Every year when summer rolls around, the school year comes to an end. What doesn’t end, however, is the barrage of information and distractions people receive this no deposit list from their computers, video games, and cell phones!
Admittedly, teens often feel addicted to their devices. For some, it’s a challenge to put down the phone and close the laptop, especially when they know that friends are just a text or click away.
Many campers, however, tell a very different story after spending a few weeks at Cheley. They often realize that time away from their devices, even if challenging at first, was part of what made their camp experience so memorable.
Why do our campers feel this way after a few weeks of being unplugged? Here are some we see every day at camp.
Camp Provides an Escape from the Constant ‘Ding!’
Everyone knows this feeling. We’re just getting settled in to do some work and then ‘ding!’ the phone buzzes in your pocket. After responding to the message from your sister you open the computer and ‘ding!’ that email that just came in demands a response. It’s hardly possible to do anything!
At home, many of our campers go through this experience on a daily basis. Once they settle in at camp with air purifier, they’re finally able to relax and take the time to read a book or work on a personal project. Not needing to worry about an unexpected interruption from their pocket every two seconds, many teenagers are able to relax, focus and enjoy themselves in ways they find challenging when surrounded by technology.
Spending A Few Weeks Offline Fuels Creativity
When the next YouTube video is always one click away, many teenagers don’t have much practice expressing their creativity on a daily basis. With the constant stream of online gibberish cut off, however, many teens find old interests come alive when they arrive at camp.
The artwork created by our campers is astounding! Some of our campers are sure they are not artistic when they arrive, only to look at their finished work with pride, and maybe a little surprise at their own abilities. Whether it’s working with wood, clay, paint, or leather, campers at Cheley have always had the materials they needed to express their creativity.
Getting Off Of Facebook Allows For Deep Friendships To Form Quickly
Teenagers often feel that chatting online is a great way to connect with friends. Yes, they are communicating, but the depth of these conversations is shallow compared to the bonds formed when sharing face-to-face conversations and unique experiences with others.
This is why camp provides a special opportunity when it comes to building personal relationships. Rather than being separated by a monitor, friendships at camp grow rapidly because campers eat, sleep, and play together all day long. There’s a reason friends who meet at camp often stay in contact their entire lives!
Camp Provides The Opportunity To Create ‘Real’ Memories
At home, it can be all too easy to slip into a cycle of watching TV and playing video games. Nobody wants to waste time, but it often feels like sitting in front of the Xbox is the most exciting option for the day. While these activities are enjoyable in the moment, they often lead to questions like ‘Where did my summer go…?’ when school begins again in the fall.
One of the best ways to get the most out of your summer is to pack it with unique experiences. Filling your weeks with backpacking adventures, sports, fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding are all great ways to ensure that summer will end with memories that will last a lifetime!