Last week, I heard award-winning author and clinical psychologist, Dr. Wendy Mogul speak. Of all the threads discussed, summer camp was one of them. She talked about the importance of getting children outside and away from the ominous screen.
My children spent 7 weeks away at sleep-away camp in upstate NY for nine summers. They didn’t have access to screens for 50 days. Imagine. 50 days. They came home completed transformed; present, focused, creative and helpful. They looked me in the eyes when they spoke, listened and responded to conversations with interest. They asked questions, helped me in the kitchen, willingly did their chores and inquired about my day!
Who were these children and what happened to mine?
The above paragraph is embarrassing to write. It insinuates my children are poorly behaved. It insinuates I am a mother who cannot say no to her children. To me, these post-camp transformed characteristics are required of every child and healthy family dynamics. But the technology is big. Really big. And hard to fight. I see first hand how it affects my children’s brain chemistry. It robs them of precious creative time; of good communication and solid leadership skills.
Your children are younger than mine. My dedication to emotional intelligence being a therapist and seasoned mother only go so far. Take Dr, Mogul’s advice and remove your children from screens this summer. You don’t have to go to sleep-away camp for 50 days. Start with day camp. Get them outside, let them sweat, roll around in the grass and get their hands dirty. Let them play in the mud; soak up some sun and chase clouds in the sky. Allow them to be kids and enjoy the developmental stage of play; acting, running, chasing, creating and wondering. If they miss it now they’ll revisit it later. And later might be too late.
They will grow up soon enough.
They will be good enough.
Dream BIG Day Camp has a few spaces available for June and July. Come join us this summer and together to be kind, do good, work hard and make the world a better place.
Mary Stein is the proud founder, owner and director of Dream BIG Day Camp, Denver’s premier camping experience for children. After leaving a successful NYC/Westchester County counseling career with children and families, she has enjoyed over 31 years in the camping community. Founded in 2005, Dream BIG Day Camp is a culmination of her own dream of returning to Denver and starting a first class children’s camp. Aspen Academy is proud to host Dream BIG Day Camp's Greenwood Village Campus each summer. Registration is now open for summer camps. Click here for details.