In the last chapter, June, Holling's class plans to spend two days camping in the Catskill Mountains in order to celebrate the end of the school year. Holling notes that his teacher is smiling a lot lately because her husband will soon be coming home from Vietnam.
According to Walter Cronkite on the 6:30 news, Lieutenant Baker's ordeal has culminated in a 'miraculous rescue.' Not long after his helicopter was shot down, a sympathetic Vietnamese woman hid him in her house for three months until an American helicopter rescued the Lieutenant.
As Holling and his classmates work at a frantic pace to complete their studies for the end of term, Holling contemplates life. He concludes that life isn't always fair, and that love often dies slowly in the real world, unlike in a Shakespearean drama. Sometimes, life is filled with tragedy, as is the case when Bobby Kennedy dies. Holling and his sister, Heather, grieve together upon hearing the news.
The day soon comes when Holling and his classmates are loaded onto the bus that will take them to the Catskill Mountains. Once the bus reaches the mountains, Holling and his peers have to hike all the way to their camping site. When they get there, Mrs. Baker gives everyone instructions on setting up camp. Doug has to dig out a fire pit, while Holling has to line it with stones. Mai Thi and Danny are charged with building a fire. Mrs. Baker puts up the two pots to cook the chili in, and Meryl Lee is in charge of the hot dogs.
Everyone soon discovers that Holling has lost the can opener and most of the utensils in his bag due to his pack's burst seams. The campers resort to using rocks to open the cans. After their meal, they play Capture the Flag, and after dinner, Mrs. Sidman tells ghost stories around the camp fire. She then warns everyone to watch out for poisonous snakes in the area. That night, the campers spend a miserable time trying to keep warm and dry amid a rainstorm.
The next morning, after breakfast, the group take to swimming and diving in a waterfall until it's time to head back to their campsite. Upon their return, Doug Swieteck has to use the latrines; after he finishes, a swarm of mosquitoes fly back to camp with him. The campers spend a frustrating time trying to keep the mosquitoes off them; they are soon saved by Mrs. Bigio who arrives with a can of mosquito repellant. For supper that night, Mrs. Bigio makes Thit Bo Ko, a Vietnamese style beef stew. The highlight of the evening occurs when Mrs. Bigio invites Mai Thi to move in with her.
Not long after the camping trip, everyone attends Danny Hupfer's Bar Mitzvah coming-of-age ceremony at the synagogue. After the ceremony, Holling engages in a discussion with his father about what it means to be a man. While Mr Hoodhood declares that being a man is synonymous with providing well for his family, Holling quietly argues that, regardless of profession, one should also be allowed to choose what sort of man he will be.
Later, in discussing what a Shakespearean comedy constitutes, Mrs. Baker tells Holling what she thinks about his future. Using the character of Don Pedro from Much Ado About Nothing, Mrs. Baker alludes that Holling will bring much 'peace and wisdom' to his world and that he will know how to love well, as he has experienced what lost love feels like. The highlight of this last chapter centers on the class witnessing Mrs. Baker's emotional reunion with her husband at the airport.