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Plugged In at Summer Camp

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I've always loved going to camp, so when I was asked to spend last weekend supervising middle school campers, I jumped at the chance. The last time I'd worked at a camp was in college, when I spent a steaming summer in a platform tent, a hike away from electricity and running water.

It wasn't the first time I'd visited this camp, so I knew that some buildings had air conditioning (gasp!) and that WiFi service had been added for company retreats. Still, I was surprised by how much technology I found in the hands of the campers.

Each of the kids in my charge had an iPod and a cell phone, even though the camp is in a remote area with no service. One boy brought his prized bass guitar and was excited to find (to his counselor's chagrin, I'm sure) that a cabinmate had an amplifier. More than once I heard campers discussing their MySpace friends, and I realized that for them, roughing it is going a week without going online.

Although I couldn't believe all the technological toys the kids had brought to camp, I was in no position to criticize. I had packed my laptop, and whenever I had an opportunity, I was in the cabin checking my email!

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?