I've read a few articles on the "new" Atheist camp sponsored by Richard Dawkins,.Camp Quest. It would seem that many of the people who write about this camp not only think it's something new, but they think that children are being targeted by Atheists. This is funny when you think of the abundance of religious propaganda through camps, ads, and schools that have been around for a lot longer than Atheists have been strong enough to speak up.

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My first reaction is "Woot!" That's cool.

But then... I see sending kids off to camps to keep them in line with what their parents want of them--certainly from the examples of doing this with regard to certain specific religions--to be kinda evil.

I've got no proof or rationale, but I must say I'm a little nervous that bringing about camps like these could lead to more groupthink on the atheist side and turn this into a simple theological struggle like the many in the past, instead of a subtle sort of awakening from silliness across many demographics.

My fears are unfounded; atheists are cats. Woot!
How about just having secular camps in which children are able to grow up and do actual camping related activities without having to worry about whether or not there is a God. That's what I'd prefer.
No. Of course they aren't. This is simply a reaction to the many religious camps out there.

I doubt that Dawkins is planning to "proselytize" atheism and he isn't calling this an "atheist" camp ... others are.

He's planning to teach science and critical thinking.

That's a good thing and I would have loved to have a camp like that to send my kids to when they were little.

These camps are secular in nature and should be referred to as Secular Camps.

From the CampQuest link:

"Camp Quest is the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view.

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.

Camp Quest was first held in 1996 and until 2002 was operated by the Free Inquiry Group, Inc. (FIG) of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The idea for the project originated with Edwin Kagin and he and his wife Helen served as Camp Directors for the first ten years of the original Camp Quest, retiring at the end of the 2005 camp session.

Currently Camp Quest, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) educational non-profit, operates the Ohio Camp Quest and works to coordinate with and support the other independently governed Camp Quest programs. Six Camp Quest summer camps currently offer programs across North America."
Yes and I agree with that point. It seems like everything we do these days gets misrepresented.
I think we can safely say that the religious camps also target children too. Summer camp, VBS, and alike are all geared to appeal to children. So basically, IF atheist camps target children, the religious are calling the kettle black.
Yes what I heard about this camp has nothing to do with proselytizing. Teaching science and the scientific method and exposing kids to the many different fields of scientific research. Plus lots of fun!!!
Prof. Dawkins first heard about these camps when he was in a live discussion with Lawrence Krauss, which is an awesome discussion! I think its on ITUNES, believe that's where I got it. Thats when he first heard about it, and I LOVE the fact that he has jumped on it!!




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