Cell phones. What wonderful tools they are – at home. The only people at camp who carry cell phones are the cooks, directors and maintenance person so that we can communicate with each other. Counselors are only allowed cell phones on their breaks and only away from kids. But how do we ensure kids don’t sneak their phones in to camp?
Of course, there are situations that arise during the week where parents might need to contact their children. We urge you to use our landline or email, and we will pass your message on. More often than not, parent contact will remind the camper of what they miss and compound his or her homesickness. Our mail system works so well because the kid is comforted by your words, but will not see or hear you. You would be surprised at what a difference this distinction makes!
Encouraging your camper to break the rules and sneak their phone in does not teach them responsibility or self-sufficiency. Coming to camp can be scary, but leaving home is a trial all kids should face, and camp is one of the safest places to have this learning experience. We have time away from the pressures of everyday society and learn about self respect and reflection, stewardship to the earth and each other, and how to take what we’ve learned home at the end of the week.
So remember for summer 2013: if you are worried about your camper getting homesick, encourage them to get involved with and absorbed in everything camp! Help them focus on the positive parts by writing encouraging notes or emails. We look forward to another summer with you!