Dear Camp CARE Parents, Guardians & Campers,
We are so thrilled about camp this year! As you know, our goal is to create a supportive, safe and FUN environment for our campers, allowing them to connect with others in similar situations, while just being a kid at summer camp.
Because of that, we have one major request of everyone – and it’s an important one. Please do NOT send cell phones with your child to camp. Most camps – including medical camps – have a zero tolerance policy for cell phones, and Camp CARE is no different. We know that cell phones provide instant connection, security and peace of mind for kids and parents – and we know that it may be strange to not be able to have that immediate contact for the week your child is at camp. We promise to contact you if your child really needs you, and you will have the cell phone numbers of our camp leaders should you need to connect with your child urgently for any reason. (And if you’re looking for photos of the fun, Camp CARE also posts pictures on our Flickr site each night, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the day!)
But in order to ensure the best experience for everyone at Camp CARE, please leave the phones at home. Here’s why:
- Choosing to send a cell phone with your child to camp when it is knowingly against the rules sends a message to your child that it’s okay to break the rules. All of our camp rules are set in place for the safety and respect of campers and staff, and we don’t want to compromise this! See example from world-renowned child, adolescent and family therapist, Bob Ditter.
- If your child has a cell phone at camp, they may call, text or email you immediately when they have even the slightest problem – instead of coming to their counselor or another camp staff member. This reduces our ability to help your child, as we may not even know what’s going on! We appreciate the trust that your child has in you to solve all problems, but our camp team needs to know what is going on so we can fix things and everyone can get back to having fun. Or, in some situations, your child may be able to solve issues on their own, which aids in gaining independence – such a valuable life skill! See case study under “Not the Best Plan” in this article.
- Cell phones lead to not only contacting parents, but also friends from home, as well as social media. Texting with friends or scrolling through Facebook means that your child isn’t engaging with their cabinmates, participating in activities, learning to be independent, being present in the outdoors and so much else. It’s important for everyone (grown ups included!) to take a break from the world of electronics that we live in, and camp is the best time to do that!
- Plain and simple, cell phones are expensive, and they can get lost or broken. We can’t take on that added responsibility, plus, your child will be upset and worried if their phone goes missing. See example under “Missing In Action” in this article.
We know that cell phones are more than just phones – they are also often your child’s camera, music player, alarm clock and so much more. Please make preparations for this in advance and send “old-fashioned” things like real cameras and clocks, as cell phones won’t be allowed for these purposes either, simply because we won’t be able to monitor their use.
And, if you want to contact your child, you can – via snail mail! You can write letters to your child at camp, and we’ll deliver them to their cabin. Getting letters is always a big highlight, and a great way for your child to know you are thinking about them and know they are having fun! We recommend mailing the letters even before your child goes to camp…that way we can ensure that they arrive on time! Please send mail to:
Attn: Camper’s Name
207 Charlotte Drive
Lake Lure, NC 28746
They can also write letters back to you during cabin time, so feel free to send stationery and stamps.
Please share this information with your child and prepare him or her in advance. This is not meant to be a punishment or a negative thing – in fact, it’s quite the opposite!! This will enhance your child’s camp experience and ensure that they get everything possible out of camp, especially fun!! If you have questions or concerns, please contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for leaving the cell phones at home, and thank you for helping us ensure that your child has an amazing week!
Carrie, Mike, Katy and the Camp CARE staff