Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nice article on Camp Inquiry

There's a good article on Camp Inquiry in the Buffalo News:
Deep in the Holland woods, D.J. Grothe wowed a group of kids at summer camp with a series of magic tricks. Seemingly impermeable steel rings were combined and separated again; rubber bands were melded into each other; coins vanished and returned in the unlikeliest of places.

Then, Grothe, national field director for the Council for Secular Humanism, did something even more amazing: He gave away the trick, detailing exactly how anyone can do magic.

It was another day at Camp Inquiry, where instead of swapping ghost tales or learning Bible stories, children take a critical look at claims of magic, the supernatural and even religion.

The camp's mission: Help young people "confront the challenges of living a nontheistic [or] secular lifestyle in a world dominated by religious belief and pseudoscience."

The unusual camp, now in its third year, brings together curious children from across the country to hone their skills as skeptics and critical thinkers.

Twenty-seven campers spent the past week following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, digging up fossils and learning how to face moral dilemmas.
See the full article here. I'm glad to see it's not just a camp for atheists, but is open to theistic freethinkers as well:
Organizers don't specifically address faith or religion in their planned programming, which also includes a variety of art, music and leisure activities.

But the topics arise frequently in casual discussions among campers. Some profess to be atheists, others refer to themselves as secular humanists, and a few say they believe in a higher power.
Much better than Jesus Camp.

UPDATE: I originally referred to Camp Inquiry as Camp Quest, a different set of camps with similar aims. Thanks, Carol, for the correction.

UPDATE (August 9, 2008): NPR has also done a good story on Camp Inquiry.


Carol said...

The article was about Camp Inquiry, not about one of the growing number of Camp Quests across the country.

Gridman said...

I'm just wishing there was something like that in this area.

My kids are approaching "camp age".

Jim Lippard said...

There is a Center for Inquiry in Tucson... perhaps a chat with them about their future plans is in order, as well as talking to the Camp Quest folks about what it would take to get one going.

HSGP would also be a good group to talk to, as they've been talking about doing something like "atheist Sunday school" for members with kids.

I think Phoenix certainly has a critical mass of nonbelievers that could support such a thing here. Which reminds me, I need to post about the FFRF billboard.