Camp = Sabbath from Technology

August 15, 2018

Technology and Stunted Emotional Growth

Believe me, I understand the irony of this article. most likely read on a mobile device! In the other part of my life, I also work for the Missional Wisdom Foundation, an organization that has a Rule of Life, found here: One of the substitutions I would like to make in my life is under the 'Prayers' heading: "We will fast from food once a week." Not only is this the one part of the Rule that most people stumble over when they first read through it, but I don't know about you, but I have a cell-phone addiction, so fasting from all mobile technology would be a more challenging and mindful practice than fasting from food. Check out this blog-post from Gregg Hunter of Christian Camp & Conference Association (CCCA). His last question seems directed toward me - what would it look like for me to leave my cellphone in the car when I am a guest at camp? - Eric Conklin

Original article here:

by Gregg Hunter, CCCA

“Mom, do I like ranch dressing?” Supposedly, this was a text from a college student to her mom from a salad bar.

It’s an example of young people dependent upon technology, and it points to the use of cell phones as an extension of their own brains. That rather than doing a quick taste test, the student in the story turns to her phone (and her mom) for the answer, because, well, it has all the answers.

A New York Times article... (“Phone-Sick at Camp” By Jill Werman Harris, June 7, 2016) quotes Christopher Thurber, a clinical psychologist who focuses on youth development and summer camp: “How we communicate has changed the nature of attachment, and it complicates the separation that kids and parents go through,” he said.

The article also quoted a study of sixth graders who spent just five days at a tech-free sleepaway camp. According to the study, these kids developed greater understanding of real-world interpersonal communication cues, including a better ability to read facial expressions, make eye contact, and interpret tone of voice and other prompts, such as posture and keeping an appropriate spatial distance with others.

Sounds to me like tech-free camps serve a significant purpose in the social and emotional development of kids today. Is there something adults can learn from this, too?

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A partnership between The Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church
and The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon