The idea to make the film about Camp Jened started "with an off-hand comment at lunch". James LeBrecht had worked with Nicole Newnham for 15 years as a co-director. LeBrecht was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair to get around, and had never seen a documentary related to his "life's work as a disability rights advocate". At the end of the lunch meeting, LeBrecht told Newnham: "You know, I've always wanted to see this film made about my summer camp".
In 1951, Camp Jened was established at the foot of Hunter Mountain in the Catskill Mountains as a camp for disabled children, teenagers, and adults. The camp was meant to provide a nurturing community environment for people with a range of disabilities, such as polio and cerebral palsy. Camp sessions were typically four weeks or eight weeks. In the 1950s, the camp followed a relatively traditional summer camp structure. Alan Winters served as an early director of the camp. The camp was partially funded and supported by the Jened Foundation, a parent-led foundation that organized fundraisers. Counselors were typically college students who had been recruited for summer jobs.