Camp Camp: Where Fantasy Island Meets Lord of the Flies


Dear Former Campers,

Do you recall your glory days at summer camp as some of the best months of your life? Was your camp experience


When you think about camp, what are your best memories?

*singing "If I Had a Hammer" around the campfire
*winning color war two years in a row
*getting to third base with your camp crush

Open Camp Camp and head back to the one place on earth where ...

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Dear Former Campers,

Do you recall your glory days at summer camp as some of the best months of your life? Was your camp experience


When you think about camp, what are your best memories?

*singing "If I Had a Hammer" around the campfire
*winning color war two years in a row
*getting to third base with your camp crush

Open Camp Camp and head back to the one place on earth where appropriated Native American terminology, competitive sports, social heirarchy, and libido-soaked nights lived in wholesome harmony. Here is your trip down memory lane, a trip so beautifully illustrated and fully remembered that you can almost smell the pine of the cabins when you open the pages.

Camp Camp is a love letter to camp, a chance to relive every Champion sweatshirt-wearing, accidental-bed-wetting, sky-hook-wedgie-receiving, tie-dye-making golden moment via hundreds of photographs and stories straight from the source, including tall tales from AJ Jacobs, Rachel Sklar, Paul Feig, David Wain, Jamie Denbo, and Rodney Rothman.

Do you miss...
*camp friendships
*camp freedom
*camp fun

If so, then Camp Camp is your one-way ticket back to this magical world in which Fantasy Island met Lord of the Flies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“If your parents shipped you off in a yellow bus for six weeks of mystery meat and color wars, you’ll love the new Camp Camp.”
Rolling Stone

Camp Camp is tapping into a larger yearning to revisit those days of cabin fever.”

“Remember camp? Remember the bunk beds, the counselors, the bugs? If not, Camp Camp, with its 300 photos, will certainly refresh your memory.”
USA Today

“From two Bar Mitzvah Disco authors comes this collection of vintage summer-camp stories and photos that offer a nostalgic trip down wedgie lane.”
Entertainment Weekly

“This is the real stuff, going deeper than any VH1 '80s nostalgia trip or a squandered Saturday afternoon watching a cable rerun of ‘Meatballs,’”
Washington Post

“a hilarious, touching study of awkward adolescence.”
LA Times

"Camp Camp serves as a kind of summer yearbook, collecting fond and not-so-fond memories of bunkmates, first kisses, tie-dye T-shirts and bug juice.”
New York Daily News

“Some experiences define a generation - the Greatest Generation endured World War II; the assassination of JFK and Woodstock are milestones for baby boomers. Generation X’s seminal event? Summer camp.”
Boston Herald

“There are two kinds of people: Those who adored summer camp and those who were completely, inconsolably miserable. Whichever type you were, Camp Camp will stir up powerful memories… Bunkhouse pranks, counselor worship, god-awful talent shows, summer crushes - they're all here, both hilarious and wince-worthy.”

Camp Camp… compiles campers' memories from the 1980s and early '90s -- and hilarious photos documenting the era's most cringe-inducing fashions and big hair.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Bennett and Shell celebrate coming-of-age in the rarefied world of short sheeting and atomic wedgies, which parents paid for in exchange for a couple of weeks of summertime quiet. Lots of pictures and vignettes that might make you laugh until you– well, like someone put your hand in warm water.”
Raleigh News and Observer

Publishers Weekly
In his foreword, filmmaker Ivan Reitman writes, "Between the ages of seven and fifteen, going to summer camp was the most important influence in my life"; indeed, he launched his film career in 1979 with Meatballs, a movie inspired by his experiences at Camp White Pine in Haliburton, Ontario. In their latest, New York-based authors Bennett and Shell (co-creators of the similarly-themed Bar Mitzvah Disco) elicit more fond memories, photos, letters home and art projects from a long list of young writers, artists and entertainment industry pros, including Paul Feig, A.J. Jacobs, Rachel Sklar and David Wain. In a fitting scrap-book style, Bennett and Shell compile these communal camp memories, drawn from original interviews, and also include broader essays on chapter topics like "Camp Gastronomy," "Socials," "Camp Love" and "Visiting Day." Though most of the camps included here are in New York and Massachusetts, the subject matter of this colorful tribute-from Arrival Day to Last Night-will connect with anyone who looks back fondly on their camp experience (those who disliked camp, or never went, would probably do better renting Meatballs).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307382627
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/20/2008
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

ROGER BENNETT is a member of the Academy of the Recent Past.

JULES SHELL collects old family business logos and the stories that go with them at

Roger and Jules are the co-creators of Bar Mitzvah Disco.

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Table of Contents

Foreword     9
Introduction     11
Arrival First Day: Magic Bus     15
Girls' Bunk: Pretty in Pink     23
Boys' Bunk: Bad Boys     51
Athletics: Born to Run     73
Arts & Crafts: Hip to Be Square     99
The Stage: Center Stage     103
Music: Redemption Song     115
Letter Writing: Wish You Were Here     123
Counselors: Big Shot     131
Foreign Counselors: World Leader Pretend     147
Directors and Staff: My Prerogative     153
Camp Gastronomy: Rock Lobster     165
Socials: Safety Dance     177
CAMP Love: Making Love Out of Nothing at All     193
Special Events: In the Air Tonight     203
Visiting Day: Missing You     211
Day Trip: I Want to Break Free     225
Overnight Trip: Misty Mountain Hop     237
The Media: Every Day I Write the Book     241
CAMP Fire: Fire and Rain     251
Waterfront: Orinoco Flow     257
Color War: Two Tribes     265
Last Night: I Think We're Alone Now     283
Contributors     296
Acknowledgments     300
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