Camp Wahanowin Helps Children Grow by ‘Unplugging’

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( — January 26, 2022) — A tech-free environment for children has several benefits that can last a lifetime. Friendships, physical literacy, and confidence are just a few assets children can develop for a healthy lifestyle. Located north of Toronto in Orillia, Ontario, Canada, Camp Wahanowin focuses on reconnecting by unplugging.


How Technology Impacts Childhood

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, digital technology can have a negative impact on children. By abstaining from or limiting their tech use, children can experience better self-esteem and overall emotional health.

Social skills learned primarily online do not have the same impact in real life. Nonverbal communication and tone are not the only aspects missing. An increase in social media has been known to cause depression in some teenagers.

By experiencing life in the present, children and teenagers can better focus. Multi-tasking online is common and easy, with the ability to switch tabs at the click of a button. But, most of life does not happen at this speed. Children who have grown up with digital devices that are easily accessible may find life outside of the screen challenging.

With an increase in focus, children can learn how to slow down. This skill reduces anxiety and helps with problem-solving techniques. Children that do not necessarily need consistent distractions can improve their imagination, grades in school, and mental health.

Today, more than ever, children rely on digital technology. Since the pandemic, many kids have participated in school online. While certain online programs and devices are undoubtedly positive effects, certain skills are better learned away from the screen.

Camp Wahanowin emphasizes skill development as well as physical literacy. This includes building confidence and staying motivated with cognitive and behavioral knowledge. Physical literacy was first introduced by Margaret Whitehead in 1993 and is taught through education, recreation, and sports.

What Is an Inclusive Environment?

Inclusive environments make learning easier for children, who may process information differently. Several factors contribute to learning such as learning styles, perspective,s, and motivations. An inclusive environment includes the ability to differentiate instructions for individual children and appeal to different ages and stages. Inclusive environments are designed to help all children feel welcome regardless of their learning style and circumstance.

By providing a supportive community, Camp Wahanowin can help children grow. This is done, in part, by looking out for each other and putting others before ourselves.

Getting Back To Nature

In a tech-free environment, children are free to experience nature without any digital distractions. Physical health can be a priority by participating in activities, learning new skills, and engaging in outdoor activities which then allows children to become active for life.

Children who spend time outdoors are less likely to experience obesity. Part of this has to do with how and where digital devices are used. Teenagers who spend most of their summer online are often indoors or sitting down. Bonding with nature helps children move through the outdoors in a way that is comfortable for them.

Nature can also improve mental health. Camp Wahanowin is invested in both physical and mental health. Having quality time outdoors can help children and teens manage stress. Impulse control is also often a challenge for children. Nature is one way to calm the mind, so there is more perceived time before deciding. Getting back to nature is a reminder that reality does not have to be complicated or fast-paced all the time.



Active Children For Life

Physical activity does not have to be regimented or difficult. Staying physically active regularly can mean playing outdoors or taking a walk. Camp Wahanowin provides opportunities for outdoor activity as well as indoor engagement. Playing indoor games on a rainy day is a healthy alternative to social media or TV.

Since not all children respond the same way to physical activities, many options are available. Just because one child does not like land sports does not mean they won’t excel and enjoy other activities. Trapeze, biking, and climbing are popular options for children on the shy end or wanting more independent activities.

Building confidence is one way to motivate children to play outdoors. When a child feels confident about their abilities, they are much more likely to try new activities and also continue to participate in the activities they enjoy.

Personal Growth Without Devices

Tech-free environments allow children and teens to truly assess the world around them without filters or digital comparisons. Social media has been especially difficult for children and teens to navigate, and without a broad perspective of the world, these sites can seem like an all-encompassing reality.

Children can increasingly stay in the moment by unplugging from computers, phones, tablets, and TV. Distance from digital distractions in a tech-free environment provides children with the tools to have a joyful and healthy life.