Camp Orange celebrates 10 years on air
Camp Orange: Force 10
Nickelodeon Australia’s local reality series Camp Orange will celebrate its tenth year in production this June, making it the longest running kids’ reality series on subscription TV in the country.
Developed in 2005 and winner of three ASTRA Awards, the 6×30 format series is based on themes of friendship, fair play and adventure for kids aged 10-13. This year, the production smashed its own personal record of submissions with an impressive 7,000 entries from kids all over Australia and New Zealand.
So what is the secret to Camp Orange’s success?
“I think the fact that anyone from 10 to 13 could be part of it. It could be you,” says Executive Producer, Network Creative Director and Head of Production Kristie Phelan. “It could be you and your besties.
“I think there is something really contagious about watching a really authentic kids program where there are ‘real kids’ having the time of their life. Knowing that you could be on it with your besties – just like an ultimate kid adventure – there’s something wonderful about watching that.”
Phelan says making each season bigger and better than the last is always a challenge, though the move last year from its traditional camping ground location to Sea World on the Gold Coast assisted in refreshing the series format.
“Each year we think: “Has it run its course? Do we want to evolve to something else or try something else?” But each year it’s just bigger and bigger. The research shows that it’s just such a massive flagship production for us. We can’t let go of it. It’s too special,” Phelan says.
“In saying that, we have evolved over the years. Each year we manage to change it up, so it’s whether we get parents involved, or families against families, I don’t know.”
This year, in recognition of the show’s decade milestone, Phelan has upped the ante with more kids on the show than ever before.
“We have tried to make season 10 very special, so we’ve got 10 kids,” she says. “We only normally do four teams of besties, so this year we’ve done 10 kids, 10 challenges… an adventure10 years in the making, that sort of thing.
“We’ve got 16 HD cameras versus the four cameras we had in the first series, and we use GoPro everywhere so the vision is so spectacular. We’re putting together episode two at the moment, and just the technology has come on so much, we’re able to capture all those absolute moments of joy and laughter and just everybody absolutely having a ball, which every kid at home wants to do.”
Camp Orange: Force 10 premieres on Nickelodeon on Tuesday, 10 June at 5.30pm.