Have a look at the list of our 14 all-time favorite Summer Camp movies here... Enjoy!
Camp (PG-13, 2003) If you have preteens or teens who heading off to camp and love theater, music and drama, you have to show them this indie film about a summer theater camp. The teens learn to overcome their differences and accept each other for who they are; all while doing some Broadway-quality singing and dancing. The whole cast is fun, creative, and at times charming, silly, and showstopping. Be aware, the film is PG-13 for a reason, there are some sexual references and situations. Still, it's a great way to start a dialogue before you send your own kids off to nights around the campfire.
Summercamp! (Unrated, 2006) Documentary filmmakers Bradley Beesley and Sarah Price take viewers back to the sun-soaked days of summer as they follow campers ages 6 through 15 to a place where lifelong friendships are forged, and the struggle against homesickness yields a better understanding of the true value of independence. With music by the Flaming Lips and Noisola, Summercamp! is a warm tribute to an long-running institution that holds a special place in the hearts of countless Americans.
Heavyweights (PG,1995) When Camp Hope, a summer haven for overweight children, is bought by an obnoxious fitness expert, he attempts to transform it into an exercise and weight-loss camp. His cruel training techniques enrage the camp's clientele, who soon stage a full-scale rebellion in this family comedy.
Meatballs (PG,1979) Bill Murray is at his hilarious best in this classic summer camp comedy. Murray plays Tripper, the wisecracking, rule-bending head counselor at Camp North Star. Filmed at a real camp in Ontario, the feel is retro, the hijinks whacky, and the humor timeless. (Tripper: “Attention. Here’s an update on tonight’s dinner. It was veal. I repeat, veal. The winner of tonight’s mystery meat contest is Jeffrey Corbin, who guessed - some kind of beef.”) Whether playing pranks on Camp North Star's clueless director, wooing a female counselor, or scheming against the rich brats of a rival camp, Tripper delivers fun and mayhem.
Jesus Camp (PG13,2006) This jarring documentary follows several children as they attend a summer camp as young foot soldiers for the Lord. Becky Fischer is a children's pastor who runs "Kids on Fire," a summer camp for evangelical Christian children in North Dakota. Fischer believes in the political and moral importance of a Christian presence in America, and uses her camp to reinforce the religious training most of her charges are already receiving at home (the majority of the campers are home-schooled by their parents). Be prepared for mature scenes and for enduring post-viewing conversation, as the documentary hits on brainwashing, parental responsibility, and the great divide that exists among many Christians and so-called cults in our country. You may be left with more questions than answers, but well worth the watch.
Indian Summer (PG,1993) Alan Arkin stars in this endearing comedy about a group of camp friends who meet up at their old summer stomping grounds when they are well into their 30s. After much reminiscing, they are shocked to discover that the camp’s owner, Unca Lou (Arkin), plans to shut the camp down. This heartwarming comedy could easily have gone sappy with sentament, but didn’t. The movie succeeds due to a great cast (including Diane Lane, Kevin Pollak, Bill Paxton, and Elizabeth Perkins). The heartfelt honesty of Indian Summer makes it one of the best summer camp movies ever!
Camp Cucamonga (Unrated, 1990) Camp Cucamonga is a made-for-television movie that aired on NBC on September 23, 1990. While it was a standard rethread of earlier summer camp movies like Poison Ivy, it can best remembered for its all-star cast of late ‘80s and early ‘90s TV stars and for cheesy rap videos. John Ratzenberger stars as Colonel Marv Schector, a former accountant who fulfills his life-long dream to run a summer camp, as typical teen shenanigans soon unfold. The real appeal of this one is as a sometimes unintentionally hilarious time capsule of late 80s fashion and hair styles. Kids should enjoy it for what it is, a mostly harmless summer camp caper.
Camp Nowhere (PG, 1994) This light-hearted comedy depicts a typical summer camp, but with a special twist: this camp was designed by the kid campers who didn't want their parents to send them to real fat, military, band, or whatever kind of camp! Unhappy with their camp prospects, four misfits team up to form a secret summer camp with the help of their crazy drama instructor,gaining valuable insight into their lives. The film reinforces the importance of friendship, teamwork, and lying to your parents!
Now and Then (PG13,1995) Four women look back at the girls they used to be in this warm comedy-drama. Author Samantha Albertson (Demi Moore), actress Tina Tercell (Melanie Griffith), gynecologist Roberta Martin (Rosie O'Donnell), and housewife Christina DeWitt (Rita Wilson) are friends from childhood who get together for the first time in years when Christina is about to have a baby. Seeing the old gang sends Samantha down memory lane, as she recalls the summer of 1970, when the girls were 12-years-old and edging into womanhood.
Standing Up (PG, 2013) Based on a beloved novel. Standing Up tells the story of a boy and a girl, ages 11 and 12, who are ostracized by their peer groups at summer camp. The outsiders soon find themselves victims of a vicious prank, but rather than returning to camp to face the humiliation, they decide to take off on the run together. As they slowly navigate what lies ahead, they develop a bond and help each other over- come adversity and start down the path of self-discovery.
Friends Of Mine (Unrated, 2013) Friends of Mine is a feature length documentary that chronicles the experiences of several young men who take part in a summer camp for the developmentally disabled population. The goal of the film is to inform the public of the full and loving lives of human beings who are developmentally challenged. It accomplishes this goal by emphasizing the ways in which two volunteers at the summer camp are dramatically affected by the relationships they form with their respective campers.
Camp (PG13, 2013) A slick investment advisor attempts to impress a prospective client by volunteering as a counselor at a camp for foster children, and begins to reassess his priorities after developing a bond with a young boy from a broken home in this tender drama inspired by actual events.
Camp Stories (PG, 1980) This comedic look at a Jewish summer camp in the 1950's stars Jason Biggs, Jerry Stiller, and Elliot Gould. For one small group of people, immigrant culture eventually finds its place among the tensions rumbling between sexes, generations, and cultures.
Camp Takota (Unrated, 2014) With her personal and professional life in shambles, Elise ends up having to take a job as a counselor at her old summer camp. There, she reunites with two estranged friends who attended camp and never left. When the future of the camp is put in jeopardy, the three friends must band together to save it, changing the course of their lives forever.