Get Your Teens Offline with Adventure Camp This Summer

Teenagers today spend an extraordinary amount of time online and on social media. While technology certainly has its benefits, too much screen time can negatively impact mental and physical health. This summer, consider enrolling your teens in an adventure camp to give them a break from their devices and let them reconnect with nature and make real human connections. 

The Downsides of Excessive Screen Time

Study after study reveals the detriments of excessive internet and social media usage for teens. Teens who spend multiple hours per day on screens are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. They also tend to get less sleep and exercise. Spending so much time living through a filtered online world gives them a distorted view of reality and influences feelings of inadequacy and isolation. Unstructured screen time exposes them to inappropriate content and impacts brain development. 

The Benefits of Attending Adventure Camp

Sending your teens to adventure camp, for example, as part of youth group trips, pulls them away from the online world and immerses them in nature. Adventure camps offer hiking, climbing, water sports and other outdoor activities that have mental and physical health benefits. Campers form real bonds and learn important interpersonal skills like communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution. Being in nature relieves stress, and improves sleep and cognitive functioning. Challenging adventures build confidence, resilience, and leadership abilities. Unplugging from technology encourages teens to find joy in simple pleasures and discover their inner strengths. 

Choosing the Right Adventure Camp

Teens have widely varying interests, so it’s important to find the right camp to meet your child’s needs. Consider your teen’s personality and what environments they would thrive in. Would they prefer adrenaline-pumping activities or more Zen pursuits? What climate do they enjoy? How social or solitary are they? How long could they handle being disconnected? Are they interested in specific outdoor skills or environmental issues? Do they have any medical conditions that could limit participation? What’s your budget? Answering these questions will help narrow the options. 

Selecting the Optimal Programme Length

When choosing an adventure camp, it’s important to consider the length of the programme. Extremely short programmes, such as those lasting only a few days, may not allow enough time for teens to fully unplug from technology or experience the full benefits of nature. However, programmes that are too long can overwhelm teens who aren’t accustomed to being disconnected for extended periods.

As a general rule, aim for camp sessions between one to three weeks. This provides adequate time to unwind from tech and digital habits, while also preventing restlessness or homesickness in first-time campers. One to two-week adventures give most teenagers the right balance of separation from screens and social media while keeping the experience energising and fun rather than daunting. 

This summer, enrol your teen in an adventure camp to redirect their attention away from social media and phones to the wonders of the natural world. Spending time at camp gives them an opportunity to gain resilience, make real friends and develop a passion they can pursue offline.

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.