Summer camps like Camp Quinebarge are wonderful for getting kids outside and really immersed in nature. Camp Quinebarge prides itself on being a technology free summer camp – at Quinebarge we have a policy which means that all technology must be left at home. No cell phones, tablets, social media, or computers – We’re completely tech free so we can focus on fun and friendship! The reason for our technology free policy is that we find that having screen time takes away from the camp experience. Studies show that kids today are spending significantly less time outdoors – enjoying only an hour or less of outside time each day. Getting kids outside is proven to decrease instances of depression and anxiety, and is good for their physical health. Playing outside is also good for the mind. Children who play outside sharpen other skills – like problem-solving and language skills. Research shows “children use five times as many words when they play outdoors compared to indoors.” Unstructured technology free play promotes decision-making skills; builds gross motor skills; helps kids work through fears and stress; teaches conflict resolution skills; and helps creativity soar. We achieve this at our summer camp by removing cell phones, social media, and being tech free and by letting our campers get back to basics!
For 85 summers, campers at Camp Quinebarge in Moultonborough NH have spent their time outdoors all day in activities designed to help them grow, become more confident, and learn life skills all while having the times of their lives. Even our high school campers gladly go tech free at summer camp. Research shows that youth who play outside are happier, more focused, and less anxious than youth who spend more time indoors. Then why are young people and high schoolers spending more and more time inside? The University of Michigan found that the average American child spends less than 30 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play, and over 6 hours a day in front of a screen. To describe how modern kids have a severe lack of time and opportunities outside, author Richard Louv coined the term “Nature-Deficit Disorder”.
Louv interviewed a child who once told him how he enjoyed indoor play more than outdoor play “’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are”.
At Camp Quinebarge, we know why getting outdoors and going tech free at summer camp is good for kids: It helps them be active, builds their confidence, and encourages imagination and creativity. Time indoors involves ‘directed attention’, which requires people to ignore distractions and interruptions, which can exhaust your brain. In an outdoor natural environment, we exercise a relaxed type of attention known as ‘soft fascination’, which can create feelings of happiness. Research has even shown that being outside makes children nicer, improving social connections, value for community, and close relationships. Giving children and high schoolers a rustic outdoor sleepaway camp experience is invaluable for their development. Our tech free camp helps campers become their best selves.
At Camp Quinebarge, we value the idea of technology free time at summer camp. Not having distracting cell phones or social media access allows campers a different chance to interact meaningfully with their surroundings and with other campers. We strive to make each camper’s experience happy, healthy, and positive. When campers at Camp Quinebarge are enjoying time outdoors, they can think more freely and approach the natural world in inventive ways. It also gives them the great opportunity to connect with peers and mentors, all without the aid of technology. We believe a break from social media and going technology free can do wonders for our campers from elementary school to high school! Getting back to basics is what summer camp is all about!