Camp Quest Ireland 2010 - Rita Harrold

This year the HAI launched the first summer camp in Ireland designed for the children of Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics and other freethinkers. Based on the original Camp Quest in Ohio it included science, philosophy and fun. While most camps run as week long residential camps we decided to run a weekend day camp for our first year. It was a small group with 6 children, 2 leaders and one guest speaker but still very enjoyable. The campers enjoyed visits to the Biorythm exhibition in the Trinity Science Gallery and the Natural History Museum as well as talks on the evolution of the eye, ancient religions, Newton’s laws of motion, philosophy discussions, painting, games, dancing and much more. Special thanks to Alice Harrold and Professor Daphne McCulloch, Glasgow Caledonian University for all their help.

Camp Quest is a secular summer camp programme for children aged 7-17, dedicated to improving the human condition through rational inquiry, critical and creative thