Godless camping

Do secular kids need their own summer camp? Well, they’ve got one.

Providing a haven for the children of nonbelievers is what Camp Quest is all about. As the camp’s official T-shirt announces, it’s a place that’s “beyond belief.” More precisely, it claims to be the first summer sleep-away camp in the country for atheist, agnostic and secular humanist children.

Some campers come from conservative communities where you’re either Christian or you’re suspected of devil worship. Still, there are plenty of camps where the emphasis is on canoeing, not Christ. When my daughter went to my old summer camp in Vermont, Brown Ledge Camp, she had a bunkie who was a devout Catholic and another who was a Wiccan. Everybody got along.

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Comments

  1. Michelle Dulak Thomson says:

    Gee, I went to four years’ worth of music summer camp without religion so much as showing up as a topic of conversation, unless you count some of the kids going down to the nearest town and playing at the services of the local Presbyterian church. I did the same; I wasn’t a Christian at the time, just wanted to get in some more public playing time.

    Well, I wish “Camp Quest” well, but I like the idea of it even less than I like the idea of specifically Christian camps. Kids who are told to define themselves in terms of disbelieving in God? I find that just a little creepy.

  2. Ross the Heartless Conservative says:

    When I think of all the things I did at church camp as a youth it is hard to imagine how the secular camp could be much wilder if the adults are going to maintain even the illusion of control. One big advantage though is at least the kids won’t have to sit around holding hands and singing Kum-ba-freaken-ya.

  3. But do they let the atheist kids proselytize the agnostic ones?

  4. I wonder why Camp Indecon doesn’t count? They’ve been around for years.

  5. Some campers come from conservative communities where you’re either Christian or you’re suspected of devil worship.

    That ezplains why such places as Camp Quest exist. I haven’t read the article (you need to be a paid subscriber) but it seems this place is a private venture, without need for public money. If so, then good for them!

    If there’s a market for Secular Humanist camps (or schools), spa camps, hacker camps, Satanist camps, goth camps, RPG camps – then there’s a market. That’s the diversity of capitalism.

  6. Beeman wrote:
    RPG camps

    Now that sounds like fun!

    Oh, did you mean role-playing game? Well, that could be fun too, I suppose. 🙂

  7. Elam Bend says:

    A single camp designed for a group that shares a pretty similar belief system. It’s a church camp, just a different church. And that’s the point, too, avoiding all those ‘weirdos’ who believe in God, Dog, Wicca, or whatever.

  8. Yes, I meant Role-Playing Game, not Rocket Propelled Grenade, Research Project Grant, or Report Program Generator.

    Camps based on the others could be interesting.

    Rocket Propelled Grenades … maybe a military-style camp for older kids (with release forms) where they practice with RPGs and other heavy weapons. Perhaps it could be held in an abandoned military rocket base in Nevada, right next to the Mad Scientist camp with its liquid fuel rockets, tesla coils, high-powered lasers, and mutated animals crawling around.

  9. Beeman wrote:

    Rocket Propelled Grenades … maybe a military-style camp for older kids (with release forms) where they practice with RPGs and other heavy weapons. Perhaps it could be held in an abandoned military rocket base in Nevada, right next to the Mad Scientist camp with its liquid fuel rockets, tesla coils, high-powered lasers, and mutated animals crawling around.

    Add a budget page and some profit projections and you can probably get funding.