My son was at an overnight scouting weekend in the middle of the woods. He tried archery, learned to cast a fishing line, climbed a rock wall, found kindling for the fire and built things out of sticks. He (and the rest of the children there) had no access to screens.
And they were all fine.
More than fine, actually. They got lots of fresh air and exercise and everyone played together. And I think part of the reason why they were so inventive at coming up with new activities is that everyone was on equal footing: No one had access to a screen.
I remember last year when I dropped my son off at day camp and there were always one or two kids who had a device and all the children were gathered around that one little screen. This bothered me because drop off time was 15 minutes before activities started, and I knew if those screens weren't there, they would be playing an impromptu game of tag or trying to hit tennis balls over the net or whatever it is children do outside. (And, as a parent, I know how hard it can be to drag children away from those screens, so I felt bad for the counselors.)
So, I really liked the no screens rule at the camping weekend: It was entertaining to see the kids roam free. And it was a great reminder that yes, screen time is fine and we can fit it into our daily lives, but other things are fun too, and those other things should come first on the schedule.
On another upbeat note: It was nice to see parents disengage with their phones as well (service was spotty) and hang out a bit more with each other. While I am not the biggest fan of camping, I can see the appeal of spending more time playing in the woods. Where does screen time fit in your child's day? Share with me in the comments.