Pop quiz: What’s the longest you’ve gone lately without checking your smart phone?
Organizers of Camp Grounded, a sort of summer camp-technology detox clinic mashup that’s coming to Central Texas, think that’s too long. (So do I, frankly.)
The camp started three years ago in California, where it quickly garnered the attention of the New York Times, which is where I first read about it. When I found out recently that it’s coming to Central Texas Oct. 9-12 I just about flung my phone into the river.
Here’s the deal: At check-in, people wearing haz-mat suits will strip you of all your digital devices. No phones, no laptops, no tiny TV sets, no iPads –
not even a blinky light or glow stick for four days.
Campers go by nicknames, not their real names. They’re assigned to a cabin with a bunch of other folks who could be anyone from restaurant employees to high-tech company CEOs. They’re not allowed to talk about work or network with other campers. (They are, however, encouraged to sneak out of their cabins late at night.)
For the next few days they spend their time playing – walking on stilts, tickling (yes, tickling), participating in color “wars,” learning survival skills and swimming in the lake. There’s a silent dinner one night, a camp dance the next and a camp-wide talent show the last.
The camp started in California, and expanded this year to North Carolina and now Texas.
Registration is open. Cost is $595, but that’s discounted to $400 if you register this Labor Day weekend.
For more information or to sign up, go here.