Director Jud's Blog

Top 10 Common Mistake about Teen Summer Camp: What are they Truly are?

Posted by Jud Millar on Thu, Mar 21, 2013

Teen Summer Camps are often referenced in the media and compared to other things such as a concert tour or professioanl training camp.  In the following article that was originally posted by the Summer Camp Culture Blog we take a look many of these comparisons.

Middle School

Camp is not like schoolHave you every heard anyone make the comparison of Middle School to a Teen Summer Camp?  I think they are crazy - I don’t get why people insist on calling summer programs and classes held at schools in the off season teen summer summer camps  One of the things that makes teen summer camp so popular is that it isn’t school.

This recent New York Times blog post does pose the question of “Why Can’t School Be More Like Summer.”


Movie Sets/Shoots

Teen Summer Camp not like a movie set
Every few weeks you see headlines from some millionaire celebrity actress or actor talking about a movie shoot and saying it was like summer camp. Just because 99.5 percent of the country doesn’t know what it’s like to be in a movie doesn’t mean you can use the metaphor on us and expect us to believe it.

The only people who get paid to be at summer camp make in a summer what you make for one take of one scene so sorry, it’s nothing like summer camp.

A Start-Up Accelerator

Camp is not like political  conventions
Whatever the heck that is, it’s definitely not anything like summer camp.

The same can be said for all conferences and music festivalswhere adults gather and writers grasping for metaphors pull out weak comparisons that usually lead to headlines like “Summer camps no longer just hikes, bugs” and “Summer Camps no longer just water sports, pranks“and  include phrases like “lots of booze” and dismissive comments about s’mores, bug bites and cafeteria food being yesterday’s news. In other words, all of the things that a “camp” by definition should include.

Real Estate

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Seriously. Financial guru Dave Ramsey thinks real estate is a lot like summer camp. What?

I’ll admit that counselors, relationships (the “name of the game” apparently” and trying new things are a big part of the summer camp experience but last time I checked you don’t need a license to go to summer camp. I will give him the open houses though since they happen both at summer camps and in real estate.

Political Conventions

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I never would have imagined anyone making this comparison before this Fox News Radio blog post did in talking about the recently completed Democratic National Convention: “Watching adults at a political convention is like watching kids at summer camp, after those kids have inhaled like 20 juice boxes. Instead of archery, arts and crafts and swimming, people listen to speeches.” Political conventions are a lot of things, but teen summer camp? Not even close.


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This one is a close call. My first week away at college – getting to know the guys on my floor, playing pranks, etc. – felt a lot like teen summer camp and many of my friends from college ended up working with me at a real summer camp.

But there isn’t anything at teen summer camp quite as horrible as having to take classes like Concepts of Math and History of the English Language at 8 a.m.

Training Camp

Camp is not like Training Camp
Sports camp comparisons aside, professional athletes going to training camp isn’t really anything like teen summer camp for a myriad of reasons, the least of them not being the fact that it is incredibly annoying how much time is spent on SportsCenter talking about things that happened at training camp that day.

It would be pretty cool though if they were more like summer camp.

Concert Tours

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Like the aforementioned movie shoots, there isn’t anything teen summer camp about traveling around the country making a living playing music and sleeping in hotels/tour buses even if the bill includes Brad Paisley.

Unless of course you are on the Camplified tour, which is annual tour of musicians who visit and perform at actual teen summer camps around the country.


describe the imageI’ve noticed a trend in recent years of churches starting day camps or rebranding their Vacation Bible School programs as teen summer camps, but there’s a reason the term Church Camp exists. When I think of teen summer camp I think of a camp in the woods that operates mostly in the summer, not a building my bus passes every day on my way to work.

If church were more like summer camp it might look something like this.


Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, summer camp in the media

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This blog will give you the "411" about everything that is Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp!  Everything from "Summer Updates" to useful family and camp resources.  Check it out! 

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