A few weeks ago, Lenny and I attended the JCamp180 Conference in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was a great couple days planning and thinking about new ideas for summer 2018. At one of the sessions, we heard a presentation by Doron Krakow, the new CEO of the JCC Association of North America. In Doron’s presentation he talked about how he loves camping because of the impact it has on in-person communication.
As Doron continued, he referenced the book Reclaiming Conversation: the Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle. Now let me tell you…this is a GOOD BOOK. Over time, our society has grown exponentially in digital connection through Facebook, text and other forms of social media. This increase is leading to a direct decrease in our children’s ability to communicate through face-to-face conversations. Instead of communicating, our society is simply connecting. As stated by Sherry Turkle “We are at a crossroads: so many people say they have no time to talk, but all the time in the world, day and night, to connect. When a moment of boredom arises, we have become accustomed to making it go away by searching for something—sometimes anything—on our phones.”
I don’t know about you, but reading that statement has me wondering…how can we get back to talking? How can we help children understand the importance of putting down their phones and getting to know their neighbors? Signing up for summer camp is definitely a step in the right direction.
At JCC Rainbow Day Camp, we strive to increase our campers’ ability to communicate. We hope this translates to dinner tables, bus rides, and even at school. When speaking with a parent just the other day, we got on the topic of cell phones at the dinner table. I simply asked her, “is there something you do that helps your kids talk when they get home from school?” She started to explain how their family always answers the Wow, Pow and Chow of their day. Here’s how it works: Wow is the best part of the day, Pow is the worst part of the day, and Chow is the best thing they ate!
So RDC…we want to know what tricks YOU have up your sleeve to help our campers put down their technology and talk to each other! Does your family have a rule? We would LOVE to hear your feedback and share it with our community! Together, we can help our campers understand the importance of conversation.
Take care RDC,