In about a week my son will be headed for the second time to Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains. Last year he had a wonderful time despite being incredibly nervous about heading off to away camp for the first time in his life. If you have no clue what Camp Quest is let me elaborate. Camp Quest has several locations in the states and Europe and is a secular humanist summer camp. Basically it is a summer camp that offers a safe space for atheist, agnostic, and even theist children who want to attend camp. Camp Quest is a place free from dogma and bigotry where children 8-17 can have a week long experience and make friends with like-minded children.
Today I am starting my participation in the Camp Quest donation campaign. This year the Stiefel Freethought Foundation has agreed to match donations made to Camp Quest up to 50,000. The donations for the most part go to help start new Camp Quest locations all over. Every year there are camps that fill up with other children waiting to attend. New locations mean new opportunities for children.
Some of the money also goes to camperships or partial scholarships for the financially needy. I am in this bracket this year. If not for the partial campership I could not afford to let my son attend. Last year Camp Quest gave out 6,000 to the various camps to help with camperships and the remaining money was raised through local secular organizations (i.e. Rationalists of East Tennessee sponsor the remaining camperships for Smoky Mountains.) To me camperships are a big deal. For a long time access to the community of non believers was not available to the poor. Access to the community of support is a big reason those in poverty are more likely to be believers. The community of atheists is growing, and every year I see more community support offered. Camp Quest locations are only one aspect, and as more locations spring up, I also want to see more camperships offered. Perhaps even full ones for parents who otherwise have no hope of sending their kids otherwise.
Camp Quest is kind of a big deal in helping our community grow, as it welcomes families into this movement. I would like you to donate to this awesome organization and help give children the opportunity to attend a camp where they are free to be themselves.The widget is both here and on the side bar for future use.