Our teens have been in front of screens more in the last two years than ever in history. Pandemic lockdowns forced kids to adjust to an online learning system and their smartphones were their only socialization for a large chunk of time.
Studies have shown associations between smartphone usage and increased levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. Parents and teachers fight a daily battle to get teens to take breaks away from screens. One way that makes this disconnection a little easier is summer camp.
Many camps either don’t allow technology or they have limited service. This is the perfect opportunity to do a reset.
One publication, Computers in Human Behaviour,, found that youth who did not have access to their devices for a five-day period during an overnight outdoor education camp displayed increases in understanding social cues. Being able to completely disconnect and reconnect with other teens face to face provides benefits to a teens social development as well as overall health and happiness.
What Summer Camp is Best for My Child?
The best way to ensure a great camp experience is to find an accredited camp that offers activities that are of interest to your teen. Look for an Alberta Camping Association accreditation logo which means quality, safe, and healthy experiences are offered at the camp that displays it.
Here are just a few ACA accredited camps who offer some great programs.
Interested in horses?
If your teen loves horses, check out Pioneer Ranch, Pioneer Lodge, Camp Warwa, Camp Evergreen, Teen Time of Edmonton, and Circle Square Ranch.
Want to learn to sail?
Sailing seems like a coastal activity, but it’s a camp activity at Camp Kasota West and Camp Bonaventure.
Looking for overnight outdoor expeditions?
If you really want to pry your teen away from their screen, send them on a multi-day outdoor expedition! Camp Chief Hector, Company of Adventurers, Camp Valaqua, Frontier Lodge are just a few camps who have epic expedition camps available for the adventurous camper.
Whichever camp you choose, those days of screen free time will benefit your teens physically and mentally. Watch them flourish in an outdoor setting where they learn news skills, make new friends, and build their self esteem.