Several underlying themes were apparent throughout the show's run. For the characters, working at the camp was either a step up or step down the ladder of success in showbusiness. The younger staff (e.g. Spike Dixon and the Yellowcoats) were keen and enthusiastic about their jobs, which they saw as a lucky break at the start of their careers. For the older members of the staff (e.g. Yvonne, Barry and Mr Partridge), the camp was a step down from past glories. Caught in the middle were staff members close to middle age (e.g. Ted Bovis and Fred Quilly) who still believed they could achieve fame and fortune, and were reluctant to accept that working at a holiday camp was the best they would ever do.
The changing nature of British society was reflected in the series. The erosion of class boundaries that occurred in the post-war years, and attitudes to these changes, was illustrated in the character mix. Jeffrey Fairbrother's determination to leave a promising career in academia for something 'real' was met with horror by his upper-class family and incomprehension by the Dean of his college, who visited the camp to persuade him to return to Cambridge. Yvonne and Barry Stuart-Hargreaves looked down on almost everyone at the camp, save for Fairbrother - although they were disappointed in his insistence that they take part in 'vulgar' games as part of the entertainment, believing he should stand up for people of "his own class". Conversely, the societal changes were welcomed by other staff, particularly Ted and Spike, who believed that Peggy's attempts at becoming a Yellowcoat were thwarted by prejudice against her working-class background, as the current Yellowcoats were middle-class and well-spoken.
The series was set at a time of change in the fashion of the so-called traditional British holiday. During the years after the Second World War, British holiday camps flourished, as people were celebrating with fun and laughter again after years of wartime misfortune. The series was set towards the end of this period, when the original format of holiday camps was coming to an end. Despite the feeling amongst many staff that their brand of fun and entertainment for the whole family was a tradition that would endure, the emerging popularity at the time (late 1950s / early 1960s) for self-catering and holidaying abroad meant the camp was unlikely to survive in its original format. The closing storyline of the series was the camp undergoing drastic changes to modernise with the times, meaning that many of the staff would lose their jobs as their particular talents were no longer required.