Tag Archives: summer camp

Camp Quest Ohio is underway

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I wrote about Camp Quest back in March and camp started up this past week. The Columbus Dispatch not only had a print article but also a podcast and short video about the camp. Follow the links below.

The camp director’s housekeeping lecture met the usual disinterest from the dining hall full of sweaty, bug-bitten kids.

Messy cabins are a staple of summer camp. Who wants to tidy up when you can swim, play games and goof around with your friends?

But August Brunsman finished his cleaning directive with a so-subtle-the-kids-probably-missed-it pun that made clear that Camp Quest is not the usual summer offering.

“Remember,” he said, a slight grin crossing his face, “cleanliness is next to godlessness.”

Camp Quest is a sleepaway camp for the children of atheists, agnostics, humanists and other nonbelievers, though kids from religious families are welcome, too.

Most of the time, the kids do normal camp stuff such as hike, compete in relay races, sit around campfires.

But the overarching philosophy is that life without religion is a perfectly healthy, viable option.

Kids wrestle with religion at Camp Quest

Faith & Values Podcast | No. 101 Dispatch religion reporter Meredith Heagney talks with Amanda Metskas, the director of Camp Quest, a program for children of atheists, agnostics, humanists and other nonbelievers.

Donate to Camp Quest

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Camp Quest Ohio meets in June but it is filling up now. Camp Quest is a summer camp for atheists, Humanists, agnostics and other freethinkers. They have a fund you can donate to help provide free or low cost fees for needy campers.

From their website:

Camp Quest is the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view.

The purpose of Camp Quest is to provide children of freethinking parents a residential summer camp dedicated to improving the human condition through rational inquiry, critical and creative thinking, scientific method, self-respect, ethics, competency, democracy, free speech, and the separation of religion and government guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

Camp Quest was first held in 1996 and until 2002 was operated by the Free Inquiry Group, Inc. (FIG) of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The idea for the project originated with Edwin Kagin and he and his wife Helen served as Camp Directors for the first ten years of the original Camp Quest, retiring at the end of the 2005 camp session.

Camp Quest website

They have several branch camps across the country, one in Canada and one in the United Kingdom. I personally know the current leadership of the group and have known both campers and staff at the Ohio branch and it is an excellent way for freethinking children to have freethinking summer camp.

In February, Helen Kagin, co-founder of Camp Quest, died. The group created the Helen Kagin Memorial Campership Fund to honor her work and life. The fund will help provide free or low cost fees to needy campers.

I’m going to donate to The Kagin Fund because back when I was in Boy Scouts (before the religious right took it over) I got to go to Summer Camp through generous donations from community members and now I have a place to repay that favor without giving up my principles.