Gadgets have discouraged children from going to camps

“No circle can stand competition with a mobile phone”

The summer has pleased many parents with special force: at last, children’s summer camps have almost fully started working. Moreover, places where you can fearlessly send children to improve their health, develop and generally enjoy the long-awaited free time, have already appeared and will appear in the near future. Moreover, these camps for every taste and budget: at sea, and in the Moscow region, and in other regions. And thematic, and tourist, and with a variety of biases – or without them, as you like. An additional pleasure for moms and dads is given by the announced cashback for vouchers – in some cases up to 50% of their value, that is, it turns out that the child’s vacation will not hit too hard.

The problem came from where they did not expect: many children do not want to go there at all. And often – even those who previously traveled willingly and with pleasure. Go to any parent forum on the Web – there is a groan: the son (daughter) flatly refuses to use the blood and sweat obtained a ticket to such a wonderful, so useful in all respects camp!

For example, 13-year-old Lyova went to the same “pioneer camp” from the second grade, and he always liked it there. Only last year was missed because of the pandemic. The camp, judging by the stories of his mother, is really wonderful: with bonfires, excursions, with many different clubs and sports sections.

“And this year they sent him to the first shift – and on the fourth day he started asking to go home,” she complains. – We ask: what happened? Answers: nothing, everything is fine, everything is as usual, but I’m tired of having no free time at all! We are constantly being dragged somewhere, forced to do something: either to rehearse the concert, then to participate in the relay race, and soon there will be some kind of quiz in English, we also need to prepare … But I want to rest! I say to him: is this not a rest? No, he replies, resting means calmly playing games on the phone … “

Discouraged parents tell a lot of similar stories. Children – especially those who are older, teenagers – say that they will not go anywhere, that they want to stay at home, in their chats, tick-toks, games, that they don’t need any forest, river or even the sea. That they want to compete not in football or running, but in passing the levels of computer games. That new and old friends in the camp don’t give a damn about them, because with the help of gadgets they perfectly communicate with anyone – with old acquaintances, and with new ones, and with completely unfamiliar ones.

And here is what the leader of the sports dance club of one of the camps in the Anapa area says: “Our first shift began two days ago – until no one signed up for me. Although I have been studying with children in this camp for 11 years already, and it was always in this circle that most of the children, especially girls, aspired to get. And now she walked through the detachments, told me, lured me – no interest: they would look away from their phones for a minute, look at me with detachment and again stare at the screens. They communicate little with each other, and they hardly go for a walk, and if they do go out, they still look not around, but at the phones … Just don’t name our camp – otherwise we, its employees, will be accused of the fact that we do not know how to interest children. We knew how for so many years, but now they have suddenly forgotten how? .. I don’t know, maybe, indeed, we need to look for some new forms, but it seems to me that we will not be able to withstand the competition with mobile phones anyway … “

According to child psychologists, this problem is very serious, and it will get worse in the future. The tendency to replace live communication and live activities with virtual ones did not appear today, but during the time of the pandemic forced sitting at home, telecommuting and reducing contacts, it very dashingly gained momentum. Adults often try to reassure themselves that times are changing, and our sweet memories of bonfires, hiking, smearing with pasta are in the past: today’s children have other interests and other tools for learning about the world. But only if you try to formulate these interests, then a kind of confusion arises. Likewise, adults, seeing that their children have almost completely stopped reading books, find consolation in statistics – that, they say, children read even more than before, but not books. However, the question is – what exactly are they reading? – causes the same confusion. Of course, on the Internet you can find the most interesting information – both scientific research and good literature. But something tells me: most children do not let go of their gadgets because of this. And because of that sticky garbage in which you get stuck like chewing gum: like boring, but addictive.

Sometimes it seems to me that it is the dominance of this intellectual garbage that will become the starting point from which the degradation of our civilization will begin. Is there a way to stop her? ..

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 28553 dated June 7, 2021

Newspaper headline:
Children do not want to go to camps

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