In 2018 the National Institutes of Health began a landmark study on the impact screen time has on children’s and teens’ brains. The research will span 10 years, following more than 11,000 kids.
Through this study, doctors and researchers are taking a deep dive into the impacts of screen time and how that affects brain development. Near the beginning of the study, experts cautioned a “premature thinning of the cortex.” The brain’s cortex is thought to be responsible for the maturational process and for interpreting information from the five senses. The study also found when kids spend two or more hours a day on screens, they earn “lower scores on thinking and language tests.” Some researchers say there’s a strong correlation between depression and anxiety and smartphone use.
Parents, students, educators and youth workers long for a resolution. While smartphones have their strengths, it’s no secret they can support unhealthy habits and enable dependency on our devices. One way to help kids and adolescents take a break from their phones is to invite them to life outside of their phones at a camp or retreat.
Taking a week—or weekend—away allows students to be present and not feel the pressure to capture each moment. Camps and retreats are intentionally programmed to provide fun, engaging activities for kids and teens. During the summer, kids can go tubing on the water, go horseback riding, scale the ropes course and ride dirt bikes. They can explore nature, reigniting a sense of curiosity for the world around them—all without their phones.
What a week at camp can offer is time away from digital devices, face-to-face friendships and a chance to be a kid. There are so many benefits from setting down the smartphone, and when youth have a chance to do that in a great environment, they’ll learn how to unplug in a way that sets them up for a healthier life.
Give your students a week or weekend away. Find 860 Christian camps and conference centers at ThePowerOfCamp.com.