The Acorn People
By Ron Jones
The Acorn People Summary
Ron Jones has decided to work at a camp for disabled children because he wanted to make good money and enjoy the camp activities and sports. He works with his co-counselor Dominic Cavelli who seems totally at ease with these children. Ron has no idea to handle this group of campers. He quickly sees that the facilities of Camp Wiggin are not handicap accessible after he struggles to get a camper to the bathroom, but the camper has an accident on Ron before they reach the toilet. He dreams the children are coming apart in his arms.
Day 2 -
The second day starts with Dominic and Ron having to clean up the cabin because three campers wet their beds and someone had rolled over an artificial urine bag. Ron describes the kids.
The boys spent the first activity of the day at crafts. Ron feels awkward and makes a necklace of nuts and the boys laugh because they are a little nutty. They all decide to make nut necklaces and are the “Acorn People.” They bond over this and are seen as the acorn people by the other kids in the camp. Ron begins to feel happy that he stayed in the camp. He realizes how the swimming pool brought out the best in the kids because they had mobility there that they did not have on land. He begins to see them as regular kids who are playing and enjoying themselves. They had a meeting at the end of the night with Dominic telling mafia stories. Ron dreams happy dreams of mafia men and their women.
Ron has adjusted to camp. The kids play in the pool and Ron can see that the kids act like regular boys and girls in their interactions to each other. The boys decide to make acorn necklaces for the entire camp.
Day 6 - The boys decide to climb the mountain. They do it and crown the mountain with an acorn necklace. They prove to themselves that they can do the same activities that the boys scouts do. They come back to be chastised for their unruly behavior by the camp director Mr. Bradshaw. The counselors and campers were in trouble for not following their schedules, which were not adapted for their needs and the girls were in trouble for putting on make-up with the camp nurse, Mrs. Nelson. It becomes apparent that Mr. Bradshaw cannot see how wrong he is.
Day 7 -
The parents visit the camp. The campers label everything in the camp including the toilets and themselves. All went well until Mr. Bradshaw showed a movie of able bodied kids putting on a water show in the pool. The morale dropped. After bed, Mrs. Nelson gets drunk and pulls down all the labels; Ron helps her.
Day 8 -
The camp is abuzz with the information that someone removed the labels. Mrs. Nelson gave them back their opportunity to be regular kids for their brief time at camp.
Day 10 -
The girls in camp organized a dance in which all the campers attended. Some of the boys develop relationship with the girls and all of the boys get involved. Mrs. Nelson gets elected Camp Wiggin Queen and Arid gets elected as Camp Wiggin King. He receives so many compliments which negates his self consciousness over his smell. He cries happy tears. After, they sing camp songs and go to sleep. The days go by and morale sinks low again, especially after Mr. Bradshaw says he will be showing another water film. As the end near Mr. Bradshaw says he wants to close the pool early. Ron fights this and convinces Mr., Bradshaw to keep it open.
3 Days To Go -
Mrs. Nelson decides to organize a water ballet.
2 Days To Go -
The camp prepares for the “Camp Wiggen Water Extravaganza.” They made costumes and decorations.
1 Day Left -
They finished decorating and split into groups of pirates and natives for their extravaganza.
0 Days Left -
They put on their extravaganza and it goes well. They kids leave. One of the girl campers kisses Ron before she leaves and he lets it happen. He acknowledges that this may have been the prime of the campers’ lives.
All of the kids pass away. Benny B’s Mom gives Ron an envelope at his funeral. It contains an acorn necklace.
Ron Jones Meets the Campers
Benny B.- 8 He is small, black and afflicted by polio. He has a lot of heart. He likes to race in his wheelchair and do tricks.
Spider- 10 He is very “alert and perceptive” His eyes held everything. He is very talkative and has no arms or legs.
Thomas Stewart - 15-16 He is very light, 35 pounds because he has muscular sclerosis. He is not active or alert. He is “Unwilling to move unless moved. Pensive, patient and dying”
Martin- 14 He is slim with bright red hair In addition, he is outgoing and likeable. He is blind so he uses his senses, but gets upset when he does not sense and obstacle in his path.
Arid (Aaron Gerwalski) - 15-16 - He smells bad because he has an artificial bladder bag.
Ron Jones is a passionate teacher. Read more about him and watch the interview to learn more. He brings up many great points in regards to teaching.
RL. 7. 1.
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
DOK 1: Who are the campers in Ron's group? (RECALL)
DOK 2: Why did Arid cry at the Camp Wiggin dance? (CAUSE/EFFECT)
DOK 3: Using evidence from the text, explain how the camp wasn't suitable for the boys. How could this have been improved? (CRITIQUE/CITE EVIDENCE)
DOK 4: After reading this novel, how has your perception of the word "handicapped" changed? Why? (CRITIQUE/APPLY CONCEPTS)