The album was made available for pre-order on iTunes on November 1. On the same day, the music video for Bonfire was released through his website and YouTube. The album was made available in its entirety for streaming on NPR.com on November 6. Furthermore on certain editions of the album it was accompanied with download tracks in the form of an EP titled "Camp Side D" with the popular track "Longest Text Message" as an exclusive.
Before the albums release, Glover released a 5 track EP with the lead single "Freaks And Geeks" later being included as a promotional single for the album and appeared on the deluxe edition. The album's lead single, "Bonfire" was debuted on Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 radio show on September 17, 2011. "Heartbeat" was released as the album's second single and reached 18 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 - the song was released as the first official single from the album in the UK on April 23, 2012. On July 24, 2012, the music video for "Fire Fly" was released on VEVO. On January 9, 2013, Childish Gambino released his latest video from Camp, "L.E.S." The song’s title is an acronym for the Lower East Side of the New York Cityborough of Manhattan, the location of the video shoot. Photographer Ibra Aka directed and filmed the video over “several nights” on the streets of the Lower East Side, in front of places like Pianos, and riding in cabs around the district; but not once does Gambino appear himself. While on tour in the summer of 2012, Gambino played this video in the background while he performed "L.E.S." onstage.
Camp received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 69, based on 27 reviews. Barry Nicolson of NME dubbed it "the hip-hop album of the year" and commended Gambino's "focus on being [...] witty, heartfelt, honest and occasionally uproarious." Steve Lepore of PopMatters found the album to be "undoubtedly one of the best records of any genre to come out in 2011" and characterized it as "a juxtaposition of mostly depressing, self-loathing rap mixed with some of the most enjoyable post-Graduation music." In his consumer guide for MSN Music, Robert Christgau complimented its "choral and orchestral movie music" and stated, "it's less surefire than Culdesac. But it's more satisfying emotionally, because the autobiography reaches deep".Mojo stated, "The identity-crisis themed Camp trumps through whip-smart intelligence, comic brio and bristling malign intent."AllMusic editor David Jeffries commended Gambino for "taking indie hip-hop to new levels" and called the album "remarkable".
Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club was more critical, stating "Camp is heavy with themes of racial expectations and cultural ostracism—big ideas that aren’t always done justice by Glover's cartoonishly exaggerated, one-liner-laden flow." Mosi Reeves of Spin found the album to be "a bit of a mess. It veers wildly from poignant emotions to maudlin histrionics, often in the same song."Pitchfork Media's Ian Cohen stated, "While Glover's exaggerated, cartoonish flow and overblown pop-rap production would be enough to make Camp one of the most uniquely unlikable rap records of this year (and most others), what's worse is how he uses heavy topics like race, masculinity, relationships, street cred, and 'real hip-hop' as props to construct a false outsider persona.". Claire Suddath of Time criticized Gambino for "bragging about all of the girls he's banged" too often, but complimented his "catchy, danceable sound very much akin to that of Kanye West" and stated, "Ultimately, Camp is a skillful album created by a conflicted man ... But if Camp doesn't have a motif maybe that's because [he] doesn't have one either. He acts, he writes, he still does stand-up, and yes, he also raps. Some people can't be put into a box that easily."
In the United States, the album debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200, selling 52,000 copies in the first week. As of November 2013, the album has sold 242,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan.