For Eli-- an abused an neglected ten year old-- camp was not his idea. For wealthy investment banker Ken, camp was not his idea either. When fate throws the two together they are not exactly unseperable friends from the get go. Slowly, however, Ken begins to discover a broken little boy, and Eli begins to discover a friend he can trust. Inspired by a true story Camp tells a moving story about healing and redemption.
Life for ten year old Eli (Miles Elliot) could not get any worse. His mother-- a drug addict-- is neglectful and locks him in his room. His father-- a man who drifts in and out of his life-- beats him. Then one day the police, responding to a domestic disturbance call, discover Eli, battered and bruised. They whisk him off to the hospital, and then to Locustwood, a place little better than a youth prison. For the little Eli of Camp it seals the deal-- no one has ever, or will ever love him.
Life for twenty something Ken Matthews (Michael Mattera), on the other hand, could not get much better. He has a successful job, plenty of money, and looks good enough to catch the eye of almost any girl. In fact, the investment banker is about to land a deal with a new client.
Life for the both of them is about to take an unexpected turn in the film Camp.
Ken, wanting to impress the same rich client, agrees to volunteer at a counselor at Camp Pine Lake, a summer camp for children in the foster system. Eli, gets the opportunity to attend the same camp. Ken arrives, Eli arrives, to two get paired as counselor and kid, chaos arrives.
Eli, angry, bruised, and broken is determined not to enjoy camp a single bit. Ken, whose motives are far from selfless is not that compassionate to Eli or the camp mission. Eli soon turns out to be more than Ken can handle, driving him to impatience and anger. Slowly Tammie (Grace Johnston), the head camp counselor, and fellow counselor Samuel help Ken realize that Eli is broken, and only by standing by him can Ken make a difference in his life. Ken begins to uncondittionaly love the broken boy, and Eli begins to open up. An unexpected, and unsanctioned visit from Eli’s violent father, however, is about to send things back into the chaos the two have only just recovered from.
Will Ken be willing to sacrifice in order to love Eli, and will Eli ever be able to heal from the darkness of his past?
Although difficult to believe, Camp is based on a true story. Several years ago the writer and producer of the film Camp, Jacob Roebuck, found his way to a summer camp in California. This summer camp, however, was unique. Part of an organization called Royal Family Kid’s Camp, this summer camp was for children ages nine to twelve who were abused and neglected. Much like Ken in the film Camp Jacob did not want to be at that camp. Required to go on a summer missions trip, Jacob had taken an organizational position at the camp. He thought it was perfect, it fulfilled his requirement, he did not have to do much, and he would not have to work with kids. That week, however, more boys showed up at camp then the staff had expected and Jacob was pulled into a counselor position, against his wishes. As he worked with his two kids that week, Jacob realized the importance of loving kids that no one else wanted. A heart to care for the broken and fatherless emerged in his heart. Inspired and moved Jacob began to learn the stories of the other counselors at similar camps across the nation, what he learned inspired him to produce Camp, a film he hopes will inspire and challenge individuals-- especially adults-- to open their hearts and time to children who need love, who need a father, and who need someone to care.
The real camps for abused and neglected children offer hope and healing, just as the fictional camp in the film Camp does. One of the strongest themes of the film Camp is healing and hope. For Eli, and the other children at the camp, brokenness and distrust are as natural as breathing, but as Ken and the other counselors work with them they come alive. Camp has stronger messages, however. It challenges individuals with comfortable lives, no fears, no cares-- people who had childhoods-- to get off the couch and do something. It will inspire viewers from small to large to open their eyes and see the needy and broken in need of hope.
The film Camp is filled with moments that will make you laugh out loud. Moments that will make you cry. Moments that will make you stop and think, “This is wrong.” The film, will inspire you with a story of two unlikely individuals who learn how to heal and how to love. Camp will encourage you that even though the world is a broken place people are striving to fix it. It will also challenge you to do something. To love the broken, to help heal the hurting, to speak for the voiceless, and fight for the defenseless. As you enjoy the story of Eli and Ken you will be reminded of a world different than your own, and inspired to make a difference.
Camp was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for thematic elements, some violence, a crude gesture and brief language. This film received the “Family Approved” award for ages twelve and up from the Dove Foundation. Some topics and issues in the film Camp may not be suitable for younger viewers, and as always, it is recommend that parents preview all content to determine what is suitable for their children.
My grandson who is 7 years old LOVES to watch this movie. Very inspiring and the story of the Royal King Family Camp for Foster Kids. My husband is now starting a third camp here in northern Utah. God Bless the Children!! (Posted on 10/11/16)
This movie is great at bringing hard issues to the surface where they need to be. My nine year old daughter and I really enjoyed it. It brought real life situations out and open for discussion. The importance of loving others and how we can better love and serve them. It reinforced the need to forgive and see things from an outside perspective. You were able to see a happy ending in this movie but it brought about the reality that not all of these stories have a seemingly happy ending and how we have to continue to have faith that God is good even when things appear so awful. Great movie that leave an imprint on your heart and much to think on during and after. (Posted on 4/6/16)