Larry can't dance, he can't swim, and he isn't a particularly good athlete, At other camps, he has taken his share of abuse, including the gamut of camp tortures. Last year, at a different camp, his counselors blindfolded him, tied a string to his testicles and promised to pull whenever be answered a question incorrectly; they said it was part of fraternity initiation rites at college. In his short camp life, Larry has been through just about all the camp tortures-pink bellies, wedgies, even an occasional purple nurple.

 

counselor. "I've taken him to the 
infirmary for soccer, and I've taken him to the infirmary for capture the flag."
    As the finishing touch on a good summer, Larry would like to find a girlfriend, but he knows that isn't going to be easy. At the last social, he sat and watched and told the nagging girl counselors, "I can't dance." Larry says, "Without one (a girlfriend), you feel left out. With one, you feel part of the crowd." 
    And there is just one more thing. "I've never been able to get a tan," Larry says.


CHAPTER TWO:
The Reporter, the Photographer, and the Camp Directors' Wives


    Running a sleepaway camp is a large responsibility and Judy Turner has an additional problem on her mind this week. She and her husband Jerry are co-owners of Camp Ranger, and she is well aware of how fast bad news travels through the camp circuit.
    Jerry Turner welcomed a Newsday reporter and Photographer to camp, aware of what good publicity could do. But Judy Turner is skeptical, aware of the adverse effects of publicity. Our second day there, she asks to meet with Naomi, the photographer, and myself to get some idea of what we're trying to say about Camp Ranger.
    Mrs. Turner explains quite frankly that children are their product, and the least bit of bad publicity could hurt business tremendously. She explains