Bart and Lisa head to Kamp Krusty for the Summer, but instead of meeting Krusty, them and the other kids are put to work making crummy merchandise.
Bart doctors his report card so that he can attend Kamp Krusty for the summer. Homer knows he needs to keep Bart at home but - so he can get him off his hands - sends him (along with Lisa) anyway. Bart and Lisa and all their friends are looking forward to a summer of camping, swimming, hiking and overall fun. But when they get there, they discover that camp director Krusty the Clown is nowhere in sight and that he has put someone named Mr. Black in charge. The camp turns out to be little more than a sweatshop, with the children forced to assemble substandard merchandise to be sold at cut-rate prices; when they aren't working, the youths are forced to endure grueling basic training-type activities. Mr. Black's camp counselors, the Springfield bullies (Dolph, Jimbo and Kearney), help keep order at the camp and feed the kids nothing but gruel. Lisa manages to smuggle a letter out of the camp calling for help, but when Mr. Black tries to pass off a drunken Barney as Krusty, Bart has had enough. He rallies his camp-mates together to stage a huge revolt, driving Mr. Black and the bullies away. Homer - who has lost weight and grown hair because of his stress-free, Bart-free summer - loses all the progress he made upon seeing Brockman's TV news coverage of the camp riot. A vacationing Krusty also sees the news report and, setting his priorities straight, rushes to the camp to apologize to the kids. He takes them to the happiest place on earth - Tijuana, Mexico!
Bart and Lisa attend "Kamp Krusty" but it is nothing like they thought it would be; Homer's hair grows back and he loses weight while the kids are away.
- Homer and Marge have set an ultimatum for Bart and Lisa: if they can get above a C-average in each of their school course, they can go to Kamp Krusty.
Lisa's report card is perfect (with the exception of a 'B' in conduct), but Bart's grades are in the D-range. Bart attempts to plead with Mrs Krabappel and fix his grade, but this does not work. Even so, Homer lets Bart go, simply on the grounds of not wanting to put up with him all summer long.
Arriving at Kamp Krusty, the kids are informed that Krusty the Clown will be coming in the next few days, but until then, a straight-laced man in a suit named Mr Black will be in charge. Mr Black enlists Dolf, Kearney and Jimbo to enforce law in the camp, usually bullying and chastising the campers.
The facilities are a nightmare, the kids are served Krusty-brand imitation gruel, and forced to make imitation Gucci wallets in 'arts and crafts.' Lisa manages to send a letter to Homer and Marge detailing the terrible conditions, but the two simply think she's exaggerating. In the meantime, without Bart and Lisa, Homer has grown new hair and lost weight, and has rekindled his love life with Marge.
Eventually, Mr Black says that Krusty has arrived, but it turns out to just be Barney Gumbel in a bad Krusty suit. Finally pushed to his breaking point, Bart encourages the kids to rebel, taking over the camp and sending Mr Black and his cronies running.
Eventually, the news of the camp takeover reaches Krusty, who has been spending his time in England. Coming to the camp, Bart outlines what happened, and Krusty promises to make it up to the kids...by taking them all to Tijuana for 2 weeks!