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Going to Summer Camp with our Favorite TV Characters

  Thanks to Netflix, we all get to go back to camp this summer, courtesy of the streaming services eight-episode revival of “Wet Hot American Summer.” On July 17, we’ll go back in time to where it all started at Camp Firewood. And the whole gang will be there! We’re talking Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, and Christoper Meloni. “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” transports us and our favorite camp counselors to two months before the cult classic film took place, laying the groundwork for all the shenanigans we’ve come to love so much. In honor of this monumental event, we thought it would be fun to relive some of the best summer camp moments from our favorite shows, both past and present. Take a walk with us down the dusty camp trail, and enjoy this glimpse back at hot cabins, shared latrines, and the promise of making a summer love connection. Carl Goes to Cancer Camp on “Shameless” If you thought Frank Gallagher never did anything nice for any of his brood, think again. After Frank hatched a scheme that convinced Carl he was dying of cancer, Carl was sent to Camp Happy Hopes by an organization that grants wishes for dying kids. In true Gallagher fashion, Carl turns the camp upside down, complaining about the lack of activities and the healthy food. Carl ends up convincing everyone – including at least one soft-hearted counselor – that it doesn’t matter what the kids do, seeing as they’re all dying anyway. The result of his raucous rebellion is one sublime moment where that helpful counselor agrees to show Carl and a couple other dying boys her breasts. Mindy Goes to Jewish Summer Camp on “The Mindy Project” There’s no better place for a first kiss than summer camp. When Mindy bumps into a man she originally met at Camp Takanac, we reminisce with her as she relives the first time they locked lips. Rather than just telling us about it, we get to actually watch awkward teenage versions of Mindy and her rekindled summer camp crush (Seth Rogen) as they navigate the tender – and tenuous – world of summer camp romance. Claire and Phil Try to Ship the Kids Off to Camp on “Modern Family” We never really see anyone go to summer camp on “Modern Family” but they talk about it a lot. As summer camp is a little bit about experiencing the great outdoors and a lot about hot, summer hookups, we think this entry still qualifies. Our favorite “Modern Family” summer camp moment is when Phil and Claire conspire to coordinate all their kids’ summer plans – including Luke’s trip to summer camp in hopes of planting a big, sloppy one on Carly – so that they can have some much-needed alone time. But before they can even think about knocking boots, their wily plans get away from them and, alas, everyone’s dreams of hot summer nights go up in flames. Bart and Lisa Go to Kamp Krusty in “The Simpsons” Of course the Simpson kids end up going to a camp created by their hero that turns out to be a phenomenal disappointment. Bart and Lisa are crestfallen when they learn that Krusty isn’t even there. Rather than entertaining hordes of adoring summer campers, he’s off at Wimbledon “getting smashed.” In the meantime, Springfield’s resident bullies turn the craft cabin into a sweatshop, where other campers are forced to churn out handmade leather wallets. Bart finally has enough and leads a revolt that gets the camp highlighted on the evening news. The exposure puts an end to the knockoff wallets and gets the kids two weeks frolicking in the Tijuana sun with none other than Krusty himself. Angela and Tony Realize They Went to the Same Summer Camp on “Who’s the Boss” When the crew is called to swoop in and save Angela’s homesick son from his summer camp miseries, the environment triggers memories of their own days swimming in the lake and making s’mores. Tony and Angela discover they were at the same summer camp at the same time, way back in the day. As their memories continue to unfold, Angela and Tony find themselves at “Kissing Rock,” and it looks like this might not be their first visit. It’s another case of a summer camp kiss planting the seed for a full-blown grownup romance. From sing-alongs around the campfire to endless rounds of Capture the Flag, summer camp is one of the great, American traditions. And there’s nothing more powerful than a stolen kiss under a broad canopy of stars on a hot, summer night. Whether you have your own camp story or not, be sure to catch “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” and make this summer one to remember.

About the Author

Rebecca Edwards is a pop culture junkie who loves watching, reading about and riffing on her TV addiction du jour. She has been a writer for over two decades. Her current TV obsessions include "Shameless," "True Detective" and "American Horror Story."

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