For many kids, summer camp can be the great equalizer that levels the playing field between children of different races and social classes while reinforcing the importance of nature over things like consumerism, wealth and fine dining.
But when Opie goes to a Saturday summer camp named Winokee in The Andy Griffith Show episode entitled “Opie Steps Up In Class” just the opposite happens. While at camp, Opie befriends a wealthy boy name Billy Hollander and when he’s not at camp begins pre-occupying himself with classy lunches, big houses and proper speech. But Opie isn’t the only one impressed by the Hollander’s money. Aunt Bee and Andy start finding themselves going out of their way to step themselves up in class too before Andy learns the importance of his own advice to Opie about “being yourself.”
Unfortunately, we never do get a look at Camp Winokee outside of the camp brochure Aunt Bee and Andy look over in the beginning of the episode and so have to leave to our imaginations how the ’60s era camp might have looked. The brochure describes the camp – which from what I have been able to find, like the town of Mayberry, is fictional – as “200 acres of untrammeled loveliness, bordering crystal clear Lake Winokee” with “rugged riding trails, tennis, water skiing.”
The episode was the fifth in the eighth season of the popular television show with the infectious whistled theme song and the future star of Happy Days and award-winning film director Ron Howard as a lead. It originally aired on Oct. 9, 1967.