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As much as I love to sit down for a film that entertains, I love it even more when the same film can also touch my heart. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to review CAMP, an inspirational feature film about Royal Family KIDS’ Outreach program. (This movie is NOT to be confused with the TV series Camp which has been airing on NBC this summer. Aside from a camp setting, this movie shares little with that TV show which is definitely NOT child friendly.)
“CAMP” is the story of a deeply troubled boy, Eli (Miles Elliot, “The Mentalist”), and an apathetic investment advisor, Ken (Michael Mattera), who get paired together at a summer camp for foster kids and discover the meaning of unconditional love. “We are excited for the opportunity to share the story of CAMP,” said Roebuck. “We want to entertain audiences, but we also hope they are inspired to get involved in the lives of abused and neglected kids in their communities. We are thrilled to work with Word on the video distribution of the picture. Not only do they bring a first-class distribution team for mainstream and Christian markets, they also understand the heart behind the film.”
This film is inspired by true stories of kids and counselors who have been at camps for abused and neglected children. Writer and director, Jacob Roebuck, sought to tap into real-life events which acknowledge the power of the camp experience as well as the opportunity camp provides to give unconditional love to those seemingly forgotten children who need adults in their lives.
The Dove Foundation chose to award the movie a Dove ‘Family-Approved’ Seal for ages 12 and over. The film is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 111 minutes. For more information about “CAMP,” Royal Family KIDS, Inc. and for a listing of upcoming engagements visit: www.campthemovie.com.
A portion of the proceeds from the film benefit Royal Family KIDS, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit that serves as the nation’s leading network of camps for abused, neglected and abandoned children
Our Thoughts about CAMP
On a recent rainy afternoon, I decided it was the perfect time to snuggle up under a blanket and watch CAMP. The younger boys were home with me and soon began to watch the film rather than play the games they were doing. I let them watch, even though the film has a few scenes that could be troubling to a younger child. Instead of causing serious distress in the boys, those scenes proved to be the perfect conversation starters for us. And, they loved the scenes of kids having fun doing all sorts of things you equate with a summer camp experience.
This springboard for discussion arose mostly from seeing how horribly Eli’s parents treated him in the limited movie scenes where they appear. D asked me more than once if those were supposed to be his real parents. He knew they weren’t the actor’s real parents, but rather he could not get over the fact that some adults would treat their own child so harshly and without any real sense of love. This has me thinking that even the older boys could use a reminder about how ‘good’ they have things where their life is not in constant upheaval, both parents love them, and all basic needs along with some wants are met on a regular basis.
I loved how Mr. Roebuck was able to meld several different real life stories into a limited cast of characters. My heart really felt like breaking for the youth in the film and I could easily see giving up a week or two of my own summer to be a counselor at a program like this one. Every person, adult or child, should have someone in their life who projects the love God has for us ~ even if it is for such a short time in their life. In only 111 minutes, Camp is able to project just how important that experience of love can be for both the giver and receiver.
I highly recommend this film for families with older children who could benefit from seeing not only how rough some kids have it in life, but also how much good can come from others giving of themselves. I’m putting this particular disc into my collection of films for our church’s youth group as I believe many of the kids would enjoy the film and it could be a great launch pad for deeper discussions into social justice and serving others.
“I laughed, I cried, it moved me….”
What are some inspirational films you enjoy watching?
Did you ever attend camp as a child? What did you like most about it?