music

Unplugged

No clocks, watches, iPhones, iPods, mp3 players, handheld personal electronic devices or other similar items for 26 days. Could you do it? (long pause) Maybe I could do it. A daunting challenge, for sure, and I know I couldn’t take this on if I were at my desk, working, adhering to deadlines and attending requisite meetings. Could I do this if I were on vacation – away from the daily rituals, commitments and obligations? Perhaps.

We just watched our daughter and 35 other young teens pull away on the camp bus. This is not a cushy charter bus with restroom facilities, A/C and DVD players. The familiar green bus has been transporting campers to their ultimate summer destinations for decades. From the moment they claim their spot and settle in with their seat-mate these tech-savvy teens are funneled into another world; a world where electronic devices are shunned; music is made with their voices, their hands and hearts beating out the rhythm of the collective wanton, adventurous spirit. They’ll lay awake for a few blissful seconds each night while being lulled by the rustling branches, snapping twigs, hissing cicadas and crackling embers. The bonds they’ll form will defy their love for any device.

The opportunity to unplug, even for an hour, reminds us that there is a world around us begging to be embraced. Could you do it? Yes. I actually like not being able to check my mail. I don’t need to know the latest social media exclamations. In fact, I am much happier without all of it.

In 26 days, 36 young adults will return; the longings they’ll experience will be for their new friends, the beauty of the sunrise, the quiet of untapped forest. The technology they’ll come home to will just be tools to reconnect with the memories – reminders of what life is truly about.