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They organize the helpers into several teams, the leader of Greg's leaf-raking team being a Brownie , and even sell cookies and help with the community garden. Greg says that would not work with boys his age. Frew gets asked a bunch of questions by grown-ups. Once raking is over, they change groups, so Greg dashes for the creek, remembering how he used to catch minnows and then pretend to swim while on swim team, but eventually got busted as Frank showed up early. Frew follows, as some of the adults were being a bit annoying, and then a boy from Community Service at first thought to by Greg to be a bear shows up.

It is Rodrick's friend Billy Rotner who stole gummy worms a month ago, and Greg is worried Billy will get them all in trouble. But Billy says he is running away, and says that the reason why he stole the gummy worms was because when he was little, his mother bought him and his brother a pack of gummy worms to share, but his brother ate the whole gummy worms, and since he has never eaten sour gummy worms before. Then, Frew tells about how he wakes up at five every morning to study geography, and while he doesn't mind that in itself, he wishes he could play laser tag but has never gotten to as his parents say it is a waste of time.

Greg feels sad and decides to go back, but the Brownie shows up and all three boys take off and run. Soon, all the Girl Scouts are after them. Greg worries about he and Frew harboring a fugitive and wonders if Girl Scouts can arrest. Billy leads the way.

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Soon, they are ahead of the Girl Scouts and eat some cookies Billy had. Billy then says that they should take their clothes off to throw off any dogs. Frew and Billy strip down to their underwear, but Greg does not want to take advice from a criminal. He tries to leave, but Frew says they should stick together so they could run away and maybe even join the circus. Billy gets inspired and wonders if people will make a movie about them.

It turns out Susan changed her mind about electronics and when she got a tracking device for the pig, she put one on Greg's shoelace too. But Susan is more like "electronics-free". Since the park incident, Frank has become angry and believes both Greg can't be watched on his own. Greg starts to think there's a camera in Manny's stuffed duck. Luckily for Greg, Susan takes Frank to the airport on a business trip on Friday morning. The same morning, Greg tries to cap his toothpaste tube after brushing his teeth like Frank said, but drops the cap in the sink, where it bounces and falls down the drain.

Greg tries to fish the cap out with a cotton swab, but all he fishes up is hair and junk, and he guarantees the reader he will never be a plumber. He opens the cabin under the sink, and reads one of Frank's do-it-yourself plumbing books, but can't make sense of it so he decides to wing it. He takes out a plastic tube, but water sprays out and by the time he shuts off the valve, there is a puddle on the floor.

He dries it up, but it leaks into the kitchen. Grandpa drives Greg into town to buy paint that would hide the water stain, but he has no license, so he clips a trash can and a mailbox.

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He then takes the exit ramp instead of the entry ramp and then the car conks out because they are out of gas. Grandpa walks to the service station, leaving Greg in the car. Then, the community service gang, including Billy, shows up. Greg locks the doors, hides beneath the dashboard, holds his breath and prays. The community service crew eats lunch on the car and leaves, leaving a mess. Greg tries to pull himself up by holding the handle as his legs are asleep but accidentally shifts the car into neutral and it rolls forward.

Grandpa shows up, and Greg swerves the car into a ditch, so Susan comes two hours later with the towing company. The fender is broken, and Greg decides to go to Hardscrabble Farms to escape from Frank. Campers must bring bug spray, hiking boots, a raincoat, a canteen, a day pack, jeans, a plastic bag, sunscreen, toiletries and wool socks each, and electronic devices and "junk" food are not allowed. At school, Greg wonders if he's unprepared, because all the other children have a whole lot of gear than Greg.

Also the stuff takes up half the space in the bus, forcing the kids to double up on seats by sitting down on kid's laps. A boy standing next to Greg says his older brother went to Hardscrabble Farms a few years ago and told him all about this farmer named Silas Scratch who lived at Hardscrabble Farms a long time ago, but the county came in and kicked him off his land. Another boy says he heard that after that happened, Silas Scratch went to live in the forest, where he survived by eating slugs and berries.

Then Melinda Henson says that she heard that during that time, he went crazy and grew his fingernails really long. Healey says that a kid named Frankie was traumatized when he saw Silas Scratch's shack in the woods when he was a child. Then, Mrs. Graziano goes over the rules, and the chaperons go through everyone's bags, confiscating any sugary food, namely Mike Barrows 's Swedish Fish and Duane Higgins 's giant chocolate-chip cookie.

