Spotted a nice article about summer camp in the American Way Magazine. It’s called “Summer, Unplugged.” The author, Winston Ross, interviews several camp directors and camp kids to find out what’s so attractive about being at camp. There’s a lot of good stuff to read, so you should go check it out.
One thing that stood out for me, was the discussion about technology and how camp is so nice because it doesn’t have cell phones, video games, television and the Internet. Campers admit that it’s really tough to give that stuff up at first, but once they settle in at camp, they appreciate being “unplugged.” One girl put it this way.
“It’s kind of like a symbolic way of stepping out of the real world,” she says. “It allows me to take off from home, leave my worries, thoughts about college, and stress behind. I just go escape.”
Turning off your technology allows you to really engage all of what camp offers— the real friendships, the physical activity, and the chances to explore and discover the natural world. Instead of being entertained by a flickering screen, you get to create a fun time with your friends. You get to actually do really cool things instead of just sitting around “watching” something. …Take off your shoes, soak ’em in the creek, and let’s make a basket.
When you think about it, there’s a lot more to life, to being human, than “facebooking,” text messaging, and watching “reality” TV. These days, it takes a real effort to get past all of that so you can exercise those more important parts of who you are. Camp is special place to help with that effort. It’s perfect for reminding you that life is more fun in the real world.