Braceface – Camp Kookalah


Anyone who has made the transition from camper to counselor knows how difficult it can be that first summer to gain the respect of campers who aren’t that much younger than you and some who may have even been fellow cabinmates of yours. This is why a lot of camps wisely require separation in ages between counselors/CITs and the campers.

Sharon Spitz discovers this firsthand in the Camp Kookalah episode of the animated series Braceface when she is prematurely made a CIT at the beginning of a week she had intended on being a camper. Almost as instantly as the title is bestowed upon her she is ushered into the world of the other counselors and starts to struggle with how to relate to her best friend Maria. She has responsibility now and expectations, like sitting at the staff table instead of with Maria and her other camp friends.

Inevitably this leads to a clash between Sharon and Maria. The tension reaches a breaking point when Sharon dimes out Maria and the other campers to the head counselor, thus preventing their retaliation raid on the boys to happen. The wedge between Sharon and the campers leads them to rate her the worst CIT in a list they pin to a billboard and they do everything they can to show how much they dislike her. In the end, Sharon manages to win back their favor but not without getting herself in trouble and putting her job, best CIT award and future aspirations of being a counselor in jeopardy.

Braceface was a Canadian animated series that aired from 2001 to 2005 on Teletoon in Canada and ABC Family in the U.S. The main character was voiced by Alicia Silverstone, who also produced the series. The Camp Kookalah episode aired originally on Nov. 10, 2001.

Part 2, Part 3

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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