Looking at the title “Technology and Summer Camp,” it would seem that these two couldn’t or shouldn’t exist together. And we partially agree with that sentiment; however technology, if used appropriately, can not only help with the camper experience, but also help parents in how they interact with camp.
We expect our campers to leave their cell phones and other electronics at home; to “unplug” in order to focus their attention on camp activities, building new friendships, worship and growing in their walk with the Lord. Often it is not as difficult for the camper as it is for the parent. In today’s fast-paced world many parents are texting with their camper throughout the day and are used to instant communication and as a result, they have a hard time not having constant contact with them.
Knowing that parents invest their time, energy and resources to ensure that their camper is able to have an unforgettable experience at camp and understanding that they don’t get to see what their camper does at camp, we created an avenue for them to bridge the gap between being “unplugged” and experiencing some of what happens at camp.
Summer Camp 2015 saw 1,585 parents participate in our five Facebook Groups that are designed to give parents snapshots into their camper’s experiences at camp. These groups are secure and week specific. We have one counselor per group that uploads status updates, photos, the daily Bible verses campers are learning and much more! This serves as a platform for parents to ask questions and for us to give them real time updates on their camper’s experience.
New for Summer Camp 2015, our team focused on how we could extend the camp experience past the one or two weeks that campers are at here. Knowing that millions of people use the YouVersion Bible App, we found a reading plan for both our Kishwauketoe (Kish) and Pier 30 camps that parents could read through together with their camper. The goal is to help families grow together in their faith!
Using these two tools and other technology has allowed us to share the camp experience with not only the camper but the entire family while keeping the camper “unplugged” for their summer camp experience!
Blog Post by Erik Morsehead