Device Deficiencies – Notes from Camp – October, 2019

Hi Folks,




Since the issue first came up, we have always believed that camp is a place where electronic devices just don’t belong.  We feel very strongly about that, as you are keenly aware.  In fact, we believe that kids’ hands (anytime, anywhere) are places where most electronic devices just don’t belong, but we accept our limited jurisdiction in these matters.

Do you know who agrees with us a lot?  CHILDREN AGREE WITH US!  It’s true.  Yes, your kids may have rolled their eyes, feigned a separation anxiety of epic proportion, or just generally resisted the notion of giving up their devices for a month or two.  But the truth is they get it; they KNOW it’s healthier and even more fun for them.

Our information comes from an admittedly small research project conducted by a doctoral student and research assistant with the American Camp Association.  She interviewed 45 teens (15-17 years old) at an overnight camp, and asked them about the camp’s “No-Cell Phones” policy.  She asked them to compare what they thought it would be like to be campers at a camp that allows kids to have their phones with them.  Believe it or not, more and more camps allow kids to have their phones a few times per week, a short time each day, or all the time.  As a reminder, we do not.  Just…had to say that.

She found that the kids believe camps that allow kids to have their phones would be LESS FUN!  They actually recognize the devices would serve as a barrier to participation in activities, to interactions with their friends, to just having conversations with others.  They understand that being without their devices makes them far more able to meet people and form closer connections, plus the advantage of being apart from the expectations and pressures of social media.  These teens specifically noted that being without their phones enables them to LIVE IN THE MOMENT!!

Let us take a brief time out and just celebrate!  They get it, THEY GET IT!!

This is big because now, whether it is in preparation for camp or  for any other awesome opportunity to ask your kids to put away their devices, we can move confidently forward knowing that it’s not just us adults who comprehend why this is important.  The kids understand it too!!


Leslie has been working hard on our brand new Memory Book for you guys.  It’s totally different from what we’ve done in the past.  To begin with…it’s 60 pages full!!  There are so many pictures in it.  It includes cabin photos with a list of all the kids and staff in each cabin.  It includes team rosters from UN Day and Titans Day.  It includes all-camp photos, gazillion activity photos, bazillion trip photos.   We haven’t actually seen it yet…we hope to very soon.  But we’re sure it’s gonna blow your minds!

If you purchased a Memory Book this year, we will bring yours to our reunions this fall.  If you live in a city where our reunion will be later in the winter, or in a place we won’t be able to get to this winter, we will ship your book to you.

And Mike has been working hard putting together this year’s sure-to-be-award-winning reunion video!  The first step in that process is to review every single second of video we took this summer.  No fooling.  Does it get a bit tedious at times?  Maybe a little.  More often Leslie can hear Mike laughing from his office as he watches last summer unfold in front of him again.  It takes a long time to produce the final video, but it’s a hoot!

Soon after its all done, we will post it online and you can watch it as often as you want.  What fun!!


St. LouisSunday, Nov. 3, 20192 PM - 3:30 PM
Kansas CityMonday, Nov. 4, 20197 PM - 8:30 PM
ChicagoSaturday, Nov. 9, 20192 PM - 4:30 PM
NashvilleSunday, Nov. 17, 20193 PM - 4:30 PM
MemphisMonday, Nov. 18, 20197 PM - 8:30 PM
HoustonSaturday, Dec. 7, 20192 PM - 3:30 PM
Los AngelesSunday, Dec. 15, 20193 PM - 4:30 PM
DallasSaturday, Jan. 11, 20202 PM - 3:30 PM

We will send you invitations to the reunions via email.  The St. Louis, KC, and Chicago reunions are first, and emails for campers and staff in those areas have already gone out.  We’ll send emails a month before the reunion, and then again 2 weeks before so you can be sure to remember when we’ll be in town.  If you feel you should have received an email about a reunion, and you did not, please let us know so we can correct the situation.

PLEASE COME JOIN US!!  It’s a short time commitment, and it’s SO much fun!  Can you miss that one soccer game or basketball practice or orthodontist appointment to hang with your camp pals? Sure ya can!


Matthew Kallmeyer 10/01, Miles Friedman 10/02, Ilan Reiss 10/02, Christian Rizzo 10/05, Joe Burson 10/06, Emmitt Hechtman 10/07, Carolina Ramon Rios 10/07, Andrew Kerpel 10/08, Jared Saef 10/08, Jesus Coronado 10/10, Gabe Feldman 10/10, Finn Hohenberg 10/10, Luke Hohenberg 10/10, Santiago Toledo 10/10, Alex Brotzki 10/15, Will Coovert 10/15, Leo Garber 10/15, Jeremy Grover 10/16, Zach Newmark 10/18, Jack de Riesthal 10/19, Dox Raskin 10/19, Micah Reichman 10/19, Gil Ron 10/19, Jonah Samson 10/19, Jude Eskind 10/20, Andrew Mukavitz 10/21, Eli Tenenbaum 10/21, Colin Benjamin 10/23, Anthony Gelin 10/23, Nathan Gelin 10/23,  Saul Vazquez Martinez 10/24, Peter Fink 10/25, Jack Duffy 10/26, Maxwell Sonsino 10/26, Carlos Banuelos 10/28, Seth Berk 10/28, Ryan Zlotnik 10/29.

Have a great October, everyone!  We’ll write again later this month.

Benches up,

Mike, Leslie & Dustin