Refreshing our thinking on camp pictures

Laura K. Silver is a trustee of the Jewish Light who writes a blog for the paper’s website ( Laura is married and the mother of two middle school age children.

By Laura K. Silver

I don’t know about you, but one of the aspects I like best about camp is that my kids spend time away from social media. My kids agree. They welcome the time to connect with their friends face-to-face without the interruption of phones or video games or posting or likes.  

At camp, kids get away from the selfie perfection pressures…”Can I see it?”  retake, retake, retake until they look acceptable to themselves. Today’s kids live their lives on stage and they know it. Times have changed since we left the photos that we didn’t like behind at Walgreens. We weren’t under the constant evaluation of our looks back when we were kids the way kids are today, and camp can offer a break from all of it.

And as much as I want my kids to have this break—a true break—in reality, they don’t really get it.

Parents, let’s face it, we are the reason why. Camps cater to us, and we demand pictures—hundreds of them, every single day. Camps post pictures to camp websites (refresh, refresh) or Twitter or Facebook or Instagram and parents scour it to see if their kids are smiling, being included, looking happy.  In all likelihood, our kids will never see these photos.  The camps are doing it for us.


To what end? 

Please don’t get me wrong…I too love an occasional photo of my kids from camp…but I don’t need to check in on them and see them every day.  On balance, if I really want what is best for my kids, the value of giving my kids time away from a life on stage for me wins hands down.

I’m sure they’ll be back to the selfies soon enough.