Most days, I check my smart phone as much as I drink water, and sometimes even more. Considering that the last time I went running I was severely dehydrated, it might be time to reevaluate. Like most millennials, I’ve never known a world where the Internet didn’t exist.
Today, I see kids as young as 2-years-old knowing how to use a iPad. My nephew could probably navigate Google Maps better than I could. Even though I’ve grown accustomed to waking up and checking my Instagram and Facebook, there are some days where I wish I didn’t know what was happening to everyone around me because I saw a Facebook status.
What if we went back to the simpler days where we wrote notes on college ruled paper or knew where our friends were by seeing their bicycle parked out in front of their house?
One such camp for adults, Camp Grounded, aims to go back to those simpler times. Camp Grounded is a three-day, adult summer camp based out of California (another camp recently opened up in North Carolina). When campers arrive, they are required to check-in anything that links them to the outside world.
The first 250 campers gathered in Navarro, California in 2013. After checking anything that needed charging at the door, campers took on nicknames and surrounded themselves with over 80 acres of nature.
According to Fidget Wigglesworth (Levi Felix), camp director, Camp Grounded is a social experiment aimed at reevaluating society’s relationship with digital technologies. Felix is one of the brains behind Digital Detox, an Oakland-based group responsible for the camp. For the past few years Digital Detox has been throwing get-off-the-grid retreats near San Francisco, but decided to unleash Camp Grounded as their biggest undertaking.
Not only are digital devices off limits at Camp Grounded, but so are conversations that begin with the dreaded, “so what do you do for a living,” or “how old are you?” Instead of focusing on titles and careers, campers are urged to connect over individual characteristics and memories they’ve made in the outdoors.
Set in the woods, the camp provides over 50 workshops and activities including yoga, capture the flag, hiking, face-painting, a talent show, campfires and stargazing. Learning how to successfully use a typewriter is also included in camp activities.
As their website says, the best way to reconnect is to disconnect. If interested, the next camp is scheduled for Hendersonville, NC from Aug. 27 – 30.
Would you plan a trip to Camp Grounded?