Technology vrs. Outdoors

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by kreich, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    So true. I'm thankfull that we camped as a family when I was growing up. I was 9 months old on my first camping trip and I haven't looked back.

    Now that I have a family of my own......DS's was 6 months old for his 1st camping trip and he absolutely loves it. Sometimes he just stands over by the p'up in the driveway and says....."camp, camp" My hope as that as he grows older, he will continue to embrace the outdoors and nature as I have all these years.

    Here's a little of DS communing with nature:

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    Toys????? Who needs stinkin' toys?

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    That Primal Scream!

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    Showing DW the finer points of leveling front to back!

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    Ahhhh....this is nice. I'm so relaxed!

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    Thanks for taking me campin' daddy.....I love it!
     
  2. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Cute little guy! He reminds me a bit of my son nearly 30 years ago.
     
  3. Mc7

    Mc7 New Member

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    You just gotta love pics like that! [:D] Too cute.
     
  4. Tacoma_Jim

    Tacoma_Jim Member

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    We grew up camping every summer. Probably because that's all my parents could afford with 6 kids. We also got kicked outside a lot. I'm glad for that now. I have quite a few good memories of playing outside with my brothers. Inventing games and making super-hero costumes. Having no kids of my own, I was glad to see my brothers get their kids involved in Scouts and participated with them. It seems like imagination and creativity are lost with all these electonic games.
     
  5. Xolthrax

    Xolthrax Franconia, Pa.

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    cwolfman13, those are some GREAT pictures. I started my kids at 4 months. They LOVE to camp and beg me to take them.

    As a Scout leader, I can tel you that I don't allow any electronics on camping trips. They are a distraction from enjoying the great outdoors and have no place on our trips.
     
  6. BratsMuttsNFish

    BratsMuttsNFish New Member

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    I had a technology induced blonde moment the other day I am ashamed to admit. I made a pot of gumbo, then later while cleaning the kitchen I couldn't get the pot to fit in the dishwasher. I must of spent 3 minutes trying to figure our how to get it in there. I was utterly distraught, I knew I had used this pot before, how the heck did I wash it. Then a light went off....why not just hand wash it? Duh [:D]
     
  7. GA Judy

    GA Judy Active Member

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    Sort of like using the spare key (without the automatic unlock) and thinking, How do I get the car unlocked without the opener? Put the key in the lock and twist! Doh!
     
  8. BratsMuttsNFish

    BratsMuttsNFish New Member

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    LOL [LOL]

    IKR, told my then 10 year old brother to go roll up the windows in my step dad's truck b/c it was about to rain. He came back a few minutes later saying he couldn't figure out where the button was. It was a manual roll up window type. LOL. Technology is making us lazy and stupid.
     
  9. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    "Roll up the window" is another of those terms that we still use even though the means of accomplishing the task are now different. "Dial" the phone or a phone number is another. We no longer dial, we push buttons. I don't know why but these anachronisms and the reasons why they hang on interest me, but they do. Speaking of hang on, I just thought of another phone-related one. We used to actually hang up a phone when we replaced the handset in the bracket (wall phone) or cradle (table phone). We still say hang up but we actually push another button or flip the phone closed.
     
  10. RAGAR Family

    RAGAR Family Member

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    My family enjoys geocaching, it is a great way to combine our love for the outdoors with high tech game. We own and use a Garmin Oregon 400T hand held GPS unit. That is the only real cost of the game, if you own a Smart phone you can down load an App and play with little or no cost.

    www.geocaching.com

    When we camp we are intentional about not letting the kids watch DVD videos at night etc, it is our goal to take a media fast so to speak. So we focus on sitting around the fire together, or if it is raining sitting around the camper and playing boardgames or card games like UNO or GO FISH etc. Our lifestyle at home is so hurried and crazy that when we camp we really try to slam on the breaks and stop and enjoy each other and savor the kids at the age they are. (currently 6 and 3) They are growing up so fast and we are soo afraid they will be grown up and gone before we realize what happened.
     
  11. natedog_37

    natedog_37 New Member

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    It depends on the parents.

    we had Atari, and Coleco vision. but my parents had rules.

    I was always outside, and really only inside when I had to be.

    My little one so far is the same way. She loves to being out side. I have no problems with them playing games or watching TV but there is a set limit on it.
     
  12. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    I know I have commented on this but I have to again...
    Can someone please answer this question honestly...
    Would you rather have your kid go for a nature hike with his Ipod or not go on a nature hike at all ?

    On a side note I was in the waiting room at my kids dentist the other day and picked up a copy of Boys Life magazine (for those unaware that is the Cub Scout/Boy Scout publication) and in it was an article about a troop that uses gps and ham radio to geocache. There is even a badge for it. I guess my point is these items aren't going away and we can be firm and stubborn and say "no electronics camping" but that isn't going to get more kids in the woods.
     
  13. PinnMcrack

    PinnMcrack Active Member

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    I would have to say whatever it takes to get them outside.. [2C]
     
  14. Xolthrax

    Xolthrax Franconia, Pa.

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    If we're going geocaching, then of course having GPS units is necssary. But, when the activity is done, they won't be texting and playing angry birds on it.

    I'm sure that I will stir up controversy with my reply. I deal with this all the time. The honest answer is leave the ipod at home. You pose the question as if the two scenarios are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. There is absolutely NO justification for having an ipod on a nature hike. It's our responsibility to teach our children that. If you comprimise for a kid just to get him to participate, you are enabling the attitude that the outdoors are a distraction, or worse yet an irritation to be relieved by electronic games and toys, not a destination. In the long run, for that child, that is a very destructive comprimise.

    If an electronic device were essential to a trip, then it is "equipment" and should be included. That's an easy emough distinction to teach kids.
     
  15. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    All due respect Xolthrax but "There is absolutely NO justification for having an ipod on a nature hike" is a ridiculous statement. There are as many reasons to include an Ipod on a nature hike as there are not to include one...I would actually say there are more reasons to include one than not to. When an Ipod was just a music player the only justification would be that science has proven that kids that listen to music often or perform music have higher IQ's,better concentration,better grades test scores etc... now that an Ipod is also a e-reader,note taking device,voice recorder,camera and any number of other apps it not only can improve the grades of the kid but can improve the experience by having the tools to identify,record and mark the location of the experience;whether that is a bird,leaf,animal,fish,rock or bug.

    "If you comprimise for a kid just to get him to participate, you are enabling the attitude that the outdoors are a distraction, or worse yet an irritation to be relieved by electronic games and toys, not a destination." Ridiculous statement number two. The attitude displayed there is nothing new and exists in our own camping world here with anti hardside or TT PUPpers or outside our camping world with the tent purists. I'll ask you this do you grill food at home? Do you use sticks,charcoal or propane? Obviously a propane grill is a distraction from the art of temperature control and keeping the fire going not to mention the art of fire control (just kidding I do all three methods)
    Drawing a line in the sand and just saying "NO" will do nothing but perpetuate the problem. There are some kids that no matter what you do will not take to the outdoors (always have been always will be) but the ones that can be "convinced" to go out there simply by allowing them to bring their Ipod are the ones that after being out there will appreciate the experience and will eventually just turn it off by themselves when they are out there.

    Your final statement is the only part of your post that makes sense to me...the difference is what you consider "essential equipment" and what you don't. I pose a question would you take a beginning birder to the field without a field guide? Me either the difference is my field guide is on my phone not a heavy book.
     
  16. mrwithit

    mrwithit New Member

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    While there are always unhealthy extremes I have found that by saying no electronics ever, get outside, etc I end up encouraging the behavior I don't want

    I hope we are teaching our kids to understand balance therefore who cares if they listen to an iPod or play games in camp. Doesn't mean we don't place time limits though.

    There is a true generational change in the needs and wants of today's younger generations. To ignore it is akin to thinking 8-tracks could never be replaced.

    At work we run week long, field science camps that are exclusively focused on the outdoors. We used to think no cell phones too. Times change, kids demand them. So we figured out how to incorporate social media for example in order to communicate with friends and families in real time. The outcome is kids are able to communicate their adventures and enthusiasm in real time which deepens the experience for everyone.

    iPads can access field guides, journals, star gazing guides, AND games for downtime.

