The Best Kind of Connection – Why Camp is Tech Free
Camp Abnaki is a great place for campers to try new things, make mistakes, and get out of their comfort zone. The opportunity for this to happen increases when a boy gets to be their authentic self. We firmly believe that this is easier because of the decision we made years ago that Camp Abnaki would be technology-free. This is an adjustment, for kids and parents alike, and isn’t easy at first. However, there are so many ways to stay engaged at camp that, ultimately, it’s easier than some may think.
Too often, social media encourages us to view our status or worth through the lens of how many friends we have, the number of likes we get, or the length of our Snapchat “streaks.” At camp, we place a premium on time spent face-to-face with friends—laughing, playing, and singing together. Each of these actions helps us feel good about ourselves. Without the draw, and at times crutch, of social media, campers make decisions about what they do with their time and often stretch in new ways that cause them to learn more about themselves. This opportunity for kids to make hundreds of decisions a day helps their confidence, independence and self-esteem. One of my favorite quotes from last summer was “no one said it was going to be easy, they said it was going to be worthwhile”.
Social media and technology have their place in the world, but camp allows a camper to engage with peers and young adults, growing their values, morals and sense of self. Ultimately, it isn’t hard for a camper to see that having 100 friends—or even one—right there with you to play capture the flag or enjoy a camp fire is a whole lot better than 100 friends you only connect with via emojis, texts, Tweets, and Snaps.
A technology-free camp environment gives campers and staff a chance to engage with each other in a way unlike any other; giving us true, lived experiences and all in real time!