Camp Quest Awesomeness

Dino show at Camp Quest

Last night I had the great pleasure of donating my dinosaur presentation to Camp Quest West, Southern California, in the beautiful Angeles National Forest near Wrightwood, CA. I was so impressed by the 57 kids attending. They are bright, upbeat, eager, curious, and earnest. This was just the first evening, and I could already see they were forming a strong bond as a group to mutually support everyone in enjoying their camp experience to the fullest. The camp leaders, counselors, counselors-in-training, and all the ancillary staff are skilled, highly professional, and have positive attitudes. The Questers are in good hands.

At the beginning of the show, I told them that of the thousands of times I’ve performed this show, usually in libraries and schools, this is the first time that I can freely use the “E” word without worrying about somebody objecting. To my surprise, they all knew what I meant, even the youngest ones. So I said “Yes! I can talk about EVOLUTION!” and they burst into applause.

Afterward, several kids and adults told me that the dinosaur show was awesome, but I think the awesomeness is undeniably in the young people there and in what they will be doing for each other this whole week. These are our future scientists, professionals, thinkers and leaders, those who will bring to fruition the challenges to the superstitious status quo that their parents’ and older siblings’ generations have set into motion. By nurturing these clear thinking and deeply caring youngsters, this is a good future we are building. I want to live a long time to see it blossom and prosper. Tonight was a needed boost to my optimism.

Please support Camp Quest anywhere, in any way you can. It’s an excellent cause.

About Richard Wade

Richard Wade is a retired Marriage and Family Therapist living in California.

  • advancedatheist

    Wow, a room full of kids who have to live with hopelessness, nihilism, despair and so forth, like juvenile versions of the Fantasy Atheists which many christians believe in. What a cruel thing to do to children, teaching them critical thinking and modern science. 

  • Deanna

    Thanks so much, Richard, for volunteering your time at Camp Quest.  My two children are currently at a different Camp Quest this same week, as a counselor and a counselor-in-training.  This is their fifth year of attending Camp Quest, and they love it.  

  • Angellw2

    My son just returned from Camp Quest South Carolina, and had a fantastic time. He will be returning every year, I am so happy a camp like this exists!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=775209902 Stephanie Thayer

    My little guy is at Camp Quest in VA right now! I was extremely nervous leaving him, it is his first time away from us. But, this warms my heart. I hope that he is having just as much fun as these kids are. It seems to be a wonderful program for our children. 

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      Mine too!  She went last year and had a blast.  Maybe your kid and my kid are doing an activity together right now, that would be very cool.

      Richard, I don’t suppose that dinosaur presentation could travel to the east coast?

      (I noticed that the camp shirts the kids are wearing are yellow, which answers my question about whether there is one shirt for all the camps each year.  The VA shirt is red, has a Mayan Pyramid on the back, and says “2012: another year the world won’t end”)

      • Deanna

        My son has attended three Camp Quests this year as a counselor.  Each camp has a different shirt, although based on your email, CQ Chesapeake and CQ South Carolina have the same text, but different colors.  CQ SC is light green.  

        And, both my kids were at CQ Chesapeake last year.  

  • FatherOfCamper

    Thanks for doing this. We chatted y

  • edgar ayala

    I went to High School in Houston, Tx. I never once recall even hearing the word evolution in my science classes or elsewhere. We need to educate and inform our future. Thanks for what you Richard, and all good teachers out there.

  • FatherOfCamper

    Thanks for doing this. We chatted briefly yesterday afternoon.

  • rlrose328

    I so wish we had a Camp Quest near us in Oregon.  My son is at Camp Namanu, a Campfire camp (so totally secular!) right now but they don’t have a science aspect.  LOTS of fun stuff, but he would LOVE a dinosaur presentation!  This looks so fun!!

    • Deanna

      Don’t let having a Camp Quest stop your child from experiencing it. My children have never been to a Camp Quest in the state they live.  They now have friends across the country by going to four different Camp Quest for my daughter, and five different ones for my son, over the course of five summers.  One year, my husband and I took a week long vacation and explored the area while the kids attended Camp Quest, so we were close by.

      • Annie

         I think I may do this with my daughter next summer.  I thought I might volunteer at the camp while she is there, as the closest one is several states away.

