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A Visit to Camp Kikiwaka: On the Set of Disney Channel’s BUNK’D

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Having attended “camp” several times as a kid (for Boy Scouts & church), there was a strange familiarity stepping onto the set of BUNK’D at Hollywood Center Studios last month. Along with 24 other familiar writers from the pop culture parenting space, I entered Camp Kikiwaka and took a seat inside a mess hall/lodge to meet the kids from the principal cast. A spin-off of the ever-popular JESSIE (which has come to a close after four seasons), there’s some familiar faces in Peyton List (Emma Ross), Karan Brar (Ravi Ross) and Skai Jackson (Zuri Ross) as siblings sent from New York City to Maine (Cameron Boyce is now over on GAMER’S GUIDE TO PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING) – an adventure that finds them as Counselors-in-Training at the very camp where their parents first met. Rounding out the cast are Miranda May (Lou), Kevin Quinn (Xander), Nina Lu (Tiffany) and Nathan Arenas (Jorge).

The main lodge was so realistically-designed that I kept looking for a place to plug-in my phone – a habitual thing, but one out of place on a set that kept reminding me of THE GREAT OUTDOORS. With leaves crunching upon the artificial turf underfoot, there was a distinct Fall vibe inside, despite the summery setting. There was a feeling of comfort, and I kept wanting to play a game of pool or foosball… but just had to keep reminding myself that this was TV reality. But wait…

THE ROCK FATHER on the BUNK'D set...
Photo: by Colby Shipwash – Days of a Domestic Dad

TV reality (most certainly not “reality TV”) says I should be playing foosball – it’s right there in the script!

BUNK'D script?

Of course, the in-studio audience let out a hearty chuckle at that point, but in the next scene, things started to get really weird…

BUNK'D Script 2?

I used my “Mind Camera” to capture the scenery so that I could draw a picture later.

Back to reality, the cast was taking turns shooting promo segments for Disney Channel Canada, doing photo shoots and meeting with online press to discuss the show. With so much new, and very young talent on-board, the enthusiasm was palpable as some of the newcomers were joining a show alongside characters with whom they were already familiar. With so many smiles and cameras flashing – it was like making a camp album in an afternoon…


Check out a preview of BUNK’D…

BUNK’D will premiere on July 31, 2015 immediately following Disney’s DESCENDANTS on Disney Channel. Catch new episodes airing Friday nights at 8pm ET/PT.

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