How to Talk to Your Camper About “The Parent Trap”
As a new member of the Camp Walden family, we’d like to invite you to share and celebrate our rich history. Part of that history includes inspiring both the 1961 and 1998 Disney films, “The Parent Trap,” starring Hayley Mills and Lindsay Lohan respectively. It was our sacred campfire that brought the famous twins together. As much as we appreciate the beauty of their reunion, their story and the movie’s popularity has caused some confusion about the mission of our beloved camp. Camp Walden does not reunite divorced parents nor long lost twins.
If you suspect your camper chose Camp Walden because of a desire to fix a broken home or reunite with a dead/lost twin, please let us know, so we can assign her to our specially allocated cabin. In the “Let’s Get Together Cabin,” campers searching for a solution to their parents’ broken marriage or missing twin will join in all normal camp activities but also attend a special dreamcatcher workshop taught by camp psychologist and drama teacher, Dawn Buderwitz, a second year Psychology major at San Sebastian Community College. Dawn will encourage campers to use their yarn and bead dreamcatchers to channel and contain their “Parent Trap” fantasies.
Despite, precautionary measures, campers frequently return from camp with the urge to “trap” their parents. Divorced parents should be on guard and watch for questions like “What made you fall in love with Mom?” or “Does Al Green remind you of Dad?” All significant others of recently divorced parents should be gently warned, and camping trips with new partners and campers immediately after Camp Walden are not advisable. Inspired by “The Parent Trap,” campers may abuse their new Camp Walden wilderness skills to torture potential step-parents with tricks depicted in the movie: sugar-water-for-bug-repellant, lizard-on-the-head and bear-licking-honey-feet. Please talk to your campers about the Disney movies and remind them that they were fiction. There was no happy ending for the real twins.
The Sad Truth
Tomahawk Times, Camp Walden’s merit-badge-winning newspaper, recently revealed that the twins depicted in “The Parent Trap” did not “trap” their parents for long. They divorced five months after they remarried. Having always been unwilling to figure out custody arrangements, they decided to put both twins up for adoption and be done with it. Separated from their parents, the twins turned their knack for adorable hijinks into a life of crime. They worked the Eastern Seaboard as low level con artists until the 1980’s when one of the twins, it’s unclear which one, disappeared. The Tomahawk’s investigations are ongoing, but their behavior at the Camp Walden reunion suggests that one twin may have killed the other in order to assume her identity.
Talk to your camper about the real “Parent Trap” before they visit Camp Walden. Remind them that no one, even if they are your parents, should be “trapped” in marriage. Being forced to return to an unhappy marriage can cause severe mental and physical abuse for all involved, especially vulnerable children, resulting in permanent trauma or in the twins’ case, abandonment and death. Once you clear that up, your camper can get back to picking between paddle boarding and archery!
“You can leave camp but camp never leaves you.”
-Camp Walden Motto