Camp Quest of Minnesota
By Jeannette Watland
As an atheist, I am often secluded and out of place in society. I can only imagine how different a child feels when they realize they are the only non-believer in their classroom. When I found out about Camp Quest a year ago I was filled with hope and excitement. Here is a place where adults and children alike can be themselves in a comfortable and welcoming environment. I had to check it out and doing so was one of the best choices I have ever made. The adult volunteers are wonderful people and I really feel like I can relate to them. The children and young adults I have encountered are absolutely amazing. All the kids I have had the pleasure to mentor at Camp Quest are funny, smart, and intuitive. I couldn’t think of a better place for growing freethinkers.
So what do we do at Camp Quest? We do all the fun camp stuff one would see at a conventional camp: swimming, canoeing, archery, and field games. We have arts and crafts activities, such as long time favorite candle making. Every year there is a field trip and a service project. We teach ethics, critical thinking, and religious and cultural tolerance. However, sometimes I think the kids would be perfectly content if they could just spend a week with friends who understand them. Camp Quest is growing in popularity. It started in 2004 with just 11 kids. This year we are hoping to accommodate at least 35 kids, and 15 volunteers. We hope to see returning campers, as well as new faces. I feel privileged to be a part of Camp Quest as it continues to grow. If you wish to support this great camp you can do
so in three ways.
The first is to send your children. We accommodate all children from ages 8 – 15, however, children from humanist, freethinking, atheist, agnostic, or Unitarian
homes would be most comfortable at camp. There is a Counselor-in-Training program for young adults between the ages of 16 and 17.
The second way to help is by volunteering. This year we will need more volunteers than ever, to keep up with our growing roster. As a volunteer I really feel like I have made life long friends. I look forward to coming back every year. In fact, I got more exited about camp than my own honeymoon. We encourage volunteers to stay the whole week at camp. Previous camping experience is helpful, but not required. Anyone with experience with kids can be put to good use.
Lastly, you can help through donations. It is always hard to ask for money, especially in times of economic hardship. However, if you are in a place to help Camp Quest financially, just know that every dollar we receive is well spent. We use money from donations on things such as supplies, scholarships, field trips, renting the facility, and keeping the cost of camp down for everyone. Anything we receive will be greatly appreciated.
Camp Quest is held near Mound, Minnesota and will run this year from July 26 to Aug 1. Because of generous donations, the cost per camper is only $395. To find out more about Camp Quest visit our website at www.Camp-Quest.org, or call Rick Rohrer at 952-903-0520.