Lily goes away to scout camp for the first time on the “Spring Break” episode of Modern Family, but Mitchell isn’t quite ready to let go.
While Cam isn’t too worried, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) freaks out when he sees a photo of Lily giving friends the bunny ears and insists that she’s actually sending a coded message to him. This, of course, is a nod to the pastime of some helicopter parents who call camps when they don’t see photos of their child smiling posted to social media.
“Okay, it’s a scout camp not Leavenworth,” Cam says.
Still convinced that Lily needs rescuing – as he did when he was away at camp – Mitchell sneaks off to visit her with Jay (Ed O’Neill) in tow.
“I was nine years old at camp there were mosquitoes, compost toilets, mean kids,” Mitchell says to Jay when they arrive at the camp.
“It was theater camp wasn’t it?” Jay responds.
“Naturally, you remember that part of it,” Mitchell says. “The point is I hated it. I was cold and I was scared especially after this kid told this terrifying ghost story so I snuck away to a pay phone. I called you crying and in a performance even more predictable than Todd Janson’s Artful Dodger you refused to pick me up.”
Jay’s defense is that he was trying to teach Mitchell to be resilient, but Mitchell storms off to go and find Lily. Interrupting the campfire, Mitchell discovers that he was wrong about Lily.
“Go away you’re embarrassing me in front of eight-year-olds,” Lily says when Mitchell comes out from behind a tree, nearly scaring the troop in the middle of telling ghost stories.
Mitchell then tells a ghost story of his own and is failing miserably before Jay comes out of the woods and scares the girls.
“Thanks for that, bedtime should be a treat,” the scout leader says.
In the end, Mitchell and Jay both admit to being wrong – Mitchell about Lily and Jay about not picking Mitchell up from camp when he was a kid.