I’m a hypocrite when it comes to technology dependence. While I make my kids put their phones away at meals and when we’re visiting the grandparents, I can’t seem to go very long without checking my email to answer a quick work question or glance at ESPN for a baseball score. Yes, technology is hard to separate from because it’s not only helpful with productivity, it’s immediately gratifying fun.
Yet, we have all been made aware of the perils of living in our screens. We miss what’s happening around us and speed up our senses to the point that we can’t slow down.
This is where overnight camp comes to the rescue for us parents who recognize that our children need a technology vacation. When our kids leave the devices behind, they decelerate their minds and engage their bodies in more physical exercise. At Ramah, with all the sports, hiking, and simple walking up and down the Givah the chanichim do, they become more comfortable with a level of action that they are meant for.
Without electronics, our boys and girls spend more time talking and listening to each other. A recent UCLA study showed that, after only a few days in a camp setting without technology, kids improved their ability to read nonverbal social cues with one another. In this way, our young people come to understand facial expressions and emotions in ways that cell phones cannot give them, even with endless emojis.
While it may be hard for us to detach from our kids because we want to be able to coach them through challenges in life, the lack of cell phone connection with us enables them to develop greater independence and problem-solving skills. Bear in mind that it’s not just us parents who our children call for help, it’s their friends. Without phones, our chanichim must talk things out in person more often.
There are many more benefits to unplugging, but one more is the opportunity to appreciate nature. Kids need trees and blue skies, not cell towers, to help them be centered and aware of the details life presents. Getting this chance to be in our beautiful hillside Ojai surroundings teaches kids to appreciate nature in ways that can last a lifetime and lead them to seek the power of the natural world even when they’re not at camp.
Unplugging from technology is not easy, but Camp Ramah so strongly believes in the advantages of doing it that we ask that no cell phones or devices with internet connectivity be brought to camp. In this way, our chanichim are not cut off from the world outside in so much as they are connected to the world right in front of them.
CAMP RAMAH IN CALIFORNIA TECHNOLOGY POLICY
A summer at camp is a golden opportunity to unplug, focus on real in-person relationships and enjoy outdoor activity. We discourage campers from bringing electronic devices to camp – they can disrupt the community, break, or be left behind. Certain devices are strictly prohibited, and will be confiscated. Cellular phones, TV’s and DVD players, video games with an adult rating, iPads and any device with internet access or video files (ex: iPods may not contain video files). Please note that confiscated cell phones and other electronic devices will be returned home at the family's expense.
Parents, please cooperate and work with us to uphold Camp Ramah policy. If campers bring electronic devices that are permitted they may only be used during “down/quiet time”.
SAVE THE DATE
Don't forget to mark these Ramah
weekends on your calendars!
Friday, July 3rd
10:30AM - 2:30PM
Ohr Lanu Family Camp2015
Thursday, June 4th - Sunday, June 7th
(Ramah Young Aumni Weekend)
Friday, August 14th - Sunday, August 16th