When a first-rate swimmer confesses his fear of swimming in murky lake water because he’s scared of the fish in there, fellow camper Arizona helps him—and letter writer Fearful in Florida—overcome their fears, step-by-step. Catch the whole story on pages 40-41 of the August 2017 issue, or read the recap below. And don’t forget to check out conversation starters and brain-boosting reading comprehension questions that follow.
Recap: Fearful in Florida wants help overcoming a fear of spiders—and needs reassurance that he isn’t the only kid in town who gets freaked out by them.
Arizona assures him he’s not alone. She’s afraid of things, too, she tells him—the dark, snakes, and wait for it…avocados. She also tells him about her camp friend Max, an awesome swimmer who wouldn’t go into any lake with fish. Arizona helps Max take one tiny step—OK, stroke—at a time, starting with goggles so he could see the fish underwater. By the time camp ended, Max was fearless. Arizona assures Fearful in Florida that, with laughter and a few baby steps to get started, he can likely conquer his own fears as well.
- Can you think of anything that you’re super afraid of?
- What is it, and what about it makes you afraid?
- How do you think you could overcome it?
- What was your biggest fear a year ago? Is it the same as your biggest fear now?
- What’s your favorite activity at camp?
- What’s your least favorite?
- Do you prefer swimming in the ocean or in a pool? Why?
Reading Comprehension Boosters:
- Name three things Arizona and her campmates did on their first day of camp.
- What three things is Arizona afraid of?
- Even though Max was the best swimmer at camp, he didn’t want to go into the lake. What was he afraid of?
- What did Max see in the lake when he finally stuck his head underwater?
- What did Arizona suggest Fearful do to overcome his fear of spiders?