Cell Phone and Other Electronics Policy

ELECTRICITY AND WIFI ACCESS AT CAMP

There is VERY limited access to wifi and electric plugs/outlets at the MacKenzie camp. In addition, cell phone coverage for most companies is very poor. Our strong recommendation is that no electronic devices should be brought to camp.  Items left in the MacKenzie Lodge, for instance, tend to go missing or may be damaged.  Please consider leaving it all home!  However, we know how important music is to our camp and the love of listening and sharing it has always been a great pastime so below are the guidelines of what’s ok and what isn’t.

Our Electronics Policy is designed to: 

  • Encourage your children to spend more time in the outdoors 
  • Promote socialization between campers 
  • Remove the divide between “the haves and the have-nots” in each cabin 
  • Reduce the stress associated with the damage to and theft of electronics 
  • Give your children a much needed break from the world of technology 
  • Allow your children to fully embrace and “plug into” the connections they make with other campers as they “unplug” from their electronics 
  • Ensure that your children are not exposed to age-inappropriate material 
  • Ensure that your children does not spend too much time posting their camp photos on the internet 
  • Ensure that your children are not focusing on situations revolving around their friends at home 
  • Prevent your children from hearing about situations and incidents concerning home and family before their parents have a chance to communicate with them 

CELL PHONES –  NO

It is our long-standing policy that campers are NOT PERMITTED to have a cell phone at camp. We believe that being at camp is an opportunity for your child to experience a world beyond home. This allows children to develop autonomy, independence, and a stronger sense of self. It allows them to make new friends, take responsibility for themselves and their teammates, problem solve, and mature a bit. These things cannot be achieved when parents are only a phone call away. 

LAPTOPS, NETBOOKS, iPADS, eREADERS – NO

None of these, or similar electronic devices, will be allowed in camp. Please send books.  Sharing books is a great pastime of camp!

GAMEBOYs, PSPs, NINTENDO DSs – NO

No electronic hand-held game devices will be allowed in camp.  We have board games and card games available for campers. These games, not hand-held electronic games, allow our campers to socialize, interact with one another, and build community within the cabins.

iPOD/MP3 Players – YES

If your child must have his/her music at camp, please send an inexpensive mp3 player or an older generation iPod that does not have a touch screen. We will not allow any mp3 players/mobile devices with touch screens. This way we will ensure that our campers cannot watch videos, TV shows, movies or access the internet. As such, we will not allow any Smart Phones, even if the SIM card has been removed. Camp appropriate (i.e. screen-free) iPods can be found on eBay for as little as $10. 

DIGITAL CAMERAS – YES

We encourage you to bring an inexpensive digital camera or disposable cameras with you. Please discuss how pictures should be taken of campers only with their permission. No cameras will be allowed any access to the internet such as instant uploads of pictures to Facebook, etc. You should ALWAYS review your children’s digital photos before allowing them to be posted on the internet when he or she is at home.

MORE ABOUT CELL PHONES

Although cell phones have been strictly prohibited at camp for many years, many campers seem to “accidentally” pack a cell phone and sometimes even two. The consequences of this are disastrous. Cell phones can:

  • Lead to conflicts within the cabins.
  • Allow campers to focus on their friends at home rather than their friends at camp.
  • Enable campers to call parents when they need advice instead of turning to their peers, counselors and directors.
  • Enable campers to call parents when they are sick or don’t feel well instead of alerting our Directors and Staff/Counselors.
  • Enable campers to call friends from home when they need advice instead of turning to their counselors and peers at camp.

We feel cell phone use at camp runs counter to the values we teach and uphold at KODA Midwest and interferes with an important peer aspect of the overnight camp experience.

We need your support and help so please do not allow your child to break the rules and take a cell phone to camp.

To send a very clear message about how strongly we feel about leaving cell phones at home, we have a zero tolerance cell phone policy. If we learn that any camper has a cell phone in camp, we will take it away and store it in our camp safe until closing day.

If a camper wishes to contact their parents, accommodations can be made to arrange this via vp or phone provided by camp with a limit access time.

Please take the time to discuss this policy with your child. In the past, campers have hidden their cell phones in their bags without their parent’s knowledge.

ONE LAST WORD ON ELECTRONICS…

We have spoken to many campers, staff and parents about the policy and have taken your thoughts from our post-summer camp evaluations into consideration.  A very large percentage (at least 90 %) recommend that your child powers down, unplugs, and takes, what we’re certain is, a well-needed break from the world of electronics. Please be respectful of the usage and content limitations we have in place. If you have any questions or want further clarification, please contact me at 608-234-5049.

ONE LAST NOTE

Every parent will receive an email every other days consisting of pictures and blurbs  about the activities at the camp.  This will help communication between the camp and the parents.

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