Celebrate the magic of childhood
Fun and play is not only a great way to connect with others and build relationships, it's also a very important part of our development! This is essential to the healthy growth and maturity of our young children. In today’s world of technology and video games, kids are playing less and less outdoors and are relying on video games or technology to entertain them, engage them, and provide the fun that used to be provided through in-person, interactive games and fun. We are bringing the good, old fashioned, healthy outdoor play back! For more information on the importance of being outdoors for our health, click here.
At Youth Unplugged, all students will experience our behavioral model, our Indigenous education, how to become eco-champions for our environment, and the benefits of intermission from technology. Children have the opportunity to be a part of a small cohort that tackles the issues confronting our students today at a much deeper level. They learn the importance of having a healthy relationship with technology as well as a positive connection with life and the world around them. Through our specialized programming, not only do children have the opportunity for healing and growth, but we also focus on the family as a whole, as we concentrate on making changes within the family unit as well. More often than not, identifying patterns within the family dynamic can allow for sustainability of change, as well as an improvement in your family relationships. Through family workshops and family play (a scheduled part of our camps) parents will learn the effects of technology/screen time overuse as well as ways to help prevent these circumstances. Children mirror what their family members exemplify; therefore, it is important the family learns to create a positive balance in their home so the child can as well.
Our Behavioral Model
The power of positive praise & reward vs criticism & punishment is undeniable. At Youth Unplugged we recognize the vast strengths of our growing kids and focus on all the constructive things they are doing to help encourage positivity, community, and empowerment. It is often easy to give our children our attention when they are doing something they shouldn’t be doing and, unfortunately, we often forget to give them even more attention for all the great things they are already doing.
While at Youth Unplugged, our students have the opportunity to receive praise for displaying positive behaviors such as:
Being a Good Friend
Being able to have your hard work recognized publicly in front of peers is a huge motivator, creating a supportive culture and community.
Many of our students will come in struggling with insecurities, feelings of sadness or anxiety, and low confidence. By pairing this behavioral approach with Group Chats, our students can discover a positive, healthy, and productive identity for themselves outside of technology.
Studies are showing us that Nature is tremendously beneficial for our health, yet we are at an all time low for time spent outdoors. In America, Indigenous Native Americans have lived with nature longer than anyone. We believe the thousands of years they spent listening to America’s great outdoors has resulted in them having something to teach us. A portion of our staff and Board include Native Americans. A study was conducted to determine Indigenous values across North America and Canada and resulted in the following 10 common values amongst 45 tribes. Throughout our programming, we will embrace these universal themes through Group Chats and activities revolving around these topics.
1. RESPECT: “Respect everyone. Everyone and everything is sacred.”
2. HARMONY: “Seek harmony and cooperation with people and nature.”
3. FRIENDSHIP: “Increase the number and depth of your close friends and family.”
4. LAUGHTER: “Laugh at yourself, we are merely human.”
5. EQUALITY: “Everyone expresses their voice in decisions.”
6. AUTHENTICITY: “Speak from your heart.”
7. HISTORY: “Learn from the past. Move forward by looking back.”
8. BALANCE: “Work hard but rest well."
9. GENEROSITY: “Share what you have with others.”
10. ACCOUNTABILITY: “We are all interconnected, we are all related.”
Students will have the opportunity to engage in Group Chats while at Youth Unplugged. Through these group chats, focused on empowerment and personal growth, students have the opportunity to change their personal narrative. We allow the children to have thoughtful, guided discussions around their hopes, dreams, fears, limitations, and goals in an emotionally safe environment. Centered around care, support and connection, we allow our kids to alter their negative thought patterns, create new neural pathways in the brain, and promote healthy behavior. Some of the many topics covered in these group chats:
Family and community
Motivation and independence
Respect and love
How to deal with stress
Hygiene and other living skills