Camp Chronicles: Analog Tinder

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I’m writing this on a table whose peeling blue paint has seen better days. These grounds are used for Boy Scout camps, and Camp Grounded has turned their shooting range into a “typewriter range.” Where kids typically aim their guns, old Caravelles and Smith Coronas line the field. Camp has been a crazy ride.

There is no technology at camp – and that’s kind of the point. This is a place to get away and reconnect with nature and actual human interaction. I was passing through Redwood Ring, camp’s central meeting point, when some campers called me over and asked if I wanted to participate in their experiment – Analog Tinder. Of course, I jumped on board.

Here’s how it worked: They took ten girls’ Polaroid and ten guys’ and wrote down three words to describe them. (Mine? ‘Sarcastic and sassy’) Once they had all the photos, they called you back and you swiped through the photos and picked the ones you would be interested in. They then put your matches in your analog inboxes and you took it from there.

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It was terrifying because it wasn’t something you could do and forget. There are only 300 people here, so you are bound to run into your matches. I was scared I wouldn’t match with anyone, but my camp crush was one of my matches! I ran into him at the camp and dance we had this weird moment of ‘Hey, we matched…now what? Do we dance together? Talk to each other?’ It felt elementary and adorable, but I got called away to help someone move something, and when I came back he was gone. It was a fleeting moment, but it was at least acknowledged we find each other interested / relatively attractive. He is a member of the camp house band and will be back on Friday, so maybe I will have more to report next week. Nevertheless, it was a fun social experiment!

We’re walking down memory lane and reliving some of our favorite camp stories. If you’re interested in sharing yours, email camp@thedigitaldetox.org for a chance to be featured!