Should You Allow Cell Phones at Youth Camp?

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Should You Allow Cell Phones at Youth CampIf there’s one thing that every teenager of this generation holds near and dear to his or heart, it’s this: technology. Technology is so prevalent in our society and culture that you’d be hard-pressed to find one young person who doesn’t own a cell phone.

While cell phones are fantastic tools and can enable us to do incredible things, in some situations, they can actually be a hindrance. Camp counselors have debated for years about whether or not to allow cell phones at youth camp. Unsure of where you stand on the matter? Be sure to check out this pros and cons list before jumping on any bandwagon:

Pros

Sharing your joy – one of the biggest uses of cell phones is social media. Social media is great not only for promoting your event, but also for sharing it with the people who missed out. Things like Facebook groups allow you to keep your pictures and important posts all together so that everyone can see the memories that were made. Which leads to the next point.

Capturing memories – It’s no secret that teens like taking pictures (selfies included, of course.) Pictures serve as vivid visual reminders of all the fun that was had throughout the week. Whether they are shared with others or simply treasured alone forever, pictures are truly worth a thousand words.

Keeping in touch – Homesickness among teens is very real. Many genuinely want to enjoy their time at youth camp, but feel like they need to be connected with their loved ones back at home. Additionally, some teens may have protective parents who demand frequent contact with their kids. In this case, cell phones may actually be necessary.

Utility – Cell phones are used for more than just communicating and taking pictures; they have the ability to do a wide variety of things that just might prove useful. For example, some teens don’t have their own Bible at home, so they rely on an app on their phone. Some teens use their phones as flashlights in case of a power outage or a nighttime game. There isn’t a whole that a phone can’t do nowadays.

Cons

Distraction – The number one reason a lot of camp counselors advise against allowing cell phones is that they can be extremely distracting. Instead of living in the moment and taking in the experience, teens are drawn back into their lives at home through their phones. Cell phones can cause teens to completely miss out on what God desires for them to hear and take to heart.

Risks – Of course, there is the ever-present chance that your technological device could be stolen or damaged. Just because you’re at a youth camp doesn’t mean that people aren’t tempted to steal. And an accident could happen in the blink of an eye.

Overall, while there are many pros and cons, the choice is yours to make. Remember, you don’t have to side with either extreme. You can always set limits on cell phone use to experience the best of both worlds.

You may also like:

3 Reasons Why You Should Ban Social Media from Your Retreat
3 Reasons Why You Should Encourage Social Media on Your Retreat

Special thanks to Potomac Park Retreat and Conference Center of the Christian Retreats Network for sponsoring this article.