Heavyweights - 1995
Age-appropriateness: Many mean references to overweight children, including insults and comparison. Pranks and rebellious behavior. Verbal and social abuse from a person in authority.
Overview: When a new owner takes over a summer camp, kids must learn how to stick up for themselves while learning personal responsibility and self-control.
Themes: camp, mentor, health and wellness, self-respect, discipleship, friendship, change, justice, leadership, temptation, bullying
The Quick 3
Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.
1. Self-respect. How do you stick up for yourself when someone mistreats you?
Pat, Gerry, and the rest of the kids learned to stick up for themselves. They were proud of who they were, instead of wishing they were someone else.
2. Mentor. Who are the mentors in your life that you look up to?
Pat was a great mentor to the campers, modeling what it looks like to have fun and treat others with respect and kindness.
3. Personal responsibility. What can you do to improve your health?
The campers decided to take on personal responsibility and self-control. They became in charge of their own improvement and were motivated to get healthier.
After The Movie Discussion Guide
Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.
1. The new owner of Camp Hope, Tony Perkins, was a very unwanted change from all of the campers. He was a much different leader from the Bushkins, the former owners. Have you ever experienced an unwanted change in your life? How did it make you feel?
2. Pat was a great mentor to Gerry. He gave Gerry someone to look up to. Pat modeled what it looked like to have fun and to be selfless as you show kindness to others. Psalm 145:4 encourages mentors when it says, "One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” Who are some mentors in your life that you look up to?
3. Pat tried to give wisdom and encouragement to a bunch of campers. This is a “discipleship” type of relationship. In the Bible, a disciple is a “follower” of Jesus. Mature followers of Jesus would selflessly teach others so that they could spread the love of Christ throughout the world. What do you think is the importance with discipleship?
4. Tony mistreated the campers in many different ways. He insulted them regularly and treated them with disrespect. Tony acted incredibly selfishly and didn’t care if he hurt others. What do you think the campers should’ve done when Tony began hurting their feelings and treating them poorly?
Check out How to Talk to Your Kids About Bullying.
5. The campers ended up deciding that they do want to improve their health. What are some ways you can improve your health?
6. Parent resource: Tips for Healthy Children and Families
Minute By Minute Guide
Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.
:05 Gerry’s parents try to convince him to go to a summer camp to help him lose weight. Have your parents ever tried to convince you to do something that you didn’t want to do?
:13 Everyone in the Chipmunk bunk snuck in candy into camp. They broke the rules to make things more fun. Have you ever done something you knew was wrong, just because it was a fun thing to do?
:19 Tony Perkins promises the campers that he’s going to do more than “give you a light…I’m going to show you the light.” Jesus came to Earth to bring “light” in the darkness. In John 8:12, Jesus says, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” What do you think it means to bring “light into the darkness”?
:26 Tony says, “We’re not teaching (the kids) about sports, we’re teaching them about life!” In what way can sports teach you bout life?
:30 Tony removes the candy from the camper’s bunk. He says he wants to remove all temptation from their lives. A temptation is a desire to do something wrong or unwise. Jesus encouraged his followers, “Pray that you will not give into temptation.” (Luke 22:40). When was the last time you were tempted to do something you knew you shouldn’t do?
:35 Gerry says that, “Tony leads by example, but we’re afraid to follow.” How do you know that a leader is worth following? Which leaders are you following right now?
:41 Tony tried to humiliate the boys into losing weight by hosting a dance just to embarrass them. As soon as he sees his plan didn’t work, Tony shuts down the dance. Why do you think someone would want to embarrass someone on purpose?
:54 During the weigh-in, Tony recognizes that the kids are cheating. Have you ever cheated in anything that you’ve done? What made you want to cheat?
1:06 Gerry and the rest of the campers start to stick up for themselves after they were being mistreated over and over by Tony. How do you usually react when someone mistreats you?
1:14 After over-indulging at a party, the campers all feel horribly sick the next day. Pat encourages them to take personal responsibility and tolerant self-control. He motivates the campers to take control of their health. What are some things you can do to improve your health?
1:32 Gerry wins the go-kart race and Camp Hope wins the Apache Relay. For them, winning wasn’t about getting a trophy. It was about the satisfaction of accomplishing something great as a team. What’s your favorite part about winning?