Jones skips Greg's luggage. They then have hot dogs, baked beans and stuffed peppers for lunch, after which they scrape the leftovers into a pot. Greg doesn't like stuffed pepper. He asks Mr. Healey why they put leftovers in a pot and he replies that the leftovers get used for stew the next meal.

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The female chaperons lead the girls into their cabin, and Susan almost, but not quite, volunteers, and Greg wishes she had, because he is seeking love advice. In the groups, the troublemakers are spread out, and Mr. Nuzzi 's strict group is the only one that has more than one troublemaker. Greg's group has Rowley and has Mr. Jefferson as the chaperon. One nervy kid named Julian Trimble is in Greg's group.

They pick out beds, but bedding is unavailable, Greg picks a top bunk in case Julian wets the bed. Jefferson bunks underneath him. During the Trust Fall, Jordan Lankey does his fall when the others are not ready, and Jeffrey Swanson does his, but makes them collapse as he is a large boy, Rowley and Gareth Grimes crash into each other, lodging Gareth's tooth into Rowley's forehead, so he has to go see a doctor or, as Greg says, maybe a dentist. During the Bucket Brigade, they spill the water. They then tie each other together, but can't get untied, which is unfortunate as Timothy Ames needs to use the bathroom.

At dinner, it is chicken patties, corn on the cob and stew, which Greg skips. Jordan finds a taco shell in his stew. After dinner, they check each other for ticks.

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Greg remembers swallowing a live spider in the woods. A beetle climbs into a boy's ear. Everybody except Greg goes crazy because a tick was on Julian and they wrestle with each other when Mr.

Jefferson is gone, and then get dirty and go to bed early. The next day, Mr. Jefferson wakes the boys up at the crack of dawn, and they shower in the water, but the staff doesn't know that it actually had the other boys' sweat in it, but Greg knows so he wipes himself with baby wipes in the bathroom.

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At breakfast, the pancakes are hard as rocks. Graziano says they were going to work like farm children. They move the hay bales, and Mr. Nuzzi's group move them back. Greg has a flashback to when he was assigned a "secret mission" to deliver a note as a first-grader, and then another note but one day he was curious about what was in the notes, he opened it and it was BLANK, the reason was being Susan was worried about his self-esteem, which is why Greg doesn't take work seriously.

The boys then paint a fence, repair a stone wall and stack firewood. Jeffrey theorizes that it is his gravestone, and they are now cursed, but Greg says that it would be good if Silas was dead, and for it to be his grave, he'd have had to bury himself, but then Gareth theorizes that Silas Scratch is undead. Someone thought they saw Silas Scratch, and someone else thought they saw him on the other side of camp at the same time, then Albert Sandy theorizes that Silas moves through the pipes, making the kids too scared to use the bathrooms.

The next day, after farm chores, Greg takes a nap, while Gareth , Jeffrey and Jordan are sick of stew so they without tackle or a fishing pole catch a fish from the river, using Jeffrey's shirt as a NET. Nobody wants to eat it, so they put it in the toilet. Greg tries to get a bucket so he can put it back, but Mr. Jefferson shows up, asking Greg where the others are as Julian, Graham and the other one are absent and the three impromptu fishermen are still in the bathroom.

Greg asks him to check the river, so he leaves. Graziano hands out letters. Susan's letter reads " Dear Gregory, We miss you so much! Can't wait until you're back home. Hope you are having a wonderful time! Rodrick's letter, Greg doesn't like and it reads "Dear Greg, I found your candy bars.

Here, you can smell the wrappers. Har, har, har. Julian cries after getting a photo of his mother and dog. One boy reads his letter to the kids without letters, which says, "I made you a batch of your favorite cookies and put them in the fridge for when you get home! Love, Mom. At the cabin, it is revealed that Graham mailed the box to himself, and he shares the food he got.

Jefferson is mad at the boys due to the fish and thinks it is a practical joke by Greg so he has to stay in the cabin with Mr. The next day, a lot of the kids are homesick, but the chaperones tell them that they can only go home if there's some sort of MEDICAL reason. Melinda Henson makes herself sick by eating too much stew. It didn't work and Melinda was sent back to rejoin her group after a few hours at the nurse. Julian makes himself sick by eating half of deodorant. By the time Julian's Mother drives away, Julian has made a full recovery.

