Experiments With a Tech-Free Summer Camp

Monday, August 19, 2013

Female campers uses iPhone at summer camp Campers were allowed to bring smartphones, tablets and other technology to Longacre Camp for the first time in the summer of 2013. (Jennifer Hsu/WNYC)

Every summer, parents in the nation’s cities and suburbs send their kids off to camp with the hopes that they’ll connect with nature, do some canoeing and hiking, sit around a few campfires and enjoy some time in crowded cabins.

But with the rise of the Internet, social media, portable devices and modern video games, is it possible for kids to even have this sort of woodsy experience anymore? Should we even be trying to force it on our kids?

A summer camp in rural Pennsylvania decided not to fight the draw of devices. They let all campers use any technology they want—but first the kids had to give up their technology for a period time.

Manoush Zomorodi has been following the progress of this camp—Longacre Leadership Camp in Newport, PA. She joins us to report on how the experiment worked—or didn’t. Zomorodi is the host of WNYC’s New Tech City.


Manoush Zomorodi

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer


T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

BBoB from Santa Clara

Using a smartphone's existing microphone and with the addition of a simple voltage multiplier circuit, detection of uttered phrases such as "had went" (etc.) could be made to induce a slightly alarming physical sensation in the user - perhaps with a random delay function, to defeat evasion tactics.

Aug. 19 2013 03:40 PM

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