KOZMO'S NEW FRIEND
The flood was unbelievable. The worst Kozmo had ever seen. Although he’d heard stories of the flood of 1972, he had never seen waters rage so fiercely and damage so extensive.
As he climbed down from the rafters of his Klubhouse, where he sought dry refuge during the storms, he could barely believe what he was seeing in front of him. Knoebels property was strewn in places it didn’t belong and some things were simply missing, having been carried downstream by the heavy current that reached far beyond the walls of the usually tame Roaring Creek.
It didn’t take long before Kozmo heard the crunch of gravel and he knew that help was on the way. Dozens of park employees soon arrived and awaited their assignments. They knew that there was no time to waste and if there was one thing Kozmo took pride in when it came to the Knoebels employees, it was their dedication.
While some broke off to start cleaning the muddy remnants the waters left behind, and others worked to repair the damaged landmarks, Kozmo volunteered to help a group of maintenance workers who were going on a recovery mission downstream to retrieve the belongings that floated away. Kozmo always loved a good scavenger hunt and he was glad to be able to find some fun during such a trying time.
The workers climbed into a small boat and floated down the still swollen creek picking up small items and scouting out larger ones that had landed on the shore. Along the way they spotted everything from signs to benches to Panther Cars and souvenirs. Kozmo chuckled a bit as some of the men seized soggy Kozmo stuffed toys from the cloudy creek.
He was beginning to feel a little bit better about the whole situation. Kozmo always had faith that his friends would do their best to put Knoebels back together again, but the unknown extent of the damage was scary. Seeing that so much could be saved was turning out to be a relief. Just then, Kozmo heard a small, panicked squeal up ahead to the right.
‘Did you guys hear that?’ Kozmo asked the others as he strained to see what they were coming upon.
Up ahead there was a small floating log, entangled in some flood debris. Clinging to the edge, soaked and frightened, was a young raccoon.
‘I think he needs our help!’ Kozmo exclaimed as the others steered the boat toward the anxious critter.
As they neared the log, Kozmo extended his paw and shouted ‘Grab on, I’ll pull you in!’ The raccoon shivered as he shook his head, too scared to move more than an inch.
‘Please,’ Kozmo pleaded ‘we can help you!’ After a moment, the raccoon winced as he freed his right arm and extended it toward Kozmo. With a swift tug, Kozmo pulled his fellow woodlander into the boat.
‘Are you okay?’ Kozmo asked.
Still struggling to catch his breathe, the raccoon replied, ‘I think I hurt my leg.’
Kozmo and the others quickly called back to the park for First Aid assistance. As they waited for help, Kozmo introduced himself and found out that his new friend’s name was Dexter.
After he recovered a bit, Dexter explained, ‘I had been out scavenging for dinner for my family. The rains had been pretty bad for a couple days and we hadn’t been able to go looking for food so our supply had run pretty low. My mom told me I shouldn’t go out in the storm, even though we were hungry, but I really wanted to help. I saw this tree by the creek where I thought I might be able to find some acorns or at least climb up to get a better look at what was nearby. As I climbed, a big gust of wind cracked the tree in half and the branch I was sitting on snapped and fell into the water. The current was so fast, I couldn’t stop or swim to the shore, so I just tried to hold onto the log as best as I could. It wasn’t until I got stuck in the debris that I realized that I hurt my leg and I was too scared to let go of the log.’
‘Don’t worry,’ Kozmo assured him, ‘we’ll fix you up. But in the meantime, maybe I can let your parents know that you’re okay.’
Dexter frowned as he tried to think of how to explain his predicament to Kozmo. ‘I wish you could,’ he sighed, ‘The problem is that my family is nomadic. We don’t really have a home, we just travel until we find a place we like for a few days and then continue on when we decide we need a change. I’m not even sure where we were when I got swept away.’
Kozmo could tell that Dexter was struggling to hold back tears, but smiled sincerely as he offered, ‘Well you’re welcome to stay with me as long as you’d like.’
By the time Knoebels reopened a week and a half later, you’d have thought Dexter had lived there his whole life. He felt right at home and was excited about his new family.
Kozmo had to keep a close eye on him, though, because despite a broken leg and a few other minor injuries, Dexter was anxious to get out in the park and play. Kozmo insisted that his new friend take some time to recover and promised him that when spring came around, he’d be happy to introduce him to all the guests.
However, Kozmo did indulge one of Dexter’s other requests; he brought him lots of goodies to snack on while he rested. Dexter quickly developed a taste for Knoebels’ famous fudge, french fries, and pizza, special treats he’d never had before. It didn’t take long before his once tiny belly, was filling out.
Kozmo also picked out a bright blue Knoebels hat from the Hat Shop and t-shirt from the Shirt Shoppe for his new friend. He even had Dexter’s name put on the shirt, to match his own. These little luxuries did much to pacify Dexter’s eager spirit and he promised that he wouldn’t try to sneak out into the park, as Kozmo feared his curious friend might try to do.
Winter came quickly and as soon as Dexter was fully recovered, he was anxious to help Kozmo and Knoebels, just as he had been helped. Beyond just the regular winter work, Knoebels employees were still trying to repair some of the destruction the flood left behind.
Dexter soon discovered a talent for painting the damaged S&G carousel horses and he also helped paint the Grand Carousel in preparation for its 100th anniversary.
As spring approached Dexter enjoyed preparing for the upcoming season. He helped fill the games, work on displays in the gift shops, and, of course, taste test the new treats for the concession stands.
What he was most excited about, though, was the upcoming summer season where he and his new best friend, Kozmo, would get to meet so many new friends, enjoy tours on the Pioneer Train, play games at birthday parties, and dance his way through park.
Chances are, if you stop by Knoebels today, that is exactly what he and Kozmo are up to.
Knoebels has mobile apps for Android and iPhones.
Knoebels Amusement Resort, located in Elysburg, PA, is the perfect family destination, offering FREE ADMISSION, FREE PARKING, and FREE ENTERTAINMENT. GoKnoebels serves as your mobile electronic guide to all the Fun, Food, and Fantasy that Knoebels has to offer. Find all the information you need about our wide variety of exciting rides, attractions, award-winning food, games, entertainment, and gift shops right at your fingertips. Use GoKnoebels as a tool to plan your upcoming trip or as a personal tour guide on the day of your visit. As you stroll through and explore this summer getaway, you will be alerted to some of our most famous and popular attractions. GoKnoebels enables you to discover Knoebels’ charm at your own pace and encourages you to enjoy a trip tailored to your group’s park preferences.
Knoebels Clean Air Policy
Knoebels is committed to Clean Air
At Knoebels we care about all of our guests, and as part of our clean air commitment, smoking is restricted to designated areas located throughout the park. These areas are marked on our printed park maps and the map you can download on this site.