‘Police Academy’ gang went to summer camp in 1988 cartoon

Mahoney, Jones, Tackleberry, Hightower and the rest of the Police Academy gang made popular by the series of ’80s movies went away to summer camp in an episode of the animated series in 1988 in an episode called “Camp Academy.” Camp Academy, aka Cop Camp, is a new camp started as an outreach to inner city youth unveiled with great fanfare and a donation by the mayor of a bus to take kids to the camp in the great outdoors. In a break from summer camp cartoon tropes, the camp is located across the lake not from a girls camp but from a chop shop run by evil mastermind Kingpin.

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Once at camp, Mahoney is surprised to see a disagreeable kid named Billy getting off the bus who he has a run-in with at the start of the episode. Billy isn’t too pleased to be there either and isn’t afraid to hide his disdain for the camp or the cops who run it. Even while the other kids start to take a liking to the experience, Billy stays determined to ruin all the fun before a near-death experience sends him down the road to a dramatic transformation. His rapid rehab begins when he steals the camp bus and is saved from crashing to his death in a ravine by Mahoney.

After returning to the camp, the new Billy rallies the camp together to raise money to fix the bus he’s totaled in time for a visit from the mayor but while washing a car for the chop shop owner he recognizes is stolen he gets kidnapped by a couple of thugs and taken to the house across the lake. Taking a page from one of the nature lessons he begrudgingly sat through, Billy breaks twigs off to leave a path for the others to find him, leading the cops directly to the chop shop.

In the end, the camp and the kid determined to ruin it are saved.

“Camp Academy” was episode 16 of the first of two seasons for Police Academy: The Animated Series. You can watch the episode over at Funnier Moments.

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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