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Movies For Camp

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Here's a movie challenge based on real life. You are running an all boys summer camp. The kids range in age from 8 to 14. Saturday night is movie night What do you show that appeals to all the kids? Films from any time period are allowed, but I'd like to stay away from big blockbuster films like Batman, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Star Wars, Etc. I think the campers have seen them allready.

 

 

 

 

 

This is based on a true story. I went to such a camp from 1983, (Flying Eagle - no longer running.) During movie night they showed Superman, Goldfinger, The Left Handed Gun, Dragonslayer, The Good The Bad And The Ugly, and other films I can't remember. It was a really good camp but they needed a larger tv for all the kids, (about 60 of them.) Then again it was 1981 and such things weren't as cheap as they were today. A lot of the money went to ammo for the rifle range.

 

 

 

 

 

On an unrelated note the camp was run by the late Alex Canja. He was a really good man.

 

 

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How about those same genres, but earlier, like the 50's and 60's. Universal was still big on action films then, especially pirate movies and the like, which are still popular. 50's sci-fi is primitive by today's standards, but I bet they'd like "Forbidden Planet", "This Island Earth", "The Day The Earth Stood Still", etc. Maybe something like "The Egyptian" or "Land of The Pharaohs", the historical spectacles which led up to "Ben-Hur"? Anything with Burt Lancaster might be a hit, like "Run Silent, Run Deep", "The Train", or even "The Birdman of Alcatraz". I loved "Trapeze" when I was a kid. MGM did a slew of "Knights of The Roundtable"-type movies in the early 50's. And, as maligned as it is on this board, I'm willing to bet kids would love "North By Northwest" if they'd never seen it before. I was young when I first saw it and I've remembered it all my life. Disney came up with some real pleasers like "Swiss Family Robinson" and "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea". I remember liking courtroom dramas like "Witness For The Prosecution" and "Anatomy of A Murder" (too adult?). I hesitate to say Jerry Lewis, but with people like Adam Sandler still going strong, it might be time for kids to rediscover him. I'm not sure how pc "Hatari" would be in PETA-conscious times, but kids would probably like it. A good western like "Red River" or "The Searchers" could do the trick. "To Kill A Mockingbird" is told from a female perspective, but wouldn't boys respond to such a universal evocation of childhood? I know young boys today may have a short attention span for "old" films, but I'm sure you could use the fact that they're away from their normal routines to introduce some unexpected elements.

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You could also use the same genres, but with even earlier films. For westerns, instead of Red River and the Searchers (both pretty dark for kids) I suggest Shane and the 1939 Stagecoach. For costume adventure, I suggest the 1938 Adventures of Robin Hood, and for comedy/adventure, The Court Jester. Other adventure movies I think boys would enjoy are Around the World in 80 Days and The Greatest Show on Earth. I, too, recommend North by Northwest and the Swiss Family Robinson. And for some more modern suggestions, consider Jeremiah Johnson, Dances With Wolves and My Dog Skip (although that one's so new the kids may have seen it already). Good luck!

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A good friend of my mother was in charge of a summer camp for many years, (Camp Tamarack, once in Brighton MI, now in Ortonville MI.) When I see him I'll ask him about movie night. I have a feeling he might not remember

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