By: Ixchel Perez
Lee High School
The students groan as their phones are taken away 30 minutes before they arrived to the YoungLife camp. The YoungLife head leaders want students to not have access to their phones because camp is for students to enjoy the beauty of nature and learn how to have fun without technology while getting closer to God.
Students do not like the idea of going to camp without their smart phones because they believe that having their phones with them will be more entertaining than going outside to play camp activities
“During free time at camp I want to be able to get on my phone and distract myself a little from being bored,” Lee High School student Juan Alcara said. “At least they should give us our phones at night.”
Others are concerned about not having means to contact their families.
“I disagree with the leaders picking up the phones because what if my mom wants to text me to see how I’m doing at camp?” First time YoungLife camp participant Hunter Reynol said. “I like to have my phone with me just in case of an emergency.”
On the other hand, many students who love camp are willing to give up their phones. They say that it is good because it keeps them focused on all the activities at camp.
“I think is good because it actually helps us interact with others without any distractions,” Lee High School student Humberto Cifuentes said. “If we had our phones nobody would participate in the camp activities.”
Since winter camp is only a weekend, from Friday afternoon to Sunday in the afternoon, First time YoungLife camp Participant, Alan Perez does not mind giving his phone way since is only for a few days.
“It is a way to take things off your mind like social media and stuff like that,” Perez said. “It is really not a big deal because it is only for a few days.”
Leader Carla Rodriguez said that students always complain when she is picking up the phones but she gets happy because she knows that it will all pay off at camp.
“They will enjoy fully without any distractions,” Rodriguez said. “They will not have to worry about the problems back at home.”
While at camp the students constantly want to know the time and are always trying to have access to a phone so they ask the leaders for their phones.
“Not even leaders have access to their phones,” Rodriguez said. “When students ask me for the time or my phone I do not get annoyed I just tell them to enjoy the moment.”
Head Leader Portia Uchendu said that there is no point of having camp if the students have access to their phone because the goal of camp is to have fun without getting distracted, having phones will impede the students to fully enjoy camp.
“Now a days kids do not pay attention to the world around them, they live off of their phones,” David Mora said. “Not having their phones allows them to meet new people and have more fun.”