Mmegi Blogs :: Too much free time? Not beneficial for teenagers
Last Updated
Thursday 22 March 2018, 19:51 pm.
Too much free time? Not beneficial for teenagers

The saying that goes “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop” has never been far from the truth.
By Victor Muyakwabo Thu 15 Dec 2016, 17:18 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Too much free time? Not beneficial for teenagers

Teenagers and too much free time do not mix well together, especially now that most teenagers are on school holidays.

While some teenagers might be having regular chores helping parents at the cattle post, in catering businesses or busy practising to be bridesmaids this festive season, there are still many out there who would be idling and wondering what they could do to kill time.

Teenagers generally get bored easily and they love to be kept busy with activities that excite them. Enrolling teenagers in a fully packed teen camp is one option that offers a variety of benefits, some of which are listed below:


Distraction from trouble; contrary to what some people believe, less work does not mean more quality time for teenagers, they do not subscribe to the “less is more” notion in that way.

In fact, teenagers engage more in troublesome activities when they have too much free time at their disposal. Teen camps do play an important role in creating some well thought of structure that can effectively direct teenagers’ energy in a positive or far less harmful direction.


Gaining inter-personal skills such as;

Empathy; living together in a camp tends to give teenagers an opportunity to better understand or develop empathy for those who are less privileged than them, emotionally and otherwise.

Learning social responsibility; teen camps also help participants to join hands in identifying needs within their communities and undertake some necessary community based projects as well as participate in charity work.

Tolerance; teen camps usually accommodate individuals from diverse cultures. Human beings develop better tolerance when they learn to live in multi-cultural settings.

Peer education; living together in a camp gives teenagers an opportunity to share some of the skills they have learned from their parents and other family members such as cooking, playing traditional games, singing, visual artwork and many other vocational skills.

Peer education is an effective way of facilitating cultural exchange.

Patience; home is a comfort zone for many people. It can be a lot easier to get instant gratification from home than any other place.

For instance, grabbing something


to eat when hungry, emotionally disturbed or even thirsty (sometimes) can easily be done impulsively while at home.

 Camping helps participants to embrace delayed gratification when they learn to wait for things such as proper meal and snacking time and even when they find themselves patiently and fairly waiting for their turn to fetch warm water for bathing, from the warm water collection point.

Resilience; it is normal for anybody to experience  a degree of discomfort when they are not used to being away from home and family for some days, but it becomes a problem when being homesick completely hinders them from surviving away from home. Being homesick is not only a teen thing, parents too can get overwhelmed with worry when their teenagers are out camping.

This can be evidenced when participants are in a well-organised camp in the middle of nowhere and the concerned parents bring in some take away food from restaurants (against the general camp rules), to reduce what they fear might be a period of discomfort for their beloved ones.

Teenagers are young adults and they need to be occasionally weaned from parents so that they learn to take responsibility for their own lives.

After all, they will have to leave home at some point in pursuit of further studies or jobs. Staying in a strictly controlled environment which has no room for imports can be good for participants, sometimes. It makes it a lot easier to trace what could have gone wrong in case of allergic reaction to food and other things.


Discipline; Well-structured camps are handy in teaching misguided participants respect for authority.

Any organisation has its own rules and regulations that need to be followed. People who have no respect for authority have a tough time securing their places at school or in the workplace. Other areas of discipline that participants learn when out camping include time management and safety precautions.

It is therefore helpful for teenagers to be actively involved in organising and participating in activities in which education and entertainment work synergistically.

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Youth Matters
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Thu 17 Nov 2016, 16:39 pm
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