When word quietly leaked about this larky, technology-free retreat in the woods, tickets, which cost about three hundred dollars apiece, sold out quickly. Attendees ranged in age from nineteen to sixty-seven and hailed from more than a dozen states and three countries. Start-up founders, engineers, and coders were sprinkled throughout the group. According to a pre-camp survey, they typically spent ten to sixteen hours staring at screens. At check-in, several campers admitted to regularly waking up with iPhones in their hands. One San Franciscan said that he had begun to catch himself blearily retyping the URLs of Web sites he was already reading. So, on a sweaty Friday afternoon, they followed a dirt road down to the eighty-acre campsite, looking to connect to something other than Twitter.
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Hidden deep in the Mendocino County redwoods, the camp is located on the site of what its Web site describes as a “nostalgic” nineteen-seventies Boy Scouts campground. Campers had come to “celebrate what it means to be alive,” which meant checking anything with a power button or a screen upon arrival.
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