Real quick today. I’ve got some wisdom for peeps heading off to summer camp!

Turn your phone off and leave it alone unless you are taking pictures. (I’m saying this online so you don’t punch me. But I really and truly mean it. If you turn your phone off, you will have a 900% better camp experience.)

Why?

  • You gain admission to the present. It’s easier to be “HERE AT CAMP” when you’re not “somewhere  else out there”! You want to know what’s happening at home. You miss your girlfriend. You miss your cat. I get that. That first day can feel rough. But I promise you, if you push through those homesick feelings past the first day it’ll be easier. Fact: Every kid that gave up their phone while at camp with me told me how free they felt afterward, how they sort of didn’t want to turn it on again, how much they loved the squad they were with at the moment. Trust me on this. It’s life changing to have a week offline. Take advantage of it!
  • When your phone is off your heart can be on. You won’t be distracted by all–of–the–things when your life is focused on ONE thing. It always breaks my heart when I catch myself scrolling and numbing out in a place that could be changing my life. I’m not perfect. It happens to me too. But it happens less when we make a decision to make some space before we go. Talk to your friends and decide together. Pick ten minutes at lunch and ten minutes at dinner to post pics if you have to, but turn it off again so your heart can focus on the experience you’re having.
  • You’ll be able to focus. There was a Princeton study that proved that people focus better when there is less clutter. There are smart people at Princeton, they know what they are talking about. If you keep your phone off, the chances of you being able to focus on growing your faith, your friendships, and your camp memories are so much greater. Your morning quiet time will be more quiet. Your small group experience will be more relational and connected. Your parties will feel more alive–because every ounce of you will be ALL-IN.
  • You will win a prize. Your youth pastor will think you’re extraterrestrial if you decide to do this on your own and will likely reward you with a frappe.
  • You will make your mom & dad smile. Your parents will be happy that you chose to get offline. Use your youth leaders phone (and all of their data) to connect with your parents if you need to. He or she would be happy to make that kind of sacrifice for you.

Ok. That’s my advice. Trust me. I’m not kidding. You think I’m nuts. Which is mostly accurate. But I promise, it’ll change the week that was meant to change your life.

 

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