My 16-year-old son and I are starting to focus on summer camp. Scout summer camp might seem like "pretend" outdoors, since we eat in a dining hall and sleep in cots in standing tents, and even have flush toilets. And we're not as unplugged as we used to be. Most camps have cell phone reception and online access.

That means the adults have to be conscious of their use of electronics, so we're not setting a bad example. The scouts sneak electronics into their tents, but as long as it doesn't interfere with other activities, we look the other way.

The key for adults is to encourage group activities and build them into the schedule -- doing skits during an evening campfire, sing-a-longs, sharing meals, religious services, teaching or practicing common scout skills. Those are the communal activities scouts go to camp for, that build loyalty and friendships among scouts, and that they'll remember as adults.   

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