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Stanley's journey to and experiences at Camp Green Lake in Holes


Stanley's journey to Camp Green Lake in Holes begins with his wrongful conviction for theft, leading to his sentence at the camp. At Camp Green Lake, he endures harsh conditions, digging holes daily under the supervision of the cruel Warden. Through his experiences, Stanley uncovers the camp's hidden secrets and ultimately transforms his fate, revealing themes of justice and friendship.

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How did Camp Green Lake change Stanley in Holes?

Stanley Yelnats from Holes was a rough, directionless kid prior to Camp Greenlake. His time there shapes him, though not through the conscious actions of the leaders there.
Stanley grew to be a hard-working individual who would persevere and finish working after his time. Additionally, he stood up for what he believed in and learned to care more about others, particularly because of his relationship with Zero. His time there shapes him and helps him mature into a much more caring, dedicated individual who helps others, works hard, and stands up for his beliefs, when, beforehand, he was aimless, solitary, and uncaring. So, while it was unintentional, Camp Greenlake was a successful rehabilitation facility and program for Stanley and some of the others.

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How did Camp Green Lake change Stanley in Holes?

In the Louis Sachar's novel Holes, Stanley Yelnats is sentenced to spend time in Camp Green Lake because he is convicted of stealing a pair of sneakers. Stanley did not actually steal the sneakers, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Stanley and his family are convinced that bad things happen to them because of the curse placed on their ancestor a century ago. When Stanley arrives at Camp Green Lake, he is complacent and passive, resigned to accept whatever the fate has in store for him.

However, after spending some time digging holes and interacting with his fellow "campers," Stanley begins to see that things happen as consequences of his actions. It is his choices that make the boys respect him, and he makes a friend, Hector Zeroni ("Zero"). Stanley teaches Zero how to read, and Zero helps Stanley with his holes. This is not taken well by everyone else, and as a result Zero runs away to into the desert.

Stanley worries about Zero, as it is impossible to survive in the desert for long without food and water. Eventually, he takes his fate into his own hands and goes looking for him, ignoring the danger involved. Both Stanley and Zero survive, come back to camp, and locate the treasure that the camp's Warden was trying to find by making the boys dig holes. By the time Stanley's parents arrive to get him out of camp, Stanley has the confidence to refuse to leave without Zero. When Stanley leaves camp, he is no longer complacent; he knows that he can shape his own fate.

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What caused Stanley to be sent to Camp Green Lake in Holes?

In chapter 6 of Holes, Stanley reveals that he was sent to Camp Green Lake because he “stole a pair of sneakers” from Clyde Livingston, a famous baseball player. However, it soon becomes clear that while Stanley may have been convicted of stealing the sneakers, he was, in fact, completely innocent.

Stanley recalls that the sneakers one day fell “from the sky,” as he was making his way home from school. He recalls that, as he passed through a freeway overpass, “suddenly a pair of sneakers fell on top of him, seemingly out of nowhere, like a gift from God.”

Stanley had no way of knowing that the sneakers belonged to Clyde Livingston. He ran home with the shoes, wanting to show them to his father. Stanley thought that the shoes were a sign from destiny, because they smelled of foot odor and his father had invented a cure for foot odor. As he was running home, a patrol car pulled up alongside Stanley, and a policeman asked him “why he was running.” The policeman “took the shoes and made a call on his radio,” and, soon after, Stanley was arrested.

Later, Stanley found out that the sneakers had been “stolen from a display at the homeless shelter.” They had been donated by Clyde Livingston and were intended to be auctioned and the profits donated to the homeless shelter. At the subsequent trial, the sneakers were valued at “over five thousand dollars.”

At the trial, Stanley told the truth, but of course nobody believed that the sneakers simply fell from the sky. The judge called Stanley “despicable” and sentenced him to serve eighteen months at Camp Green Lake.

Later in the novel, in chapter 39, Stanley finds out that it was Zero who stole the sneakers.

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