Ah, summertime. Suddenly I’m sweating all the time, my hair is never straight and I’m constantly humming LFO’s ‘Summer Girls’ whether I want to or not. Even though it’s been a while since I’ve been in school, I still think of my years in terms of summer vacation and then school time in September. I always looked forward to summers spent hanging out at my grandparents’ place on a lake, jumping off the dock, being upset there was no cable and just generally not wearing shoes for 3 months. But one thing I never had to look forward to was summer camp. (I did go to a day camp for maybe a week one summer when I was 9 but I got too stressed out having to make new friends and never returned).

I mean, maybe people who actually went to sleepaway camp (which is obviously so much cooler than day camp) didn’t enjoy the experience and have terrible memories but at least those are your terrible memories! I’m so jealous of you! I have no frame of reference for summer camp except for a freshman NYU film program orientation where they made us go to the Poconos for the weekend to stay at a summer camp. (I don’t know who decided to throw film kids in the woods but it was hilarious and called Camp Bug Byte and I still look back on it fondly though I hated it while it was going on). So I always had to turn to movies about summer camps to fulfill my dreams of summer camps.

I obviously always loved The Parent Trap starring Hayley Mills before she was Miss Bliss and teaching young Zach Morris. Then they remade it with Lindsay Lohan being adorable and it was equally amazing! Why can’t I suddenly have a twin sister like every movie about twins ever?? And then Wet Hot American Summer is one of those movies where literally everyone is in it including Bradley Cooper (who may have been the least famous person at the time of the filming) and the ever amazing Christopher Meloni. Also, the performance at the end is. . .the best. (I assume once I get to see Moonrise Kingdom it will be a perfect addition to this summer camp movie list.)

But whether you’re headed to summer camp this year, desperately wishing you were or just longing to re-live summer camp, here are some of the many summer camp movies you should check out.

(DVD covers via amazon.com)

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