Camp Wilder is an American television sitcom which aired on ABC from September 18, 1992 until February 26, 1993. The premise centered on a young woman who opens up her home to the friends of her younger siblings, who sought it as judgment-free "hangout", and who regularly went to her for advice. The series was created by Matthew Carlson, and produced by a.k.a. Productions in association with Capital Cities Entertainment.

The show aired as a part of ABC's popular TGIF lineup, but was cancelled after 19 episodes due to low ratings. A 20th episode was produced, but was never aired in the US. Camp Wilder was also shown in the UK and Germany, where it became a hit.

Synopsis Edit

Ricky Wilder (Mary Page Keller) is a 28-year-old nurse and single mother, raising her family in her childhood home in lieu of her deceased parents. Ricky's only actual child was her 6-year-old daughter Sophie (Tina Majorino), but she was also the principal guardian to her younger, teenage siblings, sixteen-year-old Brody (Jerry O'Connell) and thirteen-year-old Melissa (Meghann Haldeman). From the time their parents died, Ricky understood that she couldn't change out of her persona as the "cool, approachable" older sister, and mixed parenting tactics in with the setting of a casual, laissez-faire household. In fact, the atmosphere in the Wilder house was so laid back that many of Brody and Melissa's friends sought it as a refuge from the stricter, more confining homes run by their traditional parents. Ricky thus welcomed them all in with open arms, and they regularly sat around the family's kitchen table and dished about life's various happenings and dilemmas, while Ricky helped them sort out their issues and dispensed sound advice in a non-judgmental, friend-like way. As a result, the neighborhood youth nicknamed their home "Camp Wilder."

Among the regular inhabitants of Camp Wilder were Brody's off-kilter best friend Dorfman (Jay Mohr) and Melissa's friends Beth (Margaret Langrick) and Danielle (Hilary Swank). Many other friends and classmates of theirs passed through Camp Wilder in guest appearances, most notably Dexter (Jared Leto), a hip, motorcycle-riding bad boy who Danielle had the hots for. However, it was goofball Dorfman who quickly became the show's breakout character, with his gross-out humor causing friction with the girls, and Ricky's numerous attempts to help him become an upstanding young man (i.e., teaching him work ethic by giving him a job as an orderly at her hospital, saving him from being held back in school by becoming his tutor, etc.). Other stories focused on the escapades of the Wilders, and especially on Sophie, who was beginning to look up to Brody as a surrogate father figure rather than just as an uncle. Throughout the show's 20 episodes, she began exhibiting tomboyish traits, and at Christmas, she told the family that all she wanted was to be a boy.

Cast Edit

  • Mary Page Keller ... Ricky Wilder
  • Jerry O'Connell ... Brody Wilder
  • Meghann Haldeman ... Melissa Wilder
  • Tina Majorino ... Sophie Wilder
  • Jay Mohr ... Dorfman
  • Hilary Swank ... Danielle
  • Margaret Langrick ... Beth

Episodes Edit

Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1-1 "Bad Influence" September 18, 1992
1-2 "See Spot Go" September 25, 1992
1-3 "The First Kiss" October 2, 1992
1-4 "To Protect and Serve" October 9, 1992
1-5 "Melissa's Friend" October 16, 1992
1-6 "Sophie's Birthday" October 23, 1992
1-7 "Spirit of Friendship" October 30, 1992
1-8 "It's a Wonderful Video" November 6, 1992
1-9 "Something Wilder" November 13, 1992
1-10 "Boy Loses Girl" November 20, 1992
1-11 "Jung at Heart" December 4, 1992
1-12 "A Close Shave" December 18, 1992
1-13 "Career Day" January 8, 1993
1-14 "I Love You, Margaret B. Sanger" January 15, 1993
1-15 "Bringing Up Brody" January 22, 1993
1-16 "Forget-Me-Not" February 5, 1993
1-17 "Love Stinks" February 12, 1993
1-18 "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dorfman" February 19, 1993
1-19 "That Was Thin, This is Now" February 26, 1993

Awards and nominations Edit

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1993 Young Artist Awards Nominated Outstanding Actress Under Ten in a Television Series Tina Majorino
Best Young Actress in a New Television Series Hilary Swank
Best Young Actress in a New Television Series Meghann Haldeman

External links Edit

  • Camp Wilder at the Internet Movie Database
  • Camp Wilder at
  • Camp Wilder at
  • Camp Wilder intro from Retrojunk

Reference Edit