Hey, you’re kids looking for something to do over the summer?
Camp Quest might be your answer. It’s the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists or “Brights” as they like to call themselves.
According to USA Today, The Camp Quest concept started in 1996 with 20 kids at a site in Ohio with the slogan “Beyond Belief.”
Since then, demand has grown and week-long camps have been added in Minnesota, Michigan, California, Tennessee, and Ontario in Canada. In 2007 the camps accommodated 150 kids, generally ages 8-17. The projection for 2008 is more than 200 campers and new camps are also being considered in Vermont and Britain.
So we’ve got a “movement” with 150 children which warrants a huge piece in USA Today. Hmm, I wonder how many glowing stories USA Today has written about Bible camps which are attended by millions of children?
One of my favorite lines from the story is from a father describing his children. “They’re good, moral kids without organized religion,” Fox said of his daughters. “They can feel comfortable being who they are.”
I just have to ask what morals are we talking about. If you’re an atheist, isn’t the question of morality essentially up in the air. Where do these morals come from? Are they Darwinists, Utilitarian or Nazis? What moral code is their claim of being “good moral kids” based on?
Amanda Metskas, president of Camp Quest Inc. said in the article, “We really try not to label the kids…When a kid is 8 or 10, asking them to say, ‘I’m an atheist,’ or ‘I’m a Catholic’ — at 8 or 10 we don’t think that kids are able to make a decision about their world view.”
But then the camp counselors proceed to mock religion at every turn even telling them that believing in religion is like believing in a magical unicorn. Sounds like they’re really letting the kids make their own decisions about their worldview, doesn’t it?
Funny, when Christians have a camp they’re pretty up front and they call it something clever like “Bible Camp” or “Christian.” But for some reason, atheists have to lie and say we’re the “let everyone make their own decision” camp. And that’s something I’m looking for when I send my children to camp. I want a camp director who lies to the country’s leading newspaper about what goes on in the camp.
According to the website, campers are taught that ethical behavior is not dependent on religious belief and doctrines, that religious belief and doctrines are sometimes a hindrance to ethical and moral behavior, and that irreligious persons are also good and fully capable of living a happy and meaningful life.
Once again, I have to ask what moral code are we talking about?
According to the website,
the camp’s programs and activities also include what is usual for summer camps: campfires, canoeing, crafts, drama, games, nature hikes, singing, and swimming. Sometimes, however, a spin may be used, such as the telling of an ancient mythical tale around the campfire or the debunking of creationism on part of a nature hike or fossil hunt. Both competitive and cooperative sports are used. Past activities have included how to make a crop circle and visiting old cemeteries to use tombstones as clues to the mores of the past.
Uh. Did they say how to make a crop circle. What’s that about?
The website continues:
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.
Even though the Constitution doesn’t say anything like that. I guess these “brights” aren’t all that bright after all.