The song worked at camp for a number of reasons. The melody is catchy and the lyrics easy to learn. "I want to go home" resonates with the homesickness most campers feel from time to time. The captain's trunk is mentioned, and most campers brought their clothes to camp in a trunk. And who can't help but think of the camp's cook while singing "The poor cook he had fits, ate up all of my grits, then he took and he at up all of my corn." Never had grits at camp, but we did have plenty of corn.
I did find this parody online: