CELL PHONE POLICY

WHAT TO EXPECT AT MUSKOKA WOODS

This was filmed in mid-2019.

What is Muskoka Woods’ Phone Policy?

We continue to strongly recommend all communication devices stay at home. If your family reaches a decision that your child will come to Muskoka Woods with a device, here is our updated cell phone policy:

If you are a parent of a WILD (6-8) or Venture (9-10) guest:
  • Please notify your child’s counsellor upon arrival if you have chosen to send your child to camp with a cell phone. We highly recommend that WILD and Venture guests do not bring phones with them to camp, however, guests will be able to use their phones to text/call home if needed, after dinner time, between 6:30 and 7:00p.m.. If you would like to contact your child while they are at camp, please do so during this time.
  • The cell phone will be required to stay in the Yondr pouch, in your child’s luggage, in their cabin during daily activities and evening program.
  • We encourage you to bring a lock for your luggage if you are bringing a phone to camp.
If you are a parent of a Junior High (11-12) Guest:
  • Guests will have access to their phones daily after activities end at 5 p.m. until evening program at 7 p.m.. outside of dinner time while they eat with their cabinmates.
  • Curfew for Jr. High guests is 10:00 p.m..
  • The cell phone will be required to stay in the Yondr pouch during daily activities and evening program. We recommend that guests leave it in their luggage, but they may carry it with them.
  • Cell phones will be put back into the Yondr pouches shortly before evening program until the next day.
  • We encourage you to bring a lock for your luggage if you are bringing a phone to camp.
If you are a parent of a Senior High (13-14), Crew (15-16) or CEO (15-17) guest:
  • Guests will have access to their phones daily after activities end at 5 p.m. until evening program and then again before curfew. Guests will not use their phones during dinner time as they eat with their cabinmates.
  • The cell phone will be required to stay in the Yondr pouch during daily activities and evening program. We recommend that guests leave it in their luggage, but they may carry it with them.
  • Cell phones will be put back into the Yondr pouches shortly before curfew, which is 10:30 p.m. for Senior High guests and 11 p.m. for Crew and CEO guests.
  • We encourage you to bring a lock for your luggage if you are bringing a phone to camp.

WHAT INFORMS MUSKOKA WOODS’  CELL PHONE POLICY?

While we believe technology makes life easier in many ways, we also want to ensure that connection is at the forefront of all that we do. Our cell phone policy aligns with technology and education expert Richard Culatta’s comments on the Shaping Our World podcast.

We need to think about balance — what activities are appropriate to do given a particular day and in context with the other activities that are happening around us. (Using communication devices) might be appropriate…when there’s not really much going on is very different than when it’s a beautiful day and everybody’s outside.

Richard Culatta

Richard is an internationally recognized leader in technology and learning. He is the CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE),  a non-profit that supports education leaders in 127 countries, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology.

Listen to the full episode for more information.

HOW THE POUCH WORKS

INSERT PHONE

During the phone-free times, your phone will be placed in a Yondr pouch.

LOCK

Once inside, the pouch will lock but you can still connect to a charging cord or headphones.

Unlock

Tap your phone on the unlocking base to use your phone during access times.

FAQ

Can I reach my child while they are at camp?

Yes, though they won’t be able to come to the phone right away, you can call our office at 705-732-4373 to arrange a time for your child to call home. Sending Bunk Notes through Bunk1 is also a great way to connect with your child at camp! You can send a Bunk Note by logging in at Bunk1.com with your Muskoka Woods account credentials, or can access Bunk1 directly from your family profile. Bunk Notes are printed out and delivered to guests daily. We will also be posting new photos daily to a secure online photo gallery in Bunk1.

Why haven't you just banned phones altogether?

Our goal with the Yondr Pouches is to empower youth to gain healthy boundaries with their technology. We believe that technology makes life easier in a lot of ways, and we also want to ensure that connection is at the forefront of all that we do. This unique solution allows us to keep an open dialogue about phone use, acknowledging both their benefits and drawbacks.

Our policy aligns with key recommendations from experts like Richard Culatta, an internationally recognized leader in technology and learning. He is the CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a non-profit that supports education leaders in 127 countries. Before his time at ISTE, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. Have a listen to this podcast for more information. 

What if they want to take photos, listen to music, etc?

Guests can bring music devices and digital cameras that will not need to go in their Yondr pouches. No tablets or laptops are allowed. Please keep in mind that Muskoka Woods is not responsible for any personal items that guests choose to bring. We are also offering a secure online photo gallery through Bunk1, where we will be posting new photos daily.

Where will the phones be while they’re in the pouches?

Guests are still responsible for the safekeeping of their phones. We recommend bringing a lock for your luggage, and keeping phones inside them.

If there is still time to be on the phones, should I allow my kid to bring one?

While we recommend a phone-free experience, we recognize that technology is an ever-present part of our lives. It is up to you as a family to determine whether or not your kids bring a cell phone to camp. Our partnership with Yondr identifies this tension, and allows us to ensure that during the important moments of camp, kids are connecting with each other and their activities. 

READ: Our tips to talking to your teen about disconnecting while at camp

If you have any further questions, concerns or comments, please call our Guest Relations team to discuss!

Read more about technology and camp

How to have a conversation with your kids about leaving cell phones at home

We can’t wait to see you this summer!

705-732-4373 | guestrelations@muskokawoods.com