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Is this campsite a hotspot?

Two weeks ago, we blogged about troops that ban
or limit cell phone use by their Scouts. Several of you responded with your
reasons for forbidding their use at camp—from the wall of isolation they create
to the risk of losing or breaking the pricey gadgets.

Now we’d like to know your thoughts about another digital
dilemma: wireless access for leaders and staff members at camp.

We ask because a recent story in the Omaha World-Herald tells about Camp Cedars, near
Fremont, Neb., where staffers and adult volunteers have had wireless access to
the Internet for three years.

Camp officials there decided that it would be a good way for
parents to keep in touch with their jobs or family while at summer camp. It
also gives staff members the ability to stay connected during six-week (or
longer) stints away from home.

Granted, it’s a far leap from the classic handwritten
postcard home. But it’s a sign of Scouting’s firm embrace of technology.

You’ve heard the facts, and now it’s your turn to weigh in.
We want to know: Is this technological transformation good for Scout camps?
Does your local camp offer Wi-Fi? To reply, simply add your comment below.

4 Comments on Is this campsite a hotspot?

  1. I don’t mind the WiFi access for staff members at camp, after all, they are there the whole summer. I would not allow the WiFi to any one else at camp.
    I can see this getting a bit out of hand. Adult leaders spending more time on their lap top or blackberry “contacting” the world instead of providing a great outdoor experience for their Scouts.
    When Adults go to camp they need to be engaged in the camp experience with the youth of the unit. Providing motivation to complete merit badges, out there doing the mile swim with the boys… in short being a good example of the game with a purpose.. not the game with a blackberry.
    Staffers yes… its a long summer.
    Adult leaders..No.. it’s only a week, the world will not come to a halt because you are at summer camp.
    Just my thoughts.
    Have a Great Scouting Day!

  2. All of the major facilities offering a summer program have already set up free wireless access points.
    Maybe it’s a good thing: The adults now hover over their keyboards rather than hover over their Scouts all day!

  3. Bryan Spellman // July 28, 2009 at 10:27 am // Reply

    After just getting back from Camp that had Wireless access I can say: meh. I left my laptop at home and never looked back. If we are to ask the boys to unplug should not we as well?
    I had my cell but no service at my site so I left it in the car. I used the Camp Computers (available to Scoutmasters) a total of three times. Once to check on an early departure, once to update the families via Twitter all was well and once to email all the drivers to remind them of thier expected arrival time. And I really did not have to do that.
    It is good the option is there in cases of emergency. But the families also have the phone number of the Camp who could get us immediately. I was having a better time rocking in a chair overlooking the lake and sitting and talking with Scouts and Scouters.
    I appreciate the access for the staff but think if we ask the boys to enjoy nature then we should too. Plus I had several (of the 96 at camp) of my Scouts WRITE a letter home and mail it from the office. How retro!
    YIS
    Bryan

  4. Michael Sandell // August 8, 2009 at 6:04 pm // Reply

    I am one of those leaders that while I can take the time to go to camp – to be a leader, I need to check in with my office daily. It is rare that I can go on a true vacation. I am not complaining, I knew the recall policy when I took the job. I am on my laptop before the Scouts get up, during meals and occasionaly during activities.
    I beleive that adults are only at camp for safety and security anyway. We always have Scout leadership to keep things running. I visit every program area every day to ensure things are running smoothly.
    I say WiFi is a necessity.
    YIS
    Michael

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