The 10,000-member, 2,700 camp strong American Camp Association released a statement on Monday, “responding” to the new Netflix series revisiting the fictional Camp Firewood from the star-studded 2001 cult movie.
“Although ACA appreciates the exposure WHAS brings to the camp experience, we caution parents to understand that these programs are intended to serve as entertainment only. The story lines and the actions depicted in the program are hyperbolic and fantastical for comedic effect. Parents and children familiar with the camp experience know that the film and program are not consistent with the values of camps, the camp community, and ACA in particular.”
Getting past the awkwardness of the lead – “The American Camp Association is aware of the release” – the statement captures the tension present for camp professionals when viewing so many pop cultural depictions of summer camp. On one hand, it’s fun and encouraging to see summer camp settings in movies and television shows, but so often the depictions include all sorts of unsafe and unseemly behavior that would get real counselors at real summer camps fired and in legal trouble.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp drops on Netflix July 31.