Real Connections are Made at Camp
June 5, 2012, by MCE
Real Connections are Made at Camp
June 5, 2012, by MCE

I know someone with 2224 Friends.

In my weekly scanning of Facebook updates I noticed that one of my friends on Facebook has hit the 2K mark. He is a great guy, don’t get me wrong, but how is it humanly possible to be truly connected to that many people.

I am blown away by the power of online social networking sites and how they connect so many people who otherwise might never come in contact again, or never had any contact at all.

Just like most other Facebook users, I easily get sucked in and could get lost in its world for hours at a time. I believe in its positive contribution to our society and try to leverage its abilities to the fullest.

That being said, I hold myself back from being too locked in with online social networking. I look at my 3-year old son, Tyler, who already knows how to use an iPhone and iPad at a level that makes me think about placing parental controls on it, and wonder if he is on his way to being brainwashed by technology. I see emotional, physical and communicative growth after each playdate, each day of pre-school, and each extended interaction with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. I don’t see such growth after each time he successfully plays the Barnyard game on the iPad.

At camp, Tyler, along with all of our campers, are in the ideal environment for such emotional, physical and communicative development. Throughout the fall and winter months, I have had numerous conversations with parents about how much their sons matured, gained confidence, and developed a spirit that has carried into other parts of their lives.

Such character building is fostered through the social environment that camp is. Camp is a community that speaks to the importance of collaboration, respect, kindness and humility. There are no agendas being linked to in-person interactions between campers and staff other than working together to achieve both common and individual goals.

You don’t need 2000 plus “friends” to have people in your life that you will be truly connected to forever. Those are the people that will always be there for you, attend your special life events and share memories that cannot be duplicated online. The community at camp, and the smaller communities within camp like your cabin and College League team, facilitate those relationships, whether it’s one, two, or twenty, that are so special, and are real.

Note: The friend I referred to with 2224 friends is a 13-year Manitou camper, counselor and Manitou Experience Volunteer.  His online community is so strong because of the real community he forms in and out of camp.

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“I greatly enjoyed speaking with Laurie (Guide at Maine Camp Experience). Thanks to her guidance, ideas and suggestions we truly feel that our ultimate choice is the right one for us. We can trust that our seven year old daughter will have a wonderful summer!”




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