I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

In this story, a young man describes his mishaps (accidents) which occurred while he was at summer camp. Make a list of possible problems which might have happened to him before you start the listening.

HELPFUL TIP: Going to a camp can be a great way to learn new skills, make new friends, and keep physically active. Check with local organizations to see what is available in your area.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

First, listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. What does Brad have to do before he eats breakfast?

A. clean his sleeping quarters

B. go down to the stream to get some water

C. feed the rooster and the other animals
2. What happened to Brad when he went fishing?

A. A tree branch fell on him.

B. He lost his fishing pole.

C. He slipped and lost one of his shoes.

3. What did he eat for dinner?

A. steak

B. hotdogs

C. beans

4. What was Brad doing when he got lost in the forest?

A. He was running away from a bear.

B. He was searching for wood.

C. He was wondering around looking for the cabin.

5.How did Brad like summer camp?

A. He had a great time.

B. It was okay.

C. He didn’t have fun.

Score =
Correct answers:

Dear Mom and Dad,

This is my fifth day at summer camp. Life in the great outdoors isn’t exactly what I expected, but I’m not starving . . . yet . . . so don’t worry about me.

I guess I should tell you about what I do everyday. First, everyone has to get up at 5:30 A.M. They have this silly old rooster named Harry who loves to wake us up. Next, we have to make our beds and tidy up the cabin before our camp counselor, Jeff, comes to inspect the place.

Then, we have breakfast around 6:30 A.M. After that, we have some free time, so I’ve been going down to the nearby stream to fish for a couple of hours. But yesterday, the only thing I caught was an old shoe and a tree branch. Great catch, Huh? Then when I was trying to swat a mosquito buzzing around my head, I slipped and fell in the stream and lost my fishing pole. That ended my fishing career.

Well, in the afternoon, there are different activities we can choose from like archery, horseback riding, and hiking. I thought archery would be the sport for me until I shot an arrow through Jeff’s pant leg. As you can imagine, I haven’t been invited back since.

In the evening, everyone is assigned a different chore to get dinner ready. Yesterday, I was in charge of cooking the hotdogs, but I accidently dropped them in the fire, so we had to settle for beans instead. The other kids are always razzing me about it.

At night, we sit around a campfire in front of the cabin, sing songs, and tell ghost stories. That’s usually fun, but one night while trying to find more sticks for the fire, I got all turned around and got lost. After about an hour of wandering aimlessly in the forest, I finally found my way back, but no one seemed to have realized what had happened, thinking that I just had gone to bed. A bear or wolf could have eaten me and no one would have known it. I was so beat I just crashed . . . out like a light.

Well, today is another day and tomorrow I go home . . . and not a bit too soon. I’ve learned that camping is just not for me.



Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • starving (adjective): very hungry from lack of food
    – The boys were starving after getting lost in the woods for hours.
  • tidy up (phrasal): clean up or organize
    – I need to tidy up my room before I can invite guests over.
  • inspect (verb): to check or look at something carefully
    – The camp leader decided to inspect each group’s cabin carefully to make sure they were not leaving food inside.
  • swat (verb): to hit something like an insect
    – I spent the whole afternoon swatting flies instead of concentrating on my reading.
  • archery (noun): the sport of shooting arrows with a bow
    – Carol took up archery when she was in elementary school.
  • settle for (phrasal verb): accept something even though it is not what you want
    – We didn’t have any more steak for dinner, so I had to settle for rice and beans.
  • razz (verb): make fun of or tease
    – Some of the kids razzed their friend for kissing a girl.
  • aimlessly (adverb): without clear direction
    – The young man got lost after dark, but he sat down and waited for help instead of walking aimlessly without any idea where he was.
  • beat (adjective): very tired
    – The men were beat after hiking 10 hours in the snow.
  • crash (verb): go to sleep, sometimes unexpectly away from home
    – I decided to crash in my friend’s tent because mine was damaged by the wind.