Saturday, August 31, 2013


CAMP is the story of a summer camp for abused and neglected kids. The main storyline is about Eli (Miles Elliot, “The Mentalist”), who has been abused and neglected his entire life and an investment advisor, Ken (Michael Mattera), who signed up to be a counselor just to impress a prospective client. Both are last minute additions to camp, and are paired together for the week. The angry boy and the apathetic man get off to a rocky start...and it goes downhill from there. Slowly their attitudes change as Eli begins to trust Ken and Ken learns to look beyond the behavior to see the hurting boy who needs love.  

Camp director, Tammie (Grace Johnston), who had a crush on Ken in high school, has her hands full with trying to make Ken understand that his focus must be on Eli and trying to break through the barriers he has built around himself. Experienced camp counselor, Samuel Smith (Asante Jones), who is a former camper whose life was impacted by a counselor, along with his camper, Redford (Matthew Jacob Wayne)...who believes he is an alien stranded on Earth...are teamed with Ken and Eli as cabin mates as Samuel tries to show Ken the importance of bonding with his camper.

Inspired by true stories from Royal Family KIDS, Inc., this is a film that draws you in, breaks your heart, makes you laugh, and leaves you with both hope for these kids and a desire to make a difference. My attitude, much like Ken's, changed from when I first started watching the movie as I begin to see beyond the actors and situations that seemed like standard characters/plots that set the standard for many formulaic films. There is [mild] bad language coming out of the mouths of some of the kids (PG 13), but it fits the defiant characters of some. I also confess that I initially disliked the Redford character, but his optimism and vulnerability melted away my reserve as I both considered the pain this child has suffered and admired the joy he displayed and the kindness he genuinely displayed toward others.

I attended a few church camps when I was younger, and the film brought back memories of friends, activities and the required camp singalongs! The difference is that these kids are those who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, and this week of camp may be the only fun in their lives for the year. There are only 5 short days to show the kids that they are valuable, loved, and have a reason to hope...but it is well worth it. My favorite character, Sgt. Sam, tells Ken, "You're not the foster parent or the caregiver. You're not the teacher. You're just here to help the kid have fun for one week."

Directed by Jacob Roebuck, CAMP is a film that you can enjoy watching for the story, but one that I hope inspires more to make a difference in a child's life. The acting was good and the scenery was gorgeous. Glimpses of the inner fears of the kids break your heart, but the way the counselors handle each situation demonstrates a hope that the kids can cling to for their future. The letters of encouragement sent and shared were among my favorite scenes. A film on a tough subject, but interspersed with enough humor to keep it uplifting. There are several BTS & personal story videos included in Special Features, plus there is a Director's Commentary!! Well done!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of  this dvd for review purposes. I was only asked to give a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

CAMP movie website
CAMP Facebook Page
Royal Family KIDS, Inc.


A Portion of the Proceeds from Roebuck Media’s Inspirational Film About Abused and Neglected Children Benefit Royal Family KIDS, Inc., a 501 (c) (3)

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