The Many Ways Our Summer Camp in NH Keeps In Touch Using Social MediaMarch 16, 2015
Our summer camp in New Hampshire prides itself on giving our campers “summers unplugged“. We ask them to spend 7 weeks of glorious life without their laptops, ipads, cell phones, or even ipods. No Facebook, no email, nu Netflix, no Snapchat. The research is pretty clear that developing brains need extended time away from electronic communication devices. Anecdotally we see every summer how a vacation from mobile devices leads to kinder, more empathic campers who create deeper, more meaningful friendships.
Yet we also have learned to love and embrace many things about social media. During the non-summer months we really miss our community members, and websites like Facebook and Instagram allow us to remain in close communication with our campers, counselors, parents and even alumni. Currently, we use 8 different social media portals to keep in touch with our camp community throughout the year. It’s certainly not the same level of rich connectivity that we have during the 49 days of Camp each summer, but it does provide us a way to help keep Kenwood and Evergreen a constant in the lives of community members for 12 months of the year.
With that in mind, it occurred to me this weekend that even our most avid social media users may not know all of the ways we try to remain connected with you throughout the year. I invite you to take a quick tour through what we do, and maybe engage with us and the rest of our summer camp community in a new way.
The Camp Blog is our online journal of life during and after the summer. From September to June we post 3-4 posts a week on topics ranging from wrap-ups of recent reunions, to announcements about new buildings and programs, to primers designed to help new campers find answers to their most important questions. If you are new to our community, or interested in joining it in the future, this is the best way to keep informed. Once the campers arrive we will be posting a full summary of camp’s events every day of the summer. Most of our summer blogs are well over 1,000 words, and contain lots of photos and videos, too.
Our Official Facebook page can be found by clicking on this link. We post photos, videos and messages for the community almost every day of the year, including automatic links the moment we post a new Camp blog. Parents, Campers, Staff and Alumni all use this wall as a place to chat about all things K&E. On Throwback Thursdays we open our archives to share a few dozen classic camp photos each week.
The Camp Twitter Account is where we post articles about child development, some of our weekly online contests, and try to keep in touch with our many Camp community members located all over the world! This is also how we try to engage the world’s thought leaders in conversations to help us learn and grow.
Our Instagram page features the daily countdown to Camp, pix from when members of the community get together, lots of pictures of Camp looking beautiful, and funny images from last summer.
Youtube is home to our 400 or so videos from the past couple of years. If you’d like to watch our promotional videos, our annual Video Yearbooks, or see some of the fabulous movies made by our campers in our Film Making program this will be a great resource. It’s a great way to understand a lot about why our kids and counselors are so passionate about this experience and community.
We use Pinterest to generate new ideas for our art studios, for our amazing evening and weekend events, and even to plan new menus. We really want our community members’ ideas and input, so please feel free to contribute to the many boards we have going.
Soundcloud is our platform for posting music generated during the summer. While we don’t post here on a regular basis, if you’d like to hear what our kids and counselors sound like during our annual music festival Hollowpallooza you should definitely click around.
While our Tumblr page is not our official blog, it is where we post a lot of pictures, especially from our off-season events. We love that Tumblr allows us to share full size paroramic photos, which are so easy to take with iphones.
We hope that you join us on our camp’s many fun and informative social media platforms. It’s not quite the same as being together for 7 incredible weeks each summer, but it is a great way to remain connected with each other all year long.