In Louis Sachar's novel Holes, Counselor Pendanski is a sympathetic character who appears to have the protagonist's best interests at heart. When Stanley arrives at camp, Pendanski is the second person he meets; the first is Mr. Sir, the warden of the camp.
Mr. Pendanski that "there's really only one rule at Camp Greenlake: Don't upset the warden" (70). The fact that this is the only rule is ominous. One would expect that at a camp such as this one, there were explicit and numerous rules about behavior, daily activities, and restrictions. The fact that the only rule is to not upset the person in charge implies that he gets upset often and, when he does, it can be dangerous.
Mr. Pendanski's other interactions with Stanley imply accompanying, unspoken rules as well:
- The way to remember his name is with three simple words: pen, dance, key (7)
- Pendanski will do what he can to help, but the boys have to help themselves as well (8)
- He will use the boys real names, not their nicknames, to help prepare them for their return to society