25 Best Summer Camp Movies For Kids (TV Shows & Documentaries Too!)

Is there anything that exemplifies an American childhood more than summer camp? Each year, over 11 million people go to summer camp, so odds are that either you, your spouse, your children or at least someone you know has attended summer camp at some point.

For those of us who haven’t been, we still know all about it because it’s such a common thing. It’s also a very popular setting for summer movies, particularly teen movies.

Here are some of the best family-friendly summer camp movies, starting with my favorites at the top.

Note: This list is geared more towards fun, lighthearted kid-friendly camp movies. As a result, I’ve left out popular horror, thriller and slasher films set at summer camps.

Summer Camp Movies

Camp Nowhere (1994)

Addams Family Values (1993)

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Heavyweights (1995)

Space Camp (1986)

It Takes Two (1995)

Rated: PG | Ages: 5+ | Time: 1h 41min

Before Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were successful fashion designers, they were just a pair of adorable twins with big blue eyes and gorgeous smiles.

It was around that time that they starred together in this adorable movie that actually shares quite a few similarities with The Parent Trap, only in this movie, the two identical girls aren’t actually long-lost sisters. They’re two non-related girls who just happen to look exactly alike. (I know; it’s ridiculous, but that’s part of its charm!)

Much like The Parent Trap, the two girls meet at summer camp and are vastly different. One’s an orphan living in an orphanage, and one’s a boarding school resident and the daughter of a very wealthy man.

The two girls naturally decide that the woman who runs the orphanage (who the orphan girl loves very much) and the wealthy man (who the boarding school daughter loves very much) should get married, and they concoct a plan to make it happen.

It’s true that it almost sounds like an exact ripoff of The Parent Trap, but it’s still a lot of fun, and if your kids can’t get over the dated visual style of the 60s classic, this one might be a little easier for them to digest.

Rim of the World (2019)

Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)

Holes (2003)

Ernest Goes To Camp (1987)

Troop Beverly Hills (1989)

Daddy Day Camp (2007)

Summertime Switch (1994)

Magic Camp (2020)

Camp (2003)

The Parent Trap (1961)

Camp Rock (2008)

Summer Camp Television Shows

Just for fun, I thought I’d throw in three of the best summer camp television shows I’ve seen as well.

Salute Your Shorts (1991-1992)

Bunk’d (2015-Present)

Bug Juice (1998-2001) & Bug Juice: My Adventures at Camp (2018)

Summer Camp Documentaries

If you have the kind of kids who enjoy watching true stories and documentaries, they might enjoy these summer camp documentaries instead. All three of these films are pretty good, and if you’re looking for movies that actually show you (and your children) what the summer camp experience is really like, you might want to check them out one night.

These could also be good to watch if you’re considering sending your kids to camp for the first time and want to give them a feel for what it’s going to be like.

Girls Rock (2008)

Stagedoor (2006)

Summercamp! (2006)

For Adults & Mature Teens ONLY!

Ok, these 2 summer camp movies are definitely NOT family friendly, but I just could not bring myself to write a post about the best summer camp movies without including these 2.

I hid them way down here at the bottom of the post and put the title in red so you would not inadvertently add them to your Netflix que and show them to you 6 year olds! But if you ever get a moment to yourself and want a good laugh, these 2 movies are VERY funny.

Meatballs (1979)

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

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