Parents and Summer Camp

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Daniel Sarver, Extension Specialist

An interesting article (dated July 24, 2017) on the nprEd website entitled, “Are Helicopter Parents Ruining Summer Camp?” may be worth discovering if you are an Extension 4-H Agent, 4-H Volunteer Leader, or 4-H parent. The article can be found on the nprEd website.

The article discusses trends in parenting as it relates to camping. There is also links to other related articles and a link to an NPR radio segment on the subject. Here are some excerpts:

“Researchers say that campers develop invaluable social and emotional skills from navigating friendships, facing risks and getting through bouts of homesickness — all on their own…And as young people’s lives grow increasingly wired, camp provides a correspondingly rare break from that.”

“Many of the campers here say they miss YouTube and Snapchat, but they quickly come to appreciate the hands-on activities and in-person friendships. ‘It’s hard to have as much fun if you’re just looking down at a screen the whole time,’ Alexa (a camper) says.”

“Garst (Clemson University professor) says thanks to mobile devices, parents today are conditioned to hour-by-hour check-ins. ‘The No. 1 concern is the separation that parents feel, and the difficulty in accepting a different type of communication with their child when their child is at camp.’….Hence, the phones buried in luggage, mailed to campers, or even, he says, stitched into a stuffed animal.”