Will It All Fit? Packing For Camp

I’ll never get used to summer camp starting in the spring as it does in many parts of the country. Growing up in South Jersey, school’s ending always coincided with the actual beginning of summer and sometimes with snow days factored in ended the last week of June. So summer camp for me was always something that happened in July and August.

With that in mind, as spring comes to a close next week, those who have not already left for camp will likely be starting the arduous task of packing. To celebrate this annual ritual, I hunted high and low for movie and TV clips of people packing for camp and didn’t come up with a whole lot to share.

It turns out most summer camp films and summer camp scenes in movies and on television start after the packing has already been finished. Below are three packing scenes, one a classic opening sequence from an ’80s TV movie, another from an iconic ’80s sitcom and the third from a summer camp documentary that isn’t really about camp.

Is there one I missed? Tell us about it in the comments.

Poison Ivy
Maybe a lot of film directors have ditched the packing for camp scenes because they knew they couldn’t touch this ’80s TV movie’s opening sequence. Parents: this is why you should never allow your kids to pack by themselves for camp in their room.

Punky Brewster
This scene from the “Going to Camp” episode of Punky Brewster captures why packing without parental or grandparental influence is always desirable for the camper. Parents can be so naggy and emotional to the point that packing is dragged out into a day-long affair.

Jesus Camp
For a film with Camp in the title, I expected Jesus Camp to, I don’t know, be about a summer camp. But it’s more a movie about kids raised in a conservative Christian environment that for 20 minutes of the movie happen to go to a camp in North Dakota. One of the few summer camp moments we see in the movie is this packing scene.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. 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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