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Deborah Laird Meeks
Deep Creek or Bust
The year is 1966. Seven teenage girls meet at the primitive Girl Scout camp of “Camp Mountain Meadows,” on Greenhorn Mountain, in the Sequoia National Forest. The “Cardebanngiebarlys” patrol is created by using a syllable from each of their names, then the fun begins. The counselors teach survival skills required to go on the most rugged and adventurous hike offered at the camp—a backpack trip to Deep Creek, the coveted natural swimming hole with a rock slide. Of all the skills the girls learn, they discover through teamwork the most valuable survival tool of all—friendship. Piggy is struggling with shyness but overcomes it with the help of her friends by the end of the two-week camping experience. Getting dirty is part of the fun!
Plot/Idea: 5 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 6 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 6.00 out of 10


Plot/Idea: Meeks recounts a fairly typical 1960s example of a Girl Scout camping adventure, emphasizing the bond that grows between the girls during the trip. 

Prose: Despite some minor grammar hiccups, the prose is clear and supports the story well. Meeks's friendly and familiar tone evokes the sunbaked friendships and cool evenings of summer camp. 

Originality: Not quite a coming-of-age story—and depicted more as a pleasant memory—this memoir skillfully portrays the twilight innocence of childhood during a tumultuous time in the United States. 

Character/Execution: Meeks offers readers a range of characters, including her own role in the story, as she becomes more confident and outspoken during the course of camp. She threads the importance of leadership through the narrative as well, crafting strong mentors who greatly influence the girls attending camp.


Date Submitted: January 26, 2023

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The 1960’s were a great time to be coming of age and the lessons we gained through Girl Scouts stayed with us for life. Friends were made at camp and 50 plus years later the friends have remained. Deep Creek or Bust brought back a lot of memories of a more innocent time. I would recommend this book to young readers who are still attending camps and to those of us who attended camp as kids years ago