Electronics and our “Screen Free Policy”
This page is really a page about electronic devices in general… but our policy has come to be captured by its simpler title, the “Walden Screen-Free Policy”.
As parents, we recognize that young people are making use of new technologies at ever-increasing rates and that these technologies in some ways offer numerous opportunities for promoting our children’s mental and social well-being. We are also aware that information overload, overwhelming school demands, and the pressure to stay forever connected may compete with personal needs for rest, renewal, time for creativity, contemplation, reflection, self-expression, and the shift from “things” to “people.”
At Walden, away from the congestion of traffic, layers of smog over our cities, the noises and distractions of everyday life, and the pressures and tensions of school life, we want to support a unique, pleasurable, and beneficial camper experience. We do this by encouraging our campers to:
- Connect with “the physical world” through exercise, play, dance, the creative arts, craft projects, eating well, and singing with one another at campfires.
- Smell the trees, view the sunsets and starry nights, feel the warmth of the campfire, and generally “indulge in the senses”. This, we have learned, may help to activate our brain’s pleasure centers and contribute to a sense of well-being.
- Become truly aware of others, experience mutual respect, and engage in acts of kindness.
To reduce the particularly pervasive distraction associated with “screens,” we have a “Screen-Free” policy at Walden. To be really specific:
- YES, there are 2 types of electronics that ARE ALLOWED at camp: personal music devices, and digital cameras (with their chargers).
- BUT NO, if these devices are capable of any of the following:
- playing games,
- watching movies, tv shows, or music videos
- uploading or downloading data of any kind, or
- being used as telephones.
THEN THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED!
Supporting this policy is one of the things that you can do to increase the likelihood that your children will return home refreshed after having experienced a truly unique summer.
And to be really really specific:
Well… any item that is not on the “allowed” list is “not allowed”. But we wanted to draw your attention to some particular items below. Please note, however, that this list is by no means exhaustive!
|iPod Nano (generations 1, 2, or 6 only)||iPod Nano (generations 3, 4, or 5)|
|iPod Shuffle||iPod Touch|
|iPod Classic (generations 1, 2, 3, or 4 only)||iPod Classic (generations 5 and beyond)|
|Kobo Touch||Any Kobo other than the Touch|
|Sony Reader||Sony PSP|
|Nook Simple Touch||Any other Nook other than the Simple Touch|
|Kindle||Kindle Fire (and any other variation on the basic Kindle)|
|Any Nintendo Product|
|Any Leapster Product|
|Any device capable of connecting to the cellular network|
“Camp appropriate” (i.e. screen-free) iPods can be found on eBay for as little as $45. We’ve done the search…click here to see what’s available!
Click here for great read about the value of being “unplugged” at camp.
Little known fact: Canadian Children are spending 44 hours per week on average in front of a screen.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE: Personal music devices, if brought to camp, may only be used in the cabins. You might enjoy this (albeit cheeky!) video!
(although we believe strongly in this policy, we do not run over children with cars…)
You might remember the original…