Camp Quest West is affiliated with National Camp Quest (Ohio), the first secular summer camp for youth in the history of the United States. Camp Quest was specifically designed for children of agnostics, atheists, brights, freethinkers, humanists, Unitarians, or whatever terms might be applied to those who maintain a naturalistic, not supernaturalistic, world view.
The program was short, but a lot of fun. Our speaker, Camp Quest West director Chris Lindstrom, was assisted by Lydia Rice and Jennifer Hallman. Camp Quest has operated for the last decade in the eastern United States. This is the first year in which one will be held in a Pacific Coast state and the presenters were trying to drum up interest in the project. The camp will be in the Grass Valley area and will be one week in duration.
The presenters gave us a sample of the types of games (at least the ones using food) that are run at the camp. Three volunteers from the audience sampled ice cream and gave their opinion of the best tasting of three samples. Another group of three sampled three containers of orange juice and gave their opinion of the best. (All three cups contained the same orange juice!) The idea was to get the participants to think critically for themselves, trust their senses, and not blindly accept some pre-conceived notion of what the "right" answer should be.
The younger people who accept the philosophy will determine the future of the humanist movement. Camp Quest is an attempt to bring such young people together in friendship and will make them realize they are not alone in questioning popularly accepted dogmas. The presenters showed a lot of enthusiasm for the Camp Quest West project and genuinely enjoyed themselves.
Report prepared by Wayne Luney, Recorder