Escaping from the techno-centric world of today is difficult. We wake up and log on the same way previous generations grabbed the paper from the driveway. The internet and mobile devices ensure we stay updated on the latest trends, news and which friend just had a baby. In this time of likes, shares, downloads and clicks, camp endures as an opportunity to make genuine, human connections. At camp, one rediscovers the fun in playing outdoors, learns more about personal strengths, and over time, finds their own voice.
However, this doesn’t just apply to campers. Staff, too, find camp a pleasant escape from their ever-buzzing world. Many will post farewell messages on their walls, “Heading off to camp. See you in August. Send cards and cookies to…”. That cellphone goes into a locker and comes out once in a while at night or on a day off to let mom and dad know they’re okay.
Being unplugged allows today’s young adults, both campers and staff, to focus on developing 21st Century skills that aren’t always the focus in school. The sheer nature of taking away the technology safety net of Google or Siri forces campers and staff to get back to basics.
Camp generously provides opportunities to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It emphasizes face-to-face communication and helps foster creativity and innovation in both structured and unstructured environments such as the challenge/ropes course or socializing in the bunk.
If you scroll through the newsfeed on Google or the Associated press, it won’t be long before you see an article referencing how artificial intelligence will change the future. This is nothing new. But while technology updates, the core of innovation remains the same; creativity, problem-solving, communication and teamwork. And since Frederick Gunn’s first 10-day trek from Washington, CT, to Welch Point in Milford, camping has remained one constant we can rely upon to foster these skills.
Provided by the American Camp Association, New England, a 501 (c) 3 organization that serves families and camps as the hub for “all things summer camp” in New England. For help finding a camp or for additional camp information and resources in CT, MA, ME, NH, RI & VT, visit www.acanewengland.org or call (781) 541-6080.