    Just sayin there are different strokes for different folks. Maybe the people who are against tech should consider moving closer to a place where the outdoors are more accessible.
     
  17. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Kids can't go outside and play anymore because they are all drugged. What used to be considered normal activity levels for kids are now considered hyper.

    One of my grandsons (the one that I babysit full time) is in a perpetual state of motion. He doesn't walk, he runs. He hates to be cooped up in the house so it's a good thing we live in Florida. He runs and plays every waking moment. Everyone that meets him comments on how 'hyper' he is. To me he is just a normal 2.5 year old. He is not out of control, he follows direction and behaves well. He is just active.

    I can already predict that the minute this kid gets in school, the teachers will want him drugged. It's not going to happen.
     
  18. fmbhappycamper

    fmbhappycamper PuP Power

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    I love that age, yes run, play, most kids are couch potatoes watching the tv or playing video games [{:)]
     
  19. Xolthrax

    Xolthrax Franconia, Pa.

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    I should clarify that I am applying the "no electronics" rule to my Scout Pack camping trips. I'm not sure if that was clear. When I'm camping with my family, it's a different story. In fact, if you've read many of the forums here, you will be familiar that outdoor entertainment and camping electronics are forums that I moderate and I'm a big proponent.

    Scouting is different because the dynamics and goals are different than a family trip. One of our fundamental goals in Scouting is to raise conservation minded youth (who then become conservation minded adults) by instilling in them a love of the outdoors. My kids already have a love of the outdoors because they have been raised spending good times outdoors with their family. Many kids don't have that experience. Their parents may be apathetic about outdoor experiences, or worse they might actually dislike them completely.

    To state that "science has proven that kids that listen to music often or perform music have higher IQ's,better concentration,better grades test scores etc... " is not inaccurate, but a bit misguided. The studies that I am familiar with usually referred to classical music (which I love, I've been a season ticket holder to the symphony for over 20 years), and are targeting infants and toddlers, not adolesents and teens. They aren't an endorsement for music anytime / anywhere. While listening to music has numerous positive benefits, music can be distracting if it competes for our attention with what we're trying to do. In this case, I'm trying to teach them about nature. They can utilize their "improved concentration" to pay attention to what we're doing.

    I also teach them about music, but not in this setting.

    Those are all great tools, but for the purposes of a Scout hike or campout, they are not necessarily essential. Does an 8-10 year old need these thing to be able to participate? Simply put, no. If there was a valid need for it, then it would be allowed. If they were using it for orienteering or geocaching, OK. I'd rather teach them with a map and compass first, but that would at least constitute using it as a "useful tool".

    Come on. That's hardly a fair analogy. I clearly don't have the same goals and aims for my camping experiences as someone in a Travel Trailer or Class A, nor possibly even a tent, but that's OK. That doesn't mean that I don't think they should be allowed to camp in the way that they see fit or appropriate as long as it doesn't impinge on my ability to do so (and vice verse). If someone thinks that they need to have a rolling apartment to go camping, and that is what they consider camping, then so be it. Why should I care? Does it make me better than them, or them better than me? Not in my opinion.

    This isn't about being a snob or being exclusionary. It's about instilling an attitude with a very specific purpose. If through my decisions and actions I send the message that "OK, I accept that you can't and/or won't do these things without your iPod", then I've probably already lost the battle.

    Again a bit of reductio ad absurdum, and not a fair analogy. Yes, I use propane, but that's because my goal is to cook a meal, not the art of temperature control and keeping the fire going. In a situation where those are my goals, such as teaching dutch oven cooking or fire building, then you wouldn't find me utilizing propane. Different goal, different methods. Heck, when I test you on firebuilding, you get two matches, and I really expect to get one back.

    I'll just have to respectfully disagree with you. I understand where you're coming from, but I firmly believe that children need to learn that at certain times and in certain situations, they have limitations, like it or not. I need to teach them to overcome the attitude that because they don't get to do something exactly the way they want, then it's OK to say that they can't or won't do it. I believe that comprimising in these situations perpetuates the problem.

