Volunteer for Camp Quest Kansas City!

I have volunteered at Camp Quest Ohio for the last two years and I will likely do so again this coming summer.  It’s about the closest thing to magic as I’ve ever experienced.  Being a part of young people developing critical thinking skills and, frankly, watching many of them know more about religion and science than I do, helps melt away a lot of the cynicism that comes with reading the news every day.  It gives me hope for the future.

This year Kansas City will host its first Camp Quest and they are looking for volunteers.  If you can spare any time from July 6-10, go fill out this form.  It’s a volunteer position, which means you only get paid in hugs and warm fuzzies, but once you get yourself to camp they’ll house you and feed you for as long as you’re there.  All they want is your time if you have it to spare.

Who knows, maybe I’ll volunteer at CQKC this year if I can manage it.  :)  Dr. Dave and Michaelyn are right there, so I have all the reason in the world to visit that area…

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Don Gwinn

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve thought about volunteering at a Camp Quest before, but I didn’t even realize there was one in Kansas City. I could drive to that . . . I’ve done a couple of summers as a day-camp counselor long ago, and I’m a special-education teacher in an alternative school now . . . I think I’ll try it.

  • Art Vandelay

    I see they just started one in New England now but I guess I’m confused about what separates CQ from the summer camp up the street from me. There have always been alternatives to bible camps or any other church-sponsored camps and it seems the major difference is simply not using summer camp as a vehicle for indoctrination. So what’s the difference between just a town-sponsored camp and CQ? They’re not actively promoting atheism, right?

    “Hey come down to the lake after dinner tonight where we explain to you why there’s no God.”

    I’m sure that’s not the case of course but I do wonder what would constitute marketing yourself as a secular camp.

    • http://www.campquest.org Bob Ready

      Each of the camps operates independently under the ultimate supervision of the national Camp Quest Inc. organization, so each is a bit different. But Camp Quest generally tries to actively teach skills of skepticism and critical thinking, without straying into proselytizing atheism. It can be a delicate balancing act, but the idea is that, in addition to a whole lot of just normal summer camp stuff, Camp Quest tries to teach kids how to think, not what to think.

      And in addition to that, at the camp I spend my summer week at, we have kids who come to our camp from across a wide geographical region, many of them from smaller towns where their family’s lack of religion is very isolating. I know kids who are the only kid in town who doesn’t go to the same church as every single other person at school. Camp Quest presents itself as a specifically secular alternative in order to definitively remove that stigma. At camp, we create a welcoming, safe community for our kids where their or their family’s lack of religious observance is specifically not an issue, where they can be safe and be themselves, without having to hide anything for fear of rejection.

  • Don Gwinn

    As I understand it, the idea is to have FUN with humanism and skepticism. ;)

    For instance, I believe all CQs develop a mascot–an invisible, silent, undetectable creature that lives near the camp. Campers are encouraged to try to prove that the mascot doesn’t actually exist. ;)

    Anyway, I just put in my application, so maybe I’ll find out firsthand. (The application is three pages long and requires three references plus some info I had to look up, like my EMT license number.)