A group of girls has attended Camp Sunnyside every summer for years, and although they don’t live in the same towns and don’t usually see each other outside of camp, they’ve formed a strong bond from their shared summer adventures. Most of the books take place at the camp and focus on the girls’ friendship, adventures, lessons learned, and relationships with their camp counselors and other campers. Sometimes, there are boy characters from Eagle, a boys’ camp across the lake from the girls’ camp, who are allowed to visit for special occasions and for special projects.
The stories focus on the girls of Cabin 6 at camp:
She is often the leader of the other girls. She has a lot of good ideas, although occasionally, she can be a bit bossy and pushes others into doing things they don’t really want to do.
Trina is a little shy and sensitive. She isn’t fond of competitions because she doesn’t like to see anyone lose and doesn’t like to take part in public performances, with everyone looking at her. However, she’s a good gymnast and doesn’t mind when people watch her do gymnastics. She’s also good at organizing things. Trina’s parents are divorced. Eventually, her mother marries Sarah’s father, and the two girls become step-sisters.
Megan is an imaginative daydreamer. She loves tennis and is good at it.
Sarah prefers reading to sports. She likes good food and can eat a lot, but sometimes, she worries about her weight and diets. Sarah’s mother is dead, and she lives with her father. Eventually, her father marries Trina’s mother, and the two girls become step-sisters.
Of all the girls, Erin is the one who most tries to act grown up. She likes to experiment with makeup, and she’s interested in boys. She sometimes feels like the other girls should start acting more sophisticated and mature.
Different books in the series focus on different girls, giving them the main point of view. The counselor of Cabin 6 is Carolyn, and the girls are fond of her.
Official Camp Sunnyside Song:
“I’m a Sunnyside girl, with a Sunnyside smile,
And I spend my summers in Sunnyside style,
I have sunny, sunny times with my Sunnyside friends,
And I know I’ll be sad when the summer ends,
But I’ll always remember with joy and pride,
My sunny, sunny days at Sunnyside!”
Even the girls in the story sometimes think of their camp song as being a little corny, but they have a lot of nostalgic memories associated with it. (In a way, I feel similarly about the books themselves.)
Books in the Series:
#1 No Boys Allowed (1989)
When some boys from a nearby boys’ camp are guests at Camp Sunnyside while their camp is repaired after a fire, the girls promise each other that they won’t mix with them because Camp Sunnyside should remain an all-girls camp. But, that promise may be harder to keep than they expected. Boys can be friends, too!
#2 Cabin Six Plays Cupid (1989)
The girls try to mend their counselor Carolyn’s relationship with her ex-boyfriend, but the girls’ machinations only lead to trouble.
#3 Color War! (1989)
Usually, the girls have fun during the camp’s annual competition, but when the girls of Cabin Six are split up and put on different teams, the competition threatens to ruin their friendship.
#4 New Girl in Cabin Six (1989)
The camp director’s niece joins the girls in Cabin Six, but she turns out to be a troubled girl. Sarah tries to make friends with her, but when things start to disappear around her, they have to confront the fact that she may be a thief.
#5 Looking for Trouble (1990)
Erin sometimes feels like she’s more mature than the other girls in her cabin, but when she tries to get friendlier with some cool older girls, she starts to question their maturity and their friendship.
#6 Katie Steals the Show (1990)
Katie is thrilled with her role as director as the play Cabin 6 is going to perform, but there’s a big difference between being the boss and just being bossy.
#7 Witch in Cabin Six (1990)
Could the strange, spooky girl who has just joined Cabin Six really be a witch?
#8 Too Many Counselors (1990)
When their camp counselor takes a leave of absence, the girls have a series of substitute counselors, who teach them lessons about leadership through the things they do right and the things they do wrong.
#9 The New and Improved Sarah (1990)
#10 Erin and the Movie Star (1991)
#11 The Problem with Parents (1991)
Trina isn’t sure how she feels about her divorced mother’s new friendship with Sarah’s widowed father. If her mother wants to marry again, why can’t she remarry Trina’s father?
#12 Tennis Trap (1991)
#13 Big Sister Blues (1991)
#14 Megan’s Ghost (1991)
The girl Megan previously defeated in a tennis tournament is out for revenge. At first seeming friendly, she manages to turn Megan’s friends against her, twisting things around to make it seem like Megan has said bad things about them. Fortunately, Megan still has her Camp Sunnyside friends. When they join her for Halloween, they help her face up to a mean dare and clear her reputation.
#15 Christmas Break (1991)
Katie’s parents let the other girls join them on their ski vacation over Christmas break, but things go wrong when Katie wants to try a slope that too difficult and convinces Erin to join her.
#16 Happily Ever After
Sarah’s father and Trina’s mother are marrying each other, and at first, the girls are thrilled, but being sisters is different from just being friends, especially when they have to share a room.
#17 Camp Spaghetti (1992)
The girls visit Rome and have adventures while tracking down Erin’s lost luggage.
#18 Balancing Act (1992)
When a girls’ gymnastics team from a Communist country visits the camp, the Camp Sunnyside girls do their best to make them feel welcome and to impress them, but they may have done their job too well.
#19 School Daze (1992)
The girls head back home and start their first year of junior high school.