The chaperones take all the deodorant away. The next morning, Rowley returns and gives Gareth his tooth in a jar back to him. The kids are going to spend the last night outdoors. Jefferson uses his phone to research how to light a fire, which made him break the "no electronics" rule. Jefferson's phone battery dies due to some of the boys watching videos of screaming goats.

Jefferson then tells the kids to get kindling, but nobody knows what kindling is, so they try to bring back anything that would burn. Rowley throws weeds on the fire, which smothers it. The next morning, Rowley and Mr. Jefferson even got some of the fumes in his lungs. Greg's group is at a loss for how to build a rain shelter and the other groups don't want to share their methods. Another group raids Greg's cabin, takes Graham's snacks and clogs the toilet with Greg's baby wipes, which wets everything in his duffle bag except Grandpa's book, which Greg reads and it has info like how to build a potato radio, and ironically how to identify poison ivy.

Greg's group light a fire with the sun and Emilio's glasses, but they break. Back at the cabin, the cabin is really stinky, so they mop up the water with dirty clothes and put them in trash bags, but the boys themselves stink. Jordan suggests stealing the girls' deodorant, but other boys think girls don't use deodorant. Emilio says he could uses his sense of smell to lead a raid, so they test his smell and he smells everything right. But Mr. Nuzzi checks on them, and scares them inside with the threat of trouble and Silas Scratch.

He then sprinkles baby powder around the cabin. Nuzzi's hiking boots and steps in Mr. Nuzzi's tracks. Everyone takes turns, Emilio on Jeffrey's back. But then they are lost, and Jeffrey makes it worse by bringing Silas Scratch up. Emilio smells a girls' cabin fifty feet away, and they go in, but the Girl Scouts are inside. After that, the boys make a dash for it, but Graham had swiped a bag and Mrs. Graziano finds them and chews them out and Frank is sent to chaperon them. Give it a try!

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Alexa makes it easy to get news updates just by asking. Alexa flash briefings are 2 — 3 minute compact news updates which are great when you want something fast. Set-up super easy, especially if you have a news source in mind already : Customize your Alexa flash briefing so it provides an update from the news sources you actually want to hear from.

Once you find the flash briefing of your choice, tap on it and then tap Enable To Use. If you want to play podcasts over your Echo at a faster speed, you can play the podcast through your phone on your favorite podcast app using your Echo as a bluetooth speaker.

Alexa gives you a large selection of ambient sounds — from rain to a babbling brook to simple white noise — for free. Pro Tip 1 : Different ambient sound skills turn off automatically after different amounts of time. Pro Tip 2 : Check out these free Alexa sleep sounds for ideas about what you might like. Imagine a world in which you can wake up peacefully as your lights gradually come on to help coax you out of bed while your favorite morning music plays softly.

That world is here! This will take you to the New Routine tab. If you choose a specific time or a location for the trigger, you can also customize when you want it to repeat weekdays only, Wednesdays only, etc. Pro Tip 1 — Wake-up Routine: To get you thinking about a routine that could work for you, here is the simple weekday morning bedroom lighting routine I set up I have Philips Hue smart lights.

I have a am Alexa alarm set for every weekday morning, and after it goes off my morning bedroom lighting routine begins. At am my bedroom lights dim at the lowest level, and by am they become slightly brighter. Simple but magical. Just open the app, tap the hamburger icon in the upper left corner and select Lists. Pro Tip 2 : You can easily text your list from the Alexa app in just a few easy steps.

I use this handy feature to text my husband our shopping list when he does the grocery shopping. In order for Alexa to give you traffic information, she needs to know the starting point, which defaults to the street address for your Echo device. Second, your daily commute. Pro Tip : Alexa is not currently set up to provide public transit e. She does great with not-too-obscure factual questions where there is one correct answer. Say anything to Alexa in a whisper and she will respond back in a whisper and at a lower volume.


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Plus, if you have an Echo with a screen, it will show your upcoming calendar items. Instead of listening with headphones connected to your phone, ask Alexa to read to you. Pro Tip 1 : If you have an Audible account linked to Amazon, it will automatically be linked to Alexa. Same for Kindle. Go to the Play tab on the bottom navigation bar of your Alexa app if you want to see your Audible and Kindle library.