Laser Time – Summer Camp Stories


Sharing traumatizing summer tales of leaving the house and our favorite Summer Camp Movies!


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36 thoughts on “Laser Time – Summer Camp Stories

  1. Ever since I was six or so, I’ve had the reputation of being very smart, really funny, and as a violent shit who could actually fight, so none of my experiences in school or camp were ever very bad, since I had almost free reign to join any clique I wanted and nobody would dare touch me. The only bad camp experience I had was also the last time I went to camp, where every single night I was there, I would shit myself. A lot. I was incredibly lucky that the merged shower/toilet room was kept open during the night, which became a sort of home for me over the next week. Eventually I got fed up and simply called my parents and went home a few days early. Even though everybody stands by the idea that it was caused by anxiety, I still say it was the water there that did me in, since I felt completely comfortable the entire time.

  2. You know, I’ve never actually been to a summer camp…

    That being said, I recently watched Wet Hot American Summer since you guys have talked it up and I’ll say I was not disappointed. At first I was unsure about the movie, but once things like Paul Rudd throwing kids out of a van to keep getting laid happened, I was sold. I’ll definitely check out the show on Netflix. Thanks for getting me to try it out, guys (probably mostly Dave).

  3. Yo, you better have some Heavyweights mentions on this. From the opening featuring Bodeans- Closer to Free (a.k.a The Party of Five theme song) to Ben Stiller doing his pre-Dodgeball over caffinated motivational speaker, to the ending where you will believe a fat kid could and nearly kill someone from a rival camp in a go-kart, it’s my favorite summer camp movie.

  4. As a sleep away camp counselor, I have so many stories. Like the time when sriracha sauces took the form of currency (kinda like cigarettes in prison), the silent lunches when we forced the kids to be silent for an entire hour (it was bliss), or maybe the time when, shortly after all the campers left, the entire staff got together to drink and watch Wet Hot American Summer. My favorite experience though was having all of the Israeli counselors (I worked at a Jewish sleep away camp) were their IDF uniforms and force the campers to go through boot camp. I watched from the sidelines, ate ice cream and just had the best time. This was at 4 AM.

    As a camper I have a bunch of great stories too, but being both a camper and a supervisor was a great experience.

  5. I’m not the only one getting a lot of skipping, especially towards the end, right? Some of the stories contained almost no information, because it skipped right as they were getting interesting.

    I used to go to bible camp for a week every summer, separated into school grades. It was fun, even with the churchy stuff we’d have to do.

    I thought Wet Hot American Summer was terrible, and I don’t remember any of it being funny. Lots of it was clearly trying you tell you that it was supposed to be funny. I guess I don’t like the kind of comedy most of the people in it are involved in.

    1. Yeah getting a lot of skips too
      Chris’ quote ‘ This machine scaring the hell out of me’ leads me to believe this was recorded on not the regular machine

    2. Sorry. Yes, something happened during recording and as far as I can tell, and there was no way to fix it. It was this or nothing. If anyone happens to know what happened, why Audacity would do that, I’d love to know and perhaps fix the file at some point.

      1. It sounded like the computer was probably not able to keep up with the recording. It’s possible that the hard drive is going bad; alternatively you haven’t got enough RAM. Either way, it’s likely that the sound that would have been captured in those skips is lost forever.

  6. The one time I went to 4H camp was the first great shittiest time ive ever had, camp is fucking horrible.
    No structure in classes whatsover
    Other kids or older kids were horrible, it was disgusting, I tried not to shower or bathe all week to avoid the bathrooms
    I also ended up crying and leaving the hookup dance or whatever to go watch milo/otis and andy griffith in the awful mess hall.
    Also had Calvin and Hobbes collection books

  7. I did alot of summer camps and conferences in when I was in jr. high and high school. A lot of the camps involved doing stuff like growing bacteria in a petri dish and studying human psychology by watching movies like Clean, Shaven and Normal. Most of my embarrassing stories involve me either sleeping in and having to be woken up by the people in charge or falling asleep at random places because I wasn’t ready to go to bed yet. The most terrible experience I’ve had was when I was at a Christian youth conference in the mountains of North Carolina and the lady in charge of my group decided to turn the the last day festivities into her own personal rant time. For an hour and a half, a group of 20 or so high schoolers and adults had to sit there in silence while she whined about how she felt disrespected by the entire group, how we should have respected the way she ran things, and how we never showed up on time. Unfortunately, me and some other people had proven her point by showing up 20 minutes late with wacky prank stuff, bubbles, and ice cream ready to have the usual last day of the conference fun. I felt extremely awkward with my novelty electric fly swatter and bottle of bubble while she pointed to us as the prime example of all of her complaints.

