Why Register for Camp @ Camp Kintail?
The Camp Kintail staff and board work hard all year long to make sure camp is a fun, safe, and learning environment for all our campers and guests. This is part of a series about why Camp Kintail is a great summer camp to send your child to, highlighting common questions we get from parents. At the end of conversations with new Kintail parents, the common comment has been, “We heard from a friend Kintail was a great camp, and after hearing your answers we can see why. The previous camp my children attended did not have these services or policies in place, and I wish I would have asked.”
Question: Can my child bring their cell phone to camp?
Answer: The short answer to this question is “no”, campers do not have access to their cell phones at camp. However, there is a longer answer that we have spent a lot a time considering as technology continues to evolve.
Children spend much more time today in front a screen than in any other generation. They also spend much less time active and outdoors. Author Richard Louv has even coined the term “Nature Deficiet Disorder.” He believes that many behavioural issues stem back to the fact that children need a connection to nature and that in our busy, technologically savvy world, they are not spending enough time in the outdoors.
Camp is one place where children spent most of their time outdoors, offering an antidote to time spent inside and at school. Being outside is one of our core values, found in our GROW philosophy. We want children to be outside, learning about ecology at nature, hiking by the creek during outdoor living skills, sleeping in a tent on an overnight, playing in the waves, watching the bunnies, picking carrots from the garden, and lying on their backs watching the stars. We believe that camp is the place to experience all of this first hand, not through a screen.
Spending time outdoors is one of the ways in which some children primarily connect with their faith. Dave Csinos, who will be speaking at Kintail in May, describes about a quarter of children who have a “symbol oriented spirituality” who need to spend time outdoors, being silent, and allowing God to speak to them through nature. This is the primary way they feel close to God and the opportunity to be outdoors at camp fosters this relationship.
We are not anti-technology at camp, and we do believe it has a place, but we think camp is an opportunity to take a break for a week and connect with people on a face to face basis, not through a screen. Some campers (and their parents) are concerned about this at first, but after a couple of days, they often express relief at being able to take a break from their cell phone.
While it is difficult to not be able to text or talk to your child each day, there are some “low-tech” ways to stay connected. Many parents take advantage of the “Kintail Post Office” and drop off mail for their child on opening day. This can include letters or a small package. When your child receives a postcard, love letter, package, or three pieces of mail in one day, they will have to sing for their mail with a small group of campers and staff. A note tucked into a suitcase or sleeping bag is also a great way to stay connected.