Summer camp movies/video for the innocent
August 3, 2013 9:06 AM   Subscribe

My 6 year old has really been enjoying books about kids at summer camp, and would like to see a movie in that setting. However, most of the ones I've turned up so far (Meatballs, Wet Hot American Summer, Scooby Doo Camp, even Parent Trap) are too scary or adult for her. Any recommendations for a really mild camp movies? It doesn't matter if this is a feature film or not -- we are wide open to webseries, TV episodes, etc.

I've seen the recommendations in this thread -- they are all a bit too mature for her. Thank you!
posted by apparently to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
When my kids were little, a thousand years ago, they loved the Ernest series. There's one called Ernest Goes to Camp.
posted by raisingsand at 9:09 AM on August 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

There was a kids' show about a summer camp on Nickelodeon for a while called Salute Your Shorts.

There also was a PBS show from the 1980's about nutrition that was based at a summer camp, called High Feather - that may be harder to track down, though, as it's a bit esoteric (I only knew about it because I'm friends with the guy who played Tom Page), and also the acting is a little....enh. But it's worth a shot.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:10 AM on August 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

I quite enjoyed Camp Nowhere as a kid.
posted by fishmasta at 9:14 AM on August 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Arthur Goes to Camp. (Caution: I haven't watched it all the way through to make sure it's all what it says it is.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:14 AM on August 3, 2013

Might not be the right aspect of "camp" - but she might like holes
posted by NoDef at 9:26 AM on August 3, 2013

I'm pretty sure I watched Troop Beverly Hills something like twelve dozen times before the age of 8.
posted by Mizu at 9:26 AM on August 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

Fred 3: Camp Fred is basically Nickelodeon's Meatballs Lite. You'll have to decide your own tolerance for Fred (mine is low.)
posted by vespabelle at 9:38 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

The second Care Bears movie takes place in a summer camp.

It Takes Two, which I think is just an Olson Twins reskin of The Parent Trap.

Ernest Goes to Camp

Common Sense Media compiles lists of family friendly media, and the link is a list of camp movies.
posted by codacorolla at 9:38 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Maybe the original parent trap? A bunch of it takes place at camp.
Moonrise kingdom is great, but camp adjacent, and might be slightly too scary.
posted by TheAdamist at 10:09 AM on August 3, 2013

The lohan parent trap is a remake of the one from the early 60's, which in turn is an adaptation of the German film Das Dopple Lottchen. The original book was translated as Lisa and Lottie in English.
posted by brujita at 10:11 AM on August 3, 2013

Bug Juice was a series that ran on Disney Channel a while back - like a reality show but at summer camp. Good stuff. I also attended the camp featured in Season 3 and know some of the campers featured!
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:30 AM on August 3, 2013

Nthing Troop Beverly Hills, Camp Nowhere, and Salute Your Shorts.

What is it about The Parent Trap that's too mature? I remember seeing it around that age and loving it. (I'm referring to the Hayley Mills version, of course.)

I think Moonrise Kingdom is way too grown up for a six year old who can't handle themes like divorce or light bullying.
posted by Sara C. at 11:12 AM on August 3, 2013

Poison Ivy, with Michael J Fox? It's aeons since I've seen it but I don't remember anything particularly scary.

I have no idea of its availability, but the TV show Secret Valley also fits your criteria.
posted by goo at 12:03 PM on August 3, 2013

Camp Cucamonga It's been a very long time since I've seen it, but I think it should fit the bill. That said, I still think the Bug Juice recommendation is the best.
posted by shesbookish at 1:26 PM on August 3, 2013

It Takes Two is a film with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (age 9 or 10), plus Kirstie Allie and Steve Guttenburg as the adults.

Two identical strangers meet accidentally at a summer camp. One is an orphan (Amanda) and the other a rich kid (Alyssa). Alyssa's father decides to get married to a real horror. So the kids switch to get rid of her. In the process, Alyssa father meets Amanda's case worker.

A quick trip through IMDB searching for plots with "summer camp" reveals about 4 major plot devices: virgins get laid; twins get separated; an evil being kills campers; and historical documentaries showing the nostalgia of the iconic summer camp tradition going back 100 years.

I don't have any personal knowledge of the following, but based on the plot descriptions in IMDB, you might take a look:

Race for your Life, Charlie Brown
Make a Wish (1937) While at summer camp in the Maine woods, little Bobby Breen befriends composer Basil Rathbone, who left the city to try and break his creative block, and is soon playing matchmaker for his widowed singer mother and Rathbone.
Twice Upon a Time (1953) More separated twins
Magic Rock The heartwarming story of a camp counselor and his campers struggling to save their beloved summer camp as they discover the magic of life.
The Under-Pup A young city girl from a poor family is invited to spend the summer at a camp for girls from wealthy families. At first made fun of and ridiculed because of her background, she determines to show the snooty rich girls she's just as good as they are.
Kevad Sudames A new boy with a extremely golden voice joins a children's singing camp. Not everybody are friendly to him in the beginning but the most beautiful girl likes him. This film is about relations of young people and their life is the summer camp full of choral singing, shown from the sunny side. This film has a lot of music in the Estonian tradition, and not much story.
The Mini-Monsters: Adventures at Camp Mini-Mon Monsters send their kids to summer camp in this children's cartoon. Dracula, the Frankenstein monster, Wolfman, the Mummy, the Wicked Witch, and others send their kids to Camp Mini-Mon. Two human kids also come to camp, and teach the monsters about "normal" life
posted by CathyG at 2:27 PM on August 3, 2013

What About Bob? isn't a straight-up camp movie, but it feels like one a bit, with the vacation house, the dock scenes, etc. Might be fun—and it's rated PG!
posted by limeonaire at 4:42 PM on August 3, 2013

Best answer: Camp Lazlo, which was a Cartoon Network cartoon a few years ago. They apparently still show it on Friday nights. According to what I just read it's aimed at 8-10 year olds. There might be some humor that would go over her head...but, I may be a bad judge of that. I was in my late 30s when it originally aired and I was regularly watching it.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:23 PM on August 3, 2013

She's right in the wheelhouse of Camp Rock.
posted by kuanes at 4:33 AM on August 4, 2013

Best answer: My 4 year old discovered Camp Lazlo is on Netflix. He liked it. It's fairly silly. Might work for you.

CathyG - "It takes two" really sounds like The Parent Trap with a different title. For some reason Hollywood thinks no one wants to see old movies, so they keep "updating" them. Usually poorly.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:43 AM on August 4, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all these! I marked as best those that work for us right now (for personal reasons we're looking to avoid the rich kids vs poor kids trope, and also the disturbing Parent Trap plot point involving the parents who got divorced and then split up their identical twins and never told them about each other or kept in contact!), but we will be returning to this list often as she grows up.
posted by apparently at 4:00 PM on August 8, 2013

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