  8. I went to week long summer camps when I was a pre-teen. They were run by Mennonites (even though I’m Catholic), so one time my counsellor freaked out at me because I mentioned the Pope (“HOW DARE YOU INSULT THE MENNONITE BRETHREN!”). Another time, they had a traveling preacher come by, and told us that we had to decide, that day, to commit to Christ for the rest of lives, and if we didn’t commit that day, we’d likely go to Hell. Without a parent to talk to, it got way more serious than I expected.

    But the camp had a nice pool, so it wasn’t all bad.

    But my worst story is the first time I went to a camp (I must have been 8 or 9). I got really nervous about taking a dump in the…less clean…bathrooms at the camp. So I avoided doing it for several days, but one night…I had, let’s say, a really bad accident (like a “I need to take a shower immediately” kind of accident).

    But the camp let you milk goats, so it wasn’t all bad.

  9. Also hearing a lot of skips in this episode, unfortunately! Still worthwhile, but maybe time to check out the equipment (or do another commentary fundraiser :))

  10. Sadly I only went to a basketball camp and it was only a weekned and we went home everyday. I did watch Disney’s Heavyweights daily during the summer and can atribute my bodybuilding pasion to being “Perkisized” at a young age! Thanks Ben Stiller…. I mean Tony Perkis!

  11. I went to summer camp for a week when I was 10. My parents were horrified with all the stories I came back with and they never enrolled me in camp again.

    We had two counsellors in our cabin who were about 16 I think. They blasted two cassettes over and over on an old boombox: Stay Hungry by Twisted Sister and NIggaz4Life by NWA. The counsellors smashed our alarm clock the first day with a baseball bat so we didn’t follow any of the camp schedules. Instead they showed us how to turn a can of bug spray into a blowtorch using matches. It was sort of like being raised by Beavis and Butthead for a week. I mainly remember sneaking away and trying to play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego on the computer in the camp office.

    1. I’m listening to that NWA album and realizing how screwed up it is that skits like “To Kill a Hooker” bring back strong memories of camp. I got in a fistfight because the other kids in my cabin changed the lyrics to “She Swallowed It” and used to taunt me: “It’s the world’s biggest dick, Todd swallowed it!” It’s kind of amazing just the level of casual homophobia you get used to as a kid. If we complained to the camp counsellors about anything they’d say “quit being a fag.”

  12. The closet I ever came to experiencing camp was “Band Camp”, which was only a two week ordeal and only required us to be driven to the high school in the morning and to get picked up at noon. Even though the marching portion was in the morning, being from the deep south, it was incredibly humid and not pleasant at all. My camp movies have to be Heavyweights -and while more of a Boot Camp movie- Major Payne. I loved both of them equally, but they obviously don’t hold up to an adult viewing. RIP Bam Bam Bigelow.

  13. My camps always were school based. A usual one or two night ordeal and since we were a catholic school, religious shit was always involved. Though our choices of movies were always great. My top two were The Blind Side and Step Brothers. Worst was Kingdom of Heaven.

  14. Went to camp once. Hell. A right of passage for parents to torture their children. Useless indoctrination to force feed the kids religion, lifestyle or some other bullshit so mom and dad can fuck and try to make another kid to torture.

    Hated camp. And as a child of the 80’s I couldn’t agree more about those dumb shorts.

  15. Not really sure why but one summer I went to a Jewish Summer Camp – and I’m not Jewish. I’m not sure if my parents were confused or what but it seemed like a really odd choice. I remember not knowing a bunch of Jewish traditions/etc. and the other kids being like “fucking gentile” though they never said it out loud. I hate (and still do hate) shared washrooms and being dirty, even as a kid, grossed me out too. Nothing about camp was appealing to me. All I wanted was to be at home playing video games and eating hot dogs.

    1. What an absolutely great story. Went to a Jewish camp in bucks county PA and the torture, abuse, homophobia and general inappropriate behavior was both unimaginable and obviously unavoidable. But….it did build character and madequate for some side-splitting stories once you got out of camp. In reality, everyone writes about the horror stories and no one writes about the fun and character building.

    1. Haha…I was waiting for the Kamp Krusty references and was surprised when they never came. Then again I don’t really remember that episode very well, just that it existed.

  16. I went to a day camp all summer one year in a ghetto ass part of Atlanta with my !little sister. it was referred to my mom by the horrible lady who used to babysit us and her horrible kids. all I remember are terrible bologna sandwiches, dry ass pancakes in the morning, kids being thrown into the pool to teach them how to swim and me getting picked on and called gay all summer because one of my school bullies went there and ran the place. the only saving grace was we took a “field trip” to the movies and we all got to watch short circuit 2! so I love that movie while hating that summer.

