The season finale of NBC’s criminally underrated “Camp” ended on the perfect note.
It may not have been the perfect show — hey, if it was airing during the fall TV season it might not have made it past three episodes before getting a cancelation — but it did have one thing going for it, and it could be summed up in the last lines of dialogue of the season (and, let’s be honest, probably the last dialogue of the series).
After all the campers and counselors had left Little Otter at the end of summer, Kip (Thom Green) got into his dad’s car. “So … how was it?” his dad asked him. “It was the best summer ever,” Kip said with a smile.
Obviously, it wasn’t a perfect summer — there were pregnancy scares, violent fights, infidelity, money problems, betrayals, health issues, etc. — but to Kip and all his Little Otter friends and co-workers, it really was the best summer ever. Everyone changed so much, learned so much, and had so much to look forward to next summer simply because of the connections they made this summer at Little Otter, and that is how “Camp” truly captured the real camp experience.
For viewers who were fortunate enough to spend summers at camp when they were children/teens, the series managed to portray that rare feeling of knowing that even though you can never go back to that exact moment in time, you’ll always have the memories for the rest of your life. Even if you do go back next summer, the people will be different, the experiences will be different, and you will be different. It will still be the best summer ever, but it won’t be how it was last summer.
That is exactly how the “Camp” season finale ended: everyone was the right mixture of happy, sad, excited, nervous, and confused. That overwhelming combination of feelings summed up an entire summer of extreme ups and downs, happiness and tragedy, young love, make-ups and breakups, and most of all, friendship that will last for life.
So even though “Camp” won’t be winning any Emmys, it achieved something even more important in its brief 10-episode season — it reminded at least one person how it felt to have the best summer ever.