        • Deanna

          Quite a few parents do that, volunteer as a counselor.  Just know, you probably won’t be a counselor for your child.  You’ll be close by, though.  Because my two kids went together, they had somebody to lean on, and the idea of a parent going along would terrify them.  BTW, for the past six years, CQ has been terrific for my children to meet other children, but getting to know the counselors has been equally important.  To hear adults other than their parents discuss their views on everything has been eye-opening and exciting for them, and I sometimes think, they keep going back for the chance to spend so much time with the young adults.

          • rlrose328

            We found there is a Camp Quest in northernmost Washington State by the Canadian border.  (We’re in northern Oregon.)  We may look at that one for next year and just vacation ourselves.  Neither of us is the camping type.  We just brought him home from Camp Namanu yesterday due to bullying… the other boys in his cabin calling him a wimp, coward, etc., and when he finally lashed out at them (on day 10… not bad self control there), he was sent home.  So no more Camp Namanu… after 6 years.  [sigh]

            • Rldietzandson

              Wow, Bullying at camp? I have a zero tolerance for bully’s in my cabin. This is only my second year as a Camp Quest counselor but, so far I have not experienced any real bully’s. Teaching Empathy at camp seems to be a big part of my role there.
              My experience at Camp Quest West was especially touching this year. 
              My daughter is a camper and she was afraid of climbing down from a high place on a hike she was on, she had an anxiety attack and, as she puts it “he saved me”. Another camper consoled her and gave her his baseball hat to wear the rest of the day. 
              This is just one of the examples, of the fabulous kids we see at Camp Quest West.We Love Squishy Frogs!!!!Rewards for unsolicited acts of kindness.

  • TiltedHorizon

    My son will be camp age in a few years, I hope this camp comes to PA by the time he is old enough. The thought of having him several states away is so unsettling. In the interim I am taking him to the Smithsonian to hopefully fill his mind with endless wonder. 

  • Donalbain

    Not related to this topic, or any topic really, but is there any chance of putting up the dialogue with Leah on this site as well as hers? I would be interested to read it, but I do not go into the Catholic Portal on this website.

  • http://lonelocust.com Lone Locust

    Just awesome! My daughter is at CQW South this week and I’m sure she ate your presentation up! (She looks it in the picture)

    Camp Quest is an amazing endeavor, fully worthy of support and it’s spreading.

    We’ll have one in Arizona in 2013 and the support we’ve seen so far is so encouraging.

    If there’s a Camp Quest in your area, do give them your support and consider sending your children

  • Annie

    Look at all those enthusiastic hands up!  What a wonderful image.  Thank you Richard, for donating your time, expertise, and incredible display to this lucky group of children.

  • I_Claudia

    That sounds awesome Richard. The satisfaction I get from hearing about young minds exposed to science is slightly tempered by sadness in reading that you have to self-censor for other audiences. What could possibly be a better climax to a nice dinosaur presentation than to tell children that the dinosaurs never went away, you can see them in every bird you encounter. You don’t need sci-fi to go eye to eye with a dinosaur; thanks to evolution you can do that just by looking at the eye of a chicken.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Wow, Richard, you can’t mention evolution when you do presentations in libraries and schools? Do the people who book you tell you not to use the word? As a Californian, I find that absolutely shocking. This isn’t the Bible Belt, and I’ve never in my life come across anyone treating evolution as controversial. Maybe you live in a more conservative part of the state? 

  • A Reader

    That sounds so much more fun than all those bible camps I went to!

  • Amy Diede

    My son and daughter and both there at this camp this week. That looks to fun and I am so glad they are learning and being exposed to so much ! thanks.

  • T Dietz

    Wow, Bullying at camp? I have a zero tolerance for bully’s in my cabin. This is only my second year as a Camp Quest counselor but, so far I have not experienced any real bully’s. Teaching Empathy at camp seems to be a big part of my role there.
    My experience at Camp Quest West was especially touching this year. 
    My daughter is a camper and she was afraid of climbing down from a high place on a hike she was on, she had an anxiety attack and, as she puts it “he saved me”. Another camper consoled her and gave her his baseball hat to wear the rest of the day. 
    This is just one of the examples, of the fabulous kids we see at Camp Quest West.

    We Love Squishy Frogs!!!!
    Rewards for unsolicited acts of kindness.


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