  17. I’ve always been jealous of American Summer Camps, living in Australia our wilderness only contains death.

  18. This is my first comment but I’ve been a fan for years, I even still have the stickers and book I won for the world saddle contest.

    For two summers I spent six weeks at the woodcraft camp at Culver Military Academy. A posh snobby boarding school I didn’t go to in Indiana. The amount of dumb stories I have about that place could fill a book so I will just give you the highlights starting with the strangest story.
    I was laying on my bunk reading an article about Floigan Bros in some magazine. There were a few other people in the cabin but most of the group was gone. It was then that I heard the distinct cry of someone being sodomized with a golf club. I looked to see what the hell was going on and I saw something that scars to me this day. Needless to say I disapproved of their inappropriate use of sports equipment and I was a shitty kid so I blackmailed them for my silence and immediately turned them in once I became bored.
    Other highlights include crashing a small sailboat into a huge replica 19th century era warship and being sunburned to the point where I was hospitalized in their 1940s looking infirmary for a week. All in all goodtimes.

  19. Damn, I just saw a Buzzfeed “where are they now” of the cast of Salute Your Shorts, and Sponge looks like Joel McHale’s hot brother. And I say that as a totally straight man.

  20. I was never really afforded camp. We lived in upstate NY so we are already in camp country. Mostly my parents would just let us loose. During summer usually we would do swimming classes, tennis classes, nice stuff the college offered to local kids. One year though I insisted on going to a summer camp. My parents looked around and there was a camp for kids of state troopers. My dad was eligible because he was a state code enforcer. I remeber I was super excited because one of the listed events was seeing a police ROBOT! I was like 12 and this excited me greatly.

    The experience was not good. Was bullied for being a chubby kid… also made fun of for bringing my calvin and hobbes book and a transformer toy. No love story, tried to learn to sail but sucked at it. Remarkably, did good in archery.

    Whole time suffering through it I was just looking forward to seeing this police robot. I think I was thinking the blown away bomb diffusing robot or something because I was very disappointed in what we saw. It was a “hay you kids!” style robot that was RC controlled and did goofy crap. Served no practical purpose. I felt pandered to and did not appreciate it. Made friends, got too many damn bug bites, felt tourtured by the big kids. Overall terrible experience and I regret ever asking for the trip.

  21. when i was around 8-10 i remember going to a summer camp in Tecate mexico.i went with some cousins so i wasn’t completely alone the whole time. i remember we did alot of typical summer camp things; hike, go swimming, ate shitty food, but one of the things that really stood out to me was playing mortal kombat on the n46 for the first time. i remember it being waaay to violent for me but i did have fun with it. i also remember they took us to the tecate brewery. i remember it was cool until the ceo or whatever showed a boring ass powerpoint of the process of making beer. if only i knew i would grow up to become a beer snob and would of payed more attention lol. even if i dont like tecate that much.

  22. For some odd reason I have a strong memory of the movie “A Pigs Tale” which was a typical summer camp movie about loser kids getting picked on but had a cool camp counselor and overcame all odds. There was nothing super special about it outside of my younger self thinking it was so edgy that one of the characters was name Boner.

    I feel like there were a ton more films that dealt with summer camp, but like Chris, I can’t think of them.

  23. I went to a few camp / camping activities with Boy Scouts as a kid, and mostly what I remember is being afraid to use the primitive toilets (and being a poop-shy kid in general). I once went the entire 4 day camping trip without going number 2 and returning to my home with horrendous soul-shattering constipation pain.

  24. I had Garfield stuff at camp too. And I took so much crap because of it.

    I’m 13 minutes in and I can’t believe the Sleepaway Camp movie series hasn’t been mentioned yet. It’s amazing.

  25. Glad you all mentioned that summer camp probably isn’t actually a thing that happens. As a Canadian this always confused me.

    I’ve been to a few multi-night camps with boy scouts and I’ve worked a few summers at a Dirty Dancing-esq resort, but the idea of sending a bunch of 6-16 year olds to the same place to live together for several months seemed insane.

    Some examples that I remember:
    Addams Family Values
    Friday the 13th movies
    Camp Nowhere
    Ernest Goes to Camp
    Daria in ‘Is It Fall Yet?’

    and something I just discovered while looking up IMDb keywords:
    Oddballs (1984) – “A Canadian sex comedy about saving a summer camp from becoming a shopping mall.”

  26. I was curious what the hell you were talking about on the ending for sleepaway camp, so I looked up the ending on youtube.


    That face has haunted me all week, and I see it every time I close my eyes and it’s caused me to have trouble sleeping.

    I am a 30 year old grown man.

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