Our boys enjoyed a delicious french toast breakfast this morning and made their way out to the fields for team games. The wind was brisk coming across Long Lake, and our fleet of Takajo sailboats looked as if they could keep pace with our speedboats. We had our first rain at four o’clock in the afternoon today; which, quite frankly, gave our boys a chance to take a deep breath and relax before dinner.
The energy is great in camp, and you can feel the campers and staff starting to bond. As the boys begin to familiarize themselves with their coaches, they have begun preparing for inter-camp games that will take place over the next few days. At the same time, our pioneering staff has been preparing for their first few excursions. Beginning tomorrow, our campers will have the opportunity to enjoy trips that consist of hiking, canoeing, and exploring this beautiful state where our camp resides.
While my focus and attention is on all of the positive aspects of our program, I must admit that I am a little bit upset and discouraged by the lack of compliance from some of our families regarding the issue of phones at camp. While one may feel that they need to offer their child this connection, they fail to understand the negative implications that these phones have on the rest of our community. When one or two boys in a cabin have a cell phone it changes the entire dynamic of the group, and it entices boys to call home, text friends, play mindless games, and disengage from camp altogether.
I have received a number of calls from parents who embrace the camp’s cell phone policy and are frustrated that their sons are being surrounded by peers who have refused to unplug and are dangling their cell phones right in front of their noses.
For some, transitioning to summer camp is a challenge. For an adolescent boy leaving the creature comforts of their homes where they have constant access to instant communication can often be difficult. For these boys, a cell phone in the bunk, whether it belongs to them or not, hinders their ability to become fully engaged in camp. As a parent, there have been many occasions where I have had to look my own children in the eye and tell them that upon reflection, I think I made a poor decision.
Now, as I appeal to your sense of reason by sharing with you how harmful these phones are to the overall experience of a child in camp, I urge you to do the right thing and tell your child to turn his phone into the office. While I’ve always prided myself on speaking to the majority in this particular case, I feel it is necessary to appeal to the few in order to preserve the integrity of the institution that I hold so dear.