"Don't give up hope, you hear me? Don't give up hope."
There are two souls in this film who are in need of CAMP. Ken, a high-powered, Porshe-driving, financial consultant who becomes a camp counselor at Royal Family Kid's camp simply to get a client to transfer her funds from her portfolio to his investment firm. And Eli, a feisty 10 year old boy, who attends as a camper, recently was placed in a group home after he was found beaten by his father & his mother had passed away from an heroin overdose.
The camp is Royal Family Kid's Camp, a faith-based camp for abused & neglected children who get to forget about what is going at home and enjoy life as a kid for one week with a counselor/camper ratio of 1-1. Ken becomes Eli's counselor and as the movie begins, has very little thought or time to invest into Eli's life. Eli, after seeing and experiencing neglect and abuse in his biological home is a very hurt, confused and often violent young man. He lashes out at any person who tries to become close to him emotionally (which is shown in the movie when Ken first introduces himself as his camp counselor he receives an unrestrained "Screw you!") is very common with children who have experienced horrors as he has. Eventually, Ken has a change of heart and realizes how much of an influence he can have in Eli's life. He goes to extreme measures to show Eli how much he is cared for and loved. It's also revealed that Ken has some scars and hurt from his past too.
What I love about CAMP, was how it shows that ANYONE can be a camp counselor and invest their time into a child who as gone through things that are unimaginable. A counselor doesn't have to be perfect or even have the right words to say, but simply just needs to show how valued, cared for and LOVED a child is. Often children who are in foster care have been abused and neglected don't even know what it's like to feel loved, cherished or cared for. I feel like I have a unique perspective on this having been in foster care from the time I was 3 years old until my parents foster-adopted me at the age of almost 9. I was then able to see full circle the influence someone can have in the life of a child by serving as a counselor (or a Cousin as we called it, to facilitate a family atmosphere) at RFKC in 2000.
There are so many great moments and memorable parts in CAMP, including Sam (i've-seen-The-Dirty-Dozen-a-few-too-many-times-maggot!) a fellow camp counselor who just got back from his second tour in Iraq. He is great with the kids as he was an alumni of the camp and was in foster care himself. Redford, a StarTrek obsessed/Spock wannabe who truly believes he is from another planet. He is constantly "waiting" for the mother ship to come back to earth for him---a coping mechanism he has developed after his mother left him. A touching moment between two of the counselors, Ken & Tammi, when Ken asks, "How do you LIKE a kid like THAT?" Tammi responds;
"You just have to find ONE thing to like. Just one THING."
CAMP is a great faith-based movie that can reach many people through its redemptive themes, examples of unconditional love & lessons in hope.
CAMP will be shown in about 100 theaters nationwide. You can find out more & how to become a camp counselor at a Royal Family Kid's Camp at thecampmovie.com. Check out the facebook page for current information at facebook.com/campmovie
Here is a trailer for CAMP~