Ernest dreams of becoming a camp counselor in ‘Ernest Goes To Camp’

Ernest Goes To Camp was a 1987 film starring Jim Varney in a reprise of his unforgettable Ernest P. Worrell role (Does anyone remember him playing anybody but Ernest?).

In it, Ernest (a character initially created by an ad agency for a series of commercials) is a clumsy maintenance man with aspirations of becoming a counselor at Kamp Kikakee, a summer camp for juvenile criminals, but ends up inadvertently aiding an evil strip mining corporation’s attempt at acquiring the camp for the mining of a rare mineral.

Lots of slapstick, Ernest P. Worrell-style summer camp-themed humor ensues in the fourth of what ended up being 15 Ernest films produced before Varney died in 2005.

Like many of the Ernest films, Ernest Goes To Camp didn’t wow critics but did end up grossing $23 million and helped make “KnowhutImean?” an even more popular catch phrase.

The film was shot on location at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tenn.

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.

1 Comment

  1. The movie was actually filmed at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tn. I’ve lived 3 miles from there my whole life. It was at group camp one and most of the buildings are exactly as they were in the movie. And Jim passed in 2000.

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