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Children's Fiction Camping & Outdoor Activities

Adventures at Camp Lots-o-Fun

by (author) Marilyn Helmer

illustrated by Mike Deas

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Nov 2010
Camping & Outdoor Activities, Friendship, Humorous Stories
Recommended Age
6 to 8
Recommended Grade
1 to 3
Recommended Reading age
6 to 8
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Bad weather, bugs and boredom—DJ and the boys in Camp Lots-o-Fun's cabin six are starting to call it Camp Not-so-Fun.

To make matters worse, one of the boys has it in for DJ. But DJ isn't about to let that bother him. His lively imagination and wit ensure there's never a dull moment. A bear in the woods, monsters in the lake and a hermit's ghost make for a week at summer camp that none of the boys in cabin six will soon forget.

About the authors

Marilyn Helmer was born in St. John's, Newfoundland, moved to New Brunswick, then to Quebec, then to Ireland, then back to Canada, all before she was five years old. Perhaps that is why she loves to travel, both in North America and abroad. Marilyn's main passion though is writing for children. She discovered a knack for storytelling at a very young age when she made up wild and creative excuses for the occasional bout of mischief. In elementary school she became an avid Nancy Drew fan. With a couple of like-minded friends, she began writing and telling her own mystery stories. But it wasn't until many years later, when she started reading to her son and daughter, that Marilyn's dream of writing for children was born. Success did not happen overnight but it did happen. Marilyn's stories, poems and articles have appeared in children's magazines and anthologies in Canada and the United States. Her published books include picturebooks, chapter books, novels, riddle books and retold fairy tales.

Marilyn Helmer's profile page


Mike Deas est auteur-illustrateur de bandes dessinées, telles que Tank and Fizz and The Case of the Tentacle Terror. Il signe aussi les illustrations de la série Graphic Guide Adventure. Sa passion pour l'illustration a été entretenue tout au long de son enfance à l'île Saltspring, en Colombie-Britannique où il habite encore aujourd'hui.


MIKE DEAS is an author/illustrator of graphic novels, most recently Tank and Fizz and the Case of the Tentacle Terror. He is the illustrator of the Graphic Guide Adventure series. His love for illustrative storytelling comes from an early love of reading and drawing while growing up on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. Visit him online at

Mike Deas' profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Commended, Resource Links, The Year's Best Books

Excerpt: Adventures at Camp Lots-o-Fun (by (author) Marilyn Helmer; illustrated by Mike Deas)

DJ looked at the other boys in Cabin Six. Raj, Ernie and Andrew were sprawled on the floor, making their journals. DJ had finished his yesterday. He had also made a monkey mask, a bucket hat and a rock paperweight. He was tired of crafts.
DJ glanced at the rain-streaked window. Wait a minute. Something yellow peaked through the trees. DJ shot to his feet. "The sun's out!" he shouted.
Chris opened the door. "Look's like it's clearing up. Get your rain gear, guys. We're going for a hike."

Editorial Reviews

"Helmer takes the early chapter book reader through a delightful, adventurous, imaginative, heart-warming trek on a week with the boys of Cabin Six...A story to delight the fan of the outdoors and the summer camper...An excellent recreational reading book, or a classroom read-aloud."

Resource Links

"Helmer has crafted a rollicking tale. DJ's antics will carry readers along swiftly with lots of chuckles throughout. The pictures by Mike Deas are action-filled and just a bit goofy."

Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Canadian Children’s Book News

"Early chapter-book page-turner about the mayhem and havoc created by one overactive and imaginative bunk-mate during one week at summer camp...If you've ever been to summer camp, there will be at least one thing that sparks your memory, and if you have never been to camp, this will surely pique your interest. Boys will especially get a kick out of this book."

Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media

"Many young children will relate to Adventures at Camp Lots-O-Fun. The story touches on many of the fears and worries children have, especially when they are away at camp...Well-written and entertaining for a young reader. The few illustrations give the reader a clear picture about what is really happening in the story. My children and I enjoyed Adventures at Camp Lots-O-Fun. Recommended."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Librarian Reviews

Adventures at Camp Lots-o-Fun (Orca Echoes)

In Marilyn Helmer’s Adventures at Camp Lots-o-Fun, DJ is also a boy with a wild imagination. He enthusiastically takes to camp activities, like hikes in the woods, canoe trips and star viewing — and can’t resist letting his thoughts run wild. He sees a fifty-foot bear in the woods and monsters in the lake. He conjures up ghosts at the campout and tarantulas in the cabin. While he enjoys himself a lot, and is encouraged by his cabinmate Raj, the other boys are not so positive. The always nervous Ernie reacts predictably to all DJ’s ideas and nasty Andrew takes an instant dislike to DJ. In the midst of it all is their long-suffering counsellor Chris.

DJ isn’t all wild talk and bravado; he’s brought his sock monkey along to keep him company at night — something the other boys eventually discover. Andrew, too, has a weakness — a fear of spiders. By the end of the camping session, however, both boys have come to a friendly truce, everyone has enjoyed camp and is looking forward to next year. DJ’s imagination, however, is in no way diminished and he is eager to figure out the true identity of the “weird” bus driver with the “pointy head” on their homeward-bound bus — an alien, of course.

Marilyn Helmer has crafted a rollicking tale. DJ’s antics will carry readers along swiftly with lots of chuckles throughout. The pictures by Mike Deas are action-filled and just a bit goofy.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2011. Volume 34 No. 1.

Adventures at Camp Lots-o-Fun (Orca Echoes)

DJ and his cabin mates are not enjoying camp until the rain stops falling and the fun starts happening. DJ’s active imagination makes a hike in the woods, a canoe ride on the lake and an overnight trip to an island even more exciting. Will DJ and Andrew, who have been at odds all week, be able to put their differences aside to win the final scavenger hunt?

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

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