With the weather getting nicer, there’s no better opportunity to get your children outside and enjoying nature. After being stuck indoors all winter, it’s more important than ever to introduce children to the incredible joys of the great outdoors. However, it can be a challenge to draw children away from screens willingly.
At Camp Cody, the core benefits of our summer day camp rest on nature and how it can positively impact children. We do not allow screens and cell phones, and replace that time with constructive camp time in nature. Here’s why unplugging from electricity and plugging into nature is so important:
Unplugging allows campers to fully embrace the people around them and create genuine connections. How can you get to know people if you’re always looking at a screen and not at them? Messaging apps on Instagram and Snapchat or online gaming systems like Roblox can only do so much. There’s nothing like being in the moment, especially in the outdoors with other kids their age. Camp Cody creates many opportunities for these connections, from bunk mates to activity time to team building in the wild.
There are so many things to explore in nature: little brooks, trees that have fallen down, puddles of water housing tadpoles, and more. Nature allows kids to let their imaginations run wild and free. Their play can become more creative, active, and social without a phone stuck to their hand. The opportunities for creating new games, building forts, and bonding with new friends is unparalleled in nature.
Long-term exposure to screens has many negative effects on children. It shortens their attention span, as everything they want can be instantly accessed online, fueling an instant-gratification mindset. However, being outdoors directly opposes those bad habits. Everything moves slowly in nature, and requires your long-held attention. At Camp Cody, one of the benefits of our summer camp is its location in the New Hampshire forests. It’s teeming with wildlife, animals and plants, ready for discovery.
We teach our campers that if they wait long enough, they will get to engage with things they never thought possible. If you sit still and look awhile, you could watch a chipmunk come out of its nest, or see the sunset change colors. They learn to sit still during Fishing in the hopes of catching a trout. They’ll look for kindling as they learn to cook outdoors. They’ll pay attention as they kayak down the river, waiting for a bird to fly through the air. Nature teaches them to wait for rewarding things, and practice self discipline.
Whatever phase of life we’re in, there’s always something stressful happening. But there’s no greater balm than nature. Nature walks and fresh air are highly impactful on children’s mental and physical health. Though we do our best to make our camp atmosphere a fun and exciting one, we all need to slow down sometimes and find a peaceful place to reflect. The quiet woods, a babbling brook, a flowery meadow, are all conducive to relieving stress.
Not to mention that the more time children spend outside, the better their physical health. Sitting on a couch and staring at a phone all day does not do much for the body. But one of the great benefits of our summer day camp is the possibilities for fun exercise in nature are limitless. Swimming, hiking, climbing, kayaking, and more are just the beginning of the fun, athletic activities campers can do here. It is our goal to help them see that physical activity is just as fun and even better than screen time.
In the great wilderness, campers will find some things they’re good at and some things they aren’t. But this allows them to connect with and help those that aren’t good at those things and visa versa. Camp helps you learn your strengths and weaknesses and allows you to share those, and grow, with other campers.
Everyone should feel welcome at camp, and not everyone can afford the latest technology. By keeping it out of our camp, everyone is literally on the same ground, and has the same chance to engage with nature and others. This also ensures every student has the appropriate content for their age group. Nature is so vast, it makes it easy to personalize a camper’s experience to them, whereas even the best firewalls can fail to protect children from inappropriate media.
Unplug at Camp Cody
Nature has so much to offer your child, this blog is only the beginning of the life-changing things your camper can experience in the wild. Give your child all the amazing benefits of a summer unplugged from screens and plugged into nature at Camp Cody by signing up today!