Eleven years ago today, Steve Jobs announced the advent of the iPhone, and revolutionized the way we use portable technology. And while this new development had incredible transformative effects on our everyday lives and capabilities, the sudden reach of communication – especially the prevalence of social media – has also had serious negative effects on adolescents, and without moderation has proven to be a detriment to healthy development.
There are countless benefits to the fact that Maine Camp Experience (MCE) camps eliminate or mitigate the presence of technology in campers’ day to day lives. Without the stress of maintaining a social media presence, kids and teens are able to focus on making and maintaining healthy human connections. And a divorce from the stimuli of screen time can be incredibly beneficial for kids to continue developing their imaginations. In fact, the combination of a screen-free summer with the (well-supervised) independence children experience at camp is one reason that kids are able to mature and grow at such an accelerated rate each summer.
However, there is a clear difference between creating tech-free summers for campers, and ignoring the ways technology can help camps run a seamless summer. MCE camps do an incredible job of utilizing technology behind the scenes to create safe and fun-filled summers for campers and parents, while also giving campers all the benefits of a much-needed break from screen time. Many MCE camps utilize technology to organize enrollment, create camper programs, respond effectively to any situations that arise, and create a current of communication that keeps everyone up-to-speed on the ongoing summer at camp.
At Many MCE camps, enrollment and camper management software helps camps effectively deal with the day-to-day necessities of running camp life. These types of software help camps organize camper health files, manage bunk and/or table placement (though of course many MCE camps also use a personal touch when creating these assignments), coordinate staff and camper travel, and attend to a bevy of other logistical considerations. Some camps that have elective programs also use software to help assign campers to activities, inputting camper preference and taking age groups into account in order to create camp-wide schedules that let everyone try their favorite activities – and importantly ensure that your nine-year-old isn’t being exposed to lacrosse with a group of high-school varsity athletes. Technological advancements are also present in a plethora of camp activities, and while Black and White photography is still a mainstay at many MCE camps, some camps also give kids access to digital cameras, as well as state of the art video and recording studios!
Perhaps the greatest benefit that technology provides to camps and families each summer is with regards to communication. At the camp I work at, the majority of staff members are forbidden to carry their cell phones and must keep them in a locker, but senior staff members are in fact required to carry theirs so that we are able to communicate effectively at a moment’s notice. We utilize technology to read up-to-the-minute weather radars, and to communicate with one another, effectively ensuring all campers are safely indoors if a summer storm is imminent. Technology allows camps to message parents when the bus arrives at the beginning of each session, and one-way e-mail systems allow parents to send printed e-mails to their children, keeping them truly up-to-date with their rest-hour reading (though it’s always nice to receive some old fashioned letters as well). Some MCE camps post hundreds of photographs each week, taken on high-end digital cameras and immediately uploaded to the camp website, which allows parents to stay connected to their children from different states, countries, or even continents!
There is a reason that a summer spent at camp feels like “the good old days,” and one huge benefit of MCE camps is the way they limit the presence of technology in their campers’ lives. However, camps also effectively utilize technology every day and every summer, and the tools technology provides are integral to creating unforgettable summers each year. Camp allows kids to unplug, while keeping parents and administrators plugged in, and this really is the best of both worlds.
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth. Next, be sure to contact our Maine Campcierge™ to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child. You can share your own Maine camps memories & expressions of gratitude on our Memories of Camp section of our website.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.