Do you have children of "summer camp" age from 8 to 17 years? You probably know that there IS a secular alternative to the Boy Scouts or other church-sponsored summer camps called Camp Quest.
Too bad Camp Quest wasn't around when I was a kid. Some of the 2016 camps are now full but there is still space in others. Click here.
I'll let them say it...
History of Camp Quest
Camp Quest was founded in 1996 by a small group of dedicated and energetic people with the Free Inquiry Group of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Edwin and Helen Kagin, Ed McAndrews, Elizabeth Oldiges, Nikki Orlemann, and David Scheidt served as members of the original Camp Quest planning committee, with Vern Uchtman as chairperson.
The idea to offer a summer camp program designed for children from atheist, agnostic, humanist, and other freethinking families originated partially in response to the Boy Scouts of America’s increasing enforcement of their policy requiring boys to profess a belief in God. It became clear that children from nontheistic families needed their own place to belong and enjoy the summer camp experience.
As the original Camp Quest grew, it expanded to serve teenagers ages 13-17 as well as children 8-12. Campers traveled from across the U.S., as well as from Canada, the UK, Japan, and the Curacao Islands to attend Camp Quest sessions.
Camp Quest's Mission, Vision, Goals, and Values
Camp Quest provides an educational adventure shaped by fun, friends and freethought, featuring science, natural wonder and humanist values.
Values we teach: integrity, empathy, creativity, critical thinking, and community.
Camp Quest envisions a world in which children grow up exploring, thinking for themselves, connecting with their communities, and acting to make the most of life for themselves and others.
Through our programs, we seek to:
- Develop supportive communities for freethinking families
- Foster curiosity, scientific inquiry, and critical thinking in young people to enable them to draw their own conclusions
- Cultivate reason and empathy as foundations of an ethical, productive and fulfilling life
- Provide a safe and fun environment for personal and social growth
- Encourage exploration of the natural world
- Promote open dialogue that is marked by challenging each other’s ideas while treating each other with respect
- Raise awareness of positive contributions made by atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheistic people to our society
- Demonstrate atheism and humanism as positive, family-friendly worldviews
These principles guide our operations:
- Grassroots innovation – empowering local leaders, exploring new approaches, sharing what works
- Practicality – taking action, creating solutions, providing hands-on support
- Courage – speaking out, challenging ourselves and others, audaciously advancing our mission
- Integrity – standing up, engaging honestly, living our principles
- Cooperation – sharing ideas, working together, cultivating community
- Empiricism – testing ideas, building from evidence, rejecting what doesn’t work