Children who attended summer camp in the past did so knowing they would have a week or so full of fun activities. Generation Y children of all ages, however, may have difficulties if they are sent to summer camp. Many of these children are dependent upon technology and feel they simply can’t do without it.
Corey Solomon, Camp Director at Appel Farm Camp in Elmer, New Jersey said campers are encouraged to bring mp3 devices because they are an arts camp and music is very important. However, children and teens are asked not to bring devices which access the internet or they are asked to surrender the sim card from their device until they leave. This means campers will not be able to update their Facebook or MySpace accounts while they’re at camp.
“Half of the battle is getting parents to buy into leaving these devices at home. These parents are younger and are used to having immediate access to their children. We ask them to trust us to take care of their children and contact them if the need arises,” stated Solomon.
According to Solomon, “I just attended a conference with Camp Directors from across the country. The rule across the board is that cell phones are not allowed.” Why are hand-held devices discouraged during summer camp? Campers who have their cell phone or other hand-held device which connects to the internet don’t get the full benefit of the camp experience. They are distracted by texting their school friends or accessing the internet that they aren’t able to make new friends.
In the past it was the older campers who were dependent upon cell phones, iPods, iPhones and handheld gaming systems. Now children as young as ten bring these items to camp and can’t understand why they’re not allowed to use them. Solomon stated it is the junior high school students who have the most problem with the rules regarding technology devices. High school students understand the rules and now look forward to a time they can disconnect from the outside world.
Camps generally also discourage the use of the camp phone as much as possible. Part of the reason parents send their children to camp is to help them learn independence and self-confidence. Phone calls home are limited to emergencies so the campers will learn to lean on someone other than their parents. Not being able to call home for every problem encourages children to learn to solve their own problems and learn self-sufficiency. It also helps them turn to their camp counselors and build a trusting relationship with them.
If you’re interested in finding a summer camp for your child, no matter the age, there’s no better place to look than www.SummerCamps.com. They have tips and hints on everything related to summer camps. The website offers advice on what questions to ask a Camp Director when looking for a camp for your child. Don’t forget to ask about technology devices and whether they’re allowed when searching for the right summer camp for your child.