    Unfortunate, but true. But, I can say with a clear conscience that I have done everything that I can to try to overcome that. In my experience (and that doesn't make it Gospel, or anything), kids learn that attitude. It's not inherent to us. That's why I set the rules that I do. Too many kids are taught that the outdoors are an incovenience, or can only be enjoyed if we bring our modern conveniences with us. I'll give you a personal example: We have a Scout Reservation close by. It consists of 3 camps, one with mostly platform tents and outhouses. One with mostly (rustic) cabins, some with bathrooms, most with outhouses, none that would be considered particularly "homey". Finally, a third camp with themed camps that include a pirate ship, a castle, a wetern fort, etc. They all have full equipped kitchens, nicely equipped rooms, full wonderful bathrooms with nice hot showers, etc. Guess which one I have a problem with... It's not that I don't think that people should ever avail themselves of those amenities. I just don't believe that it sends the right message to the kids. "OK, kids, we can go outdoors, but ONLY if we can have all the comforts of home while we do". What message does that send? What do the boys learn? They learn that the outdoors are "icky" and only to be enjoyed in moderation, and only if we can have the comforts of home.

    Are they going to grow up to love the outdoors and be conservation-minded? Maybe. Miracles happen. I wouldn't count on it, though. I think my chances are better with the boys who stayed in a tent or cabin and realized (on their own) that they can have an excellent time even with some inconvenience. I consider that character development.

    I'd love to believe that. Maybe you're right, but I'm just not convinced. I'd like to think that it would be more beneficial to teach them that they can at least try to do it without their iPods, and then have them come to the realization that they didn't need them in the first place. I think that if I told them that it was OK to bring the iPod in the first place, then I have planted the seeds of justification.

    Like I said, I'm a huge proponent of modern amenities and utililizing campsite electronics. I probably have 20 or more apps on my phone that are dedicated to camping. I use Google Sky to teach astronomy. I have a dutch oven calculator that helps me determine how much charcoal to use for a dish. I use the alarm clock (set to revilie, of course). I have a knots guide. I have a survival guide. I have used Google Goggles to identify plants. I use my phone compass to calibrate analog compasses (and keep us from going seriously awry on long hikes). I keep my records and the "Guide to Safe Scouting" on my phone for reference. I play bugle calls on it for flag ceremonies. I use Geobeable for geocaching. I sometimes use it as a flashlight, etc, etc, etc. I have no problem with that. I am utilizing them as tools. Heck, if it's personal camping, I'm doing a ton more, like Pandora, Kindle, recipes, finding the nearest gas station, playing movies (hooked to my projector) etc. I'm hardly a technophobe. The difference is that I'm either not specifically trying to teach someone how to appreciate the outdoors, or I'm using it as a tool specifically for that purpose.

    I hope that helps clarify how (but more importantly, why) I consider certain things to be "essential" equipment and others not essential. I don't consider technology and outdoors to be mutually exclusive. Quite the opposite. But there are circumstances in which I do consider things that under different circumstances would be completely acceptible, to be unacceptible because they are detrimental to the fundamental purpose of the trip.
     
  20. missnanc

    missnanc Give me the fresh outdoors!

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    Xolthrax, I appreciate what you said. I would love for my GD to have the same type childhood experiences that I had growing up. We try to limit our electronics, and especially when we are camping it is NO Electronics for us. Heck I won't even get a smart phone, I know I'm behind. But my phone is just a phone that can make crappy pictures, and I don't text either. But aside all that, I always revert back to my memories of weeks at summer Girl Scout camp and the fun I had then. It was basic and simple and never a dull moment.
    I still remember the cringe I felt when one of the neighbor kids got in my van and asked, Hey Miss Nancy, where is the DVD player, aren't we going to watch a movie? I told him to look out the window for his movie and if he didn't look closely he might miss something. At the end of our trip, I asked him what all he saw. He amazed his own self, when he realized there were things he had never seen before, on just a normal road that we all travel here locally.
     

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