5. Integrate the Internet into other camp activities.


Adding Internet education to your camp program can be rewarding, but, to maximize the impact, integrate the Internet into other camp activities. If your Internet training is only one of many program offerings, be sure to schedule the program in such a way that Internet activity participants can still join other campers in swimming, crafts, and other regular camp activities. There are a number of ways to do this.

Internet Safety and Acceptable Use

In all the excitement of integrating Internet activities into your camp, don't forget that the Internet was originally used by adults. Take steps to ensure that your campers use the resource responsibly and safely.

Although most instructors have positive experiences when using the Internet as a teaching tool, there are people on the Net who post text and photos that are not appropriate for your campers. The best protection is to be aware of what your campers are doing at all times. If you provide them with focused, stimulating activities, they will be less likely to get into trouble out of boredom or because of misguided searches. However, there are also software programs available that block access to sexually explicit Internet resources. The titles listed below are samples of such software programs; a local computer store can provide details on options and costs.

Your campers should be made aware that they are responsible for using the Internet ethically and legally. Most Internet service providers have what is called an "acceptable use policy." These policies are designed to prohibit file theft or violations of informational privacy. Make sure that you and your campers read and adhere to the policies of your service provider. Discuss Internet safety, acceptable use, and ethics with program staff, parents, and participants. Below is an excerpt from a form signed by high school participants and their parents before Internet access is provided.