Two of my pre-teen friends and family are at overnight camp this summer, and since I am an avid user of snail mail, I’ve been invited to correspond.

One of the camps has a standard “no food” policy and checks packages to ensure that well-meaning relatives aren’t tempting the animals in an effort to treat their camper. But the other camp won’t even allow anything larger than a regular business-size envelope – not to keep the critters away, rather to allow the campers to disconnect from Amazon! Apparently last year several participants received daily deliveries courtesy of Prime and the administration (wisely) changed policy to stop it.

It’s one thing to have everything at your fingertips if you’re an adult or living in a metropolitan area but I wonder what it teaches young people when they have near-instant access to everything while at a remote camp. In this situation, I think the good intentions of the sender are misplaced and the young people would benefit more from a week free of technology, commercialism, and instant gratification. After all, isn’t that part of what going to camp is all about?

So, if you are lucky enough to have a summer pen pal, opt for a touch of nostalgia and send correspondence that is as primitive as their environment. Postcards are as much of a treat as Amazon and even more of a novelty in this day and age.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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