As a busy parent, the idea of 10-25 days free of technology or “unplugged” sounds like heaven on earth, right? Our campers don’t always see it that way. But there are benefits to taking a break from the constant connection to the outside world and screen time, especially during COVID. Below you’ll find info on how to best communicate with your child while they are at camp, the benefits of unplugging, and how to help campers prepare to unplug.
Communication at Camp
Campers that will be flying to camp will have their electronic devices stored safely for the duration of the course. We recommend that parents hold onto any electronics if they will be dropping their camper off in person. Campers participating in multiple courses and staying on base between courses will have the opportunity to call home between courses. Otherwise, at our NC and WY locations, campers are welcome to write and receive letters via…you guessed it…SNAIL MAIL! Since most kids rarely receive or send letters in the mail, it’s actually kind of fun! You can also send emails to our Admissions Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, and our staff will distribute them while campers are on base, just like regular mail. By limiting the communication you have with your camper, you are providing them with the opportunity to gain more independence and self-reliance! If at any point, you would like to receive an update on how your child is doing, just give us a call, and we will have your child’s Course Director contact you within 48 hours with an update.
Benefits of Unplugging
Especially in the last year, your child is spending a little too much time in front of a screen (and maybe you too!). This constant stimulation makes it more difficult for kids to regulate their emotions, interpret other peoples’ emotions, and take on more challenging situations that require patience and resilience. Many of our campers have faced challenges in the past with making friends and developing positive peer relationships. By removing the screens and giving kids the opportunity to interact with one another face to face in a fun and adventurous environment, we believe that “unplugging” can help improve social skills and help campers build friendships.
Unplugging also allows your camper to embrace this new adventure free of distractions! Many of our campers are more inclined to spend free time on the computer than outdoors. By unplugging, your camper will try new things, realize new strengths, and develop new interests that they can pursue after camp! While the first day will be an adjustment period for everyone, once campers are engaged in all of the activities going on, their favorite device will be a distant memory!
Preparing to Unplug
Talk to your camper ahead of time about what the expectations are, how you will communicate with them at camp, and what will be expected of them as far as turning over their electronic devices. This will help prevent any registration day freakouts and keep everyone on the same page. We also encourage you to talk about the many benefits of unplugging and remind your camper that no one else will have their favored gadget so this will be a great time for them to relax, make friends, and have fun.