As little A was getting ready for camp this morning, she asked if she could bring her iPad along. “Of course, not”, I exclaimed, in a rare moment of parental clarity. “You are busy doing your art stuff at camp, right? What do you need your iPad for?”, I questioned. “Well, we have two snack breaks and a lunch break, so we have a lot of outdoor free time”, she countered.
“Hmmmm… outdoor free time”, I pondered, “why don’t you guys just run around and play tag or something?” “Oh, we do that sometimes”, little A said. “But we are allowed to bring electronics, and I am the only one in my class that is not bringing an iPhone or an iPad to use during break. The other kids bring headphones, ear buds, and everything too”, she exclaimed for emphasis.
I was dumbstruck. This is summer camp when the days are warm and glorious, and these kids are actually outdoors for break time. What better time to run wild and be monkeys, get blissfully messy and muddy! And yet, perversely, the camp allows the use of electronic gadgets, which are almost sure to steer kids away from the great outdoors and make them latch onto their glitzy screens. Easy way out for the camp coordinators, perhaps? Tut, tut, not impressed.
As you can tell, I am also not terribly thrilled with Steve Jobs and Apple and their oh so perfect inventions this morning. But, little A was easy going enough to not keep pushing her request. She did not go to camp today with her iPad. Instead, she took a book to read (“The Lemonade War” by Jacqueline Davies) for when her compatriots get glued to their screens (that’s my girl!).
Little A has two more weeks of camp to go. Hope we continue to stay gadget free. 🙂