15-year-old Stanley Marsh lives a peaceful life in Colorado. However, that peaceful life comes to a sudden halt when he is accused for a crime he didn't commit, and is convicted. He decides to attend Camp South Park, a juvenile detention camp, in lieu of serving a jail sentence. He arrives to find that the camp is situated on a dried-up lake. The camp is run by its warden, PC Principal, his assistant Mr. Garrison, and camp counsellor Mr. Mackey. Prisoners spend each day digging holes in the lakebed to "build character." Just as Stan is finally beginning to fit in with his fellow campers, he ends up puking on "Bruiser," a boy notorious for picking fights.