Jeff Lake Camp's Electronic-Free Policy Helps Campers Thrive

Sue Rynar, Director at Jeff Lake Camp in Stanhope, NJ shares how the camp’s electronic device-free environment helps campers truly be themselves and enjoy living in the moment.

7/22/2017 #611






"Welcome to Life and Living. I'm Joanna Gagis. With childhood anxiety on the rise, one camp in Sussex, New Jersey says it has the answer. Just let kids play like kids. Joining me today is Sue Rynar, the Director of Jeff Lake Camp in Stanhope, New Jersey. Welcome to the program. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Childhood anxiety... Why is this an issue that we are now addressing and that kids are struggling with. Well, I can only give you what my parents have shared with me. Our kids are super programmed. Our parents have no free time. There's just not an opportunity to take a deep breath and get outside and play and be creative. Every moment is accounted for and there is a lot of demands on little bodies and minds. I think I can just speak from personal experience as a mom of two young kids in seeing the friends and colleagues around and the trends right now that we're really seeing are that kids are involved in multiple activities. Sometimes year round sports. The parents... forget about busy schedules. The parents, now you're adding the busy schedules of the kids and it can be crushing. Right. I mean my parents kid me that they need Excel spreadsheets to know where their children are at every moment and what they really look forward to is that yellow camp van coming to their front door and they can take a deep breath. And they know their children are outside and having a great time and really enjoying nature and getting to wind down. And when you talk about your parents, of course you're talking about the parents of the kids who come to Jeff Lake Camp. Of course! Those are your parents. Those are my parents. Describe what the experience is like at Jeff Lake Camp. Well, we pick our campers up, door to door whenever possible and they head up to the country. Where are they coming from? They're coming from Essex County. They're coming from Morris County. A little bit of Union County. Our parents from Sussex county, if they're close, can drive them in. But otherwise, you're sending out a van. We are. All the way to Essex. All the way. From Essex to Sussex. Right. Picking them up. At the end of the day, dropping them off? Back to their front door. Look at that. Door to door service. Right. With a big hug goodbye and I'll see you tomorrow. Perfect. Okay, so they get there and what is it like. What does the day look like. So there's a nine period day. Each child's in an age appropriate group. Single gender. So, all kindergarten boys, fourth grade girls. Why..."