Camp Olympia announces new summer theme – “UNPLUGGED to make a REAL connection!”

Each summer, Camp Olympia has a new theme, and the theme for Camp Olympia’s 51st summer is “UNPLUGGED to make a REAL Connection.”

The term “unplugged” has many meanings in this day and age. At Olympia, we are “unplugged” in many ways from the pressures of the outside world, and we affectionately call this the “Camp Bubble”. It is the protective and freeing feeling that you get when you are here and the way that camp exists in a space and time that seems separate from the outside distractions of the world. Unplugged “plugs” right into that way of thinking. It is a chance to literally unplug from the devices that so often control our lives: the televisions, the gaming consoles, and the cell phones (the cell signal out here is so bad it nearly forces you to be “unplugged” anyway). There is also an opportunity to figuratively unplug from the everyday stresses and pressures of being a kid and college student.

But you might ask yourself if Olympia is so unplugged, from where will you draw “power” and how will you be “connected”? The power of being unplugged at camp comes from the relationships, growth and fun you have while here; time spent without those things we might call essentials in everyday life. The REAL Connections we make here are made possible by the absence of screens and the increase in face-to-face time (not Facetime). Connections are made in the walks to and from activities, eating in the chow hall, enjoying time with friends in the cabin, and singing your heart out to Journey at one of our many camp dances. While these connections are not necessarily uncommon outside of camp, there is something special about throwing inhibitions away and pausing the commotion of the rest of life when you drive through the front gates of Camp Olympia and enter the “Camp Bubble”. As a former counselor, it was liberating to get away from the Facebook and Twitter feeds during the summer. It was refreshing to have the soundtrack of your weeks be a Ross King theme song and the camp sounds of laughter and chow hall yells. Listening to the cheers of the Spartan/Athenian competition, the sounds of joy emanating from the lakefront, or whatever crazy song the wake-up show had on (not to mention all of the natural sounds of the birds, bullfrogs and crickets) seems to be the best noise there is. And I assure you, catching a Camp Olympia Talent Show is far more gratifying than any “America’s Got Talent” or “Dancing with the Stars” episode. The realness of the camp atmosphere is the best part. It allows us to plug into the things that really matter; the relationships, the friendships, and the memories that will last much longer than any cell phone battery will. Ask a counselor during their fall semester following a summer here at camp; better yet, ask their friends who weren’t there just how much camp has become a topic of conversation in everyday life. Ask a former counselor who now has the steady 9-5 job if they have ever looked out their window on a summer afternoon and thought to themselves, “4th period activity is about to start” and “Isn’t Rodeo tonight?” Camp Olympia memories and friendships are special and the connections made in a summer can last a lifetime.

As we all know the summer camp terms don’t last forever and the summer does in fact end, yet somehow the draw of getting “unplugged” becomes even more powerful each year. We hope that this summer we have more campers and counselors than ever before come to Camp Olympia to get “UNPLUGGED to make a REAL CONNECTION!”