Rita is a tough, self-reliant young woman, who is unintimidated by older guys or animals, and able to take care of herself when the situation demands it.
Because of her fiery nature and bad attitude toward her teachers, she almost failed school.
That was until Josiah came and bailed her out. This act of kindness caused Rita to become romantically involved with him and two started to date.
In the great outdoors, Rita could handle herself.