Thursday, April 27, 2006

And You Thought "Salute Your Shorts" Was Interesting?

In 1991 we had Nickelodeon's TV show "Salute Your Shorts" to understand the summer camp scene...but in tells us that in 2006 there are three documentaries out now presenting three different camp experiences:

Jesus Camp: Story of Evangelical Christians at "Kid's On Fire" summer camp at Devils Lake, North Dakota. Apparently deals a lot with a Christian camp teaching children about Christian-fundementalism, particularly in terms of political issues: homosexuality, evolution, abortion, and George Bush. Premiered this past week at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Camp Out: The story of 10 kids who are the first to attend an overnight bible camp for gay and lesbian Christian youth. The kids at this Minnesota camp apparently talk and show a good deal about the isolation that these teens feel both from the Christian community and the homosexual community. Premiered recently at the Clevlend International Film Festival, among others.

Summercamp!: This is the story of a more "traditional camp" setting (say "Salute your Shorts"). The film makers film and document the full camp experience of Swift Nature Camp in Minong, Wisconsin. While showing regular camp activities, it appears to address the regular issues kids experience as they grow up. Premiered last month at the SXSW film festival in Austin, TX.

originally discovered at the film chat blog.

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Lebatron said...

I hated camp.

AWG said...

I loved camp! I was even a camp counselor in Michigan. Just rent "Meatballs" or "Wet Hot American Summer." THat's what it was like. Even the little-seen "Happy Campers."

Destiny said...

I recently seen “Jesus Camp” which was part of the Tribeca film festival and while the word “Camp” denotes children having fun I believe this film opens the door to the minds of Middle America and those living in the bible belt. The filmmaker takes us into the world of Evangelical Christians who have set up a camp in North Dakota for Christian children. It is interesting to note that 90% of Evangelical children are home schooled and are rarely exposed to the realities of the outside world so this camp serves as a comfortable base for them to meet other children with the same beliefs. “Jesus Camp” gives the viewer an unbiased account of the Evangelical Christian as well as the children who go to this camp. We are taken into the lives of these people who trust no one outside their circle and regard anything other than what the bible dictates as nonsense, and even go so far to refute global warming. This adult thinking trickles down to the children who try to imitate the views of their parents; this is made clear when we see how they present themselves in a camp setting. At one point in the film, four young boys are in their bunks with a flashlight telling harmless ghost stories as most young boys at camp will do, but the camp counselor reasons this as bad behavior and puts a end to the story telling. Harry Potter is cast off as a demon warlock and forbidden to be seen as entertainment. I would imagine that a Christian would find this film an accurate portrayal of Christian life and of the morals that they wish to pass to their children, however to the non-Christian this film can be seen as disturbing portrayal of those who want to hide from the world. In NYC which is where i saw this film, I can say that judging by the reaction of the audience they would agree with the later.