Monday, July 11, 2011

Secular Summer Camp Coming to Seattle

If you want to know what I've been doing for the last month and a half (besides Seattle Atheists, of course), it's been this: making Camp Quest NorthWest a reality. Part of me still can't believe we're really doing this, but it's happening! And I'm honored to be a part of it. Here's our official release:

SEATTLE, WA - In the summer of 2012, Camp Quest NorthWest is bringing a new kind of summer camp to the Pacific Northwest. With science experiments and s’mores, campfires and activities to foster critical thinking, Camp Quest NorthWest provides a secular twist on the time-honored summer camp experience for campers aged 8-17.

On August 20, 2011, Camp Quest NorthWest will host a half-day “Taste of Camp Quest NorthWest” Potluck event at Cottage Lake Park in Woodinville from noon - 6:00pm. The event is open to everyone, including parents, children, and volunteers. “We want to serve campers a slice of the Camp Quest experience,” says Chuck Wolber, Camp Director.

In many ways, Camp Quest NorthWest is a traditional sleepaway summer camp, with camp activities like sports, crafts, games, swimming, and campfires. But the camp also has an important intellectual side, says Wolber. “Camp Quest provides the opportunity for inquisitive children to explore the boundaries of their minds. That’s why we have educational activities like Socrates CafĂ© and code-breaking. We put a focus on the important stuff like critical thinking, ethics, scientific inquiry, philosophy, and comparative religion.

Excitement is high among Seattle-area freethinkers who are pitching in to help the fledgling camp. The Humanists of North Puget Sound have offered to match all donations up $10,000 until the end of 2011, which will be used for facilities, speakers, supplies, and “camperships.” In addition, earlier this year, Seattle Atheists raised $2,700 for the camp with its “Rapture Relief” campaign.

Camp Quest NorthWest is a chapter of Camp Quest Inc., a fast-growing 501c3 secular summer camp organization based in Columbus, Ohio. There are currently 13 active Camp Quest chapters across the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Norway.

For more information about camp registration and upcoming events, and how to volunteer, Camp Quest NorthWest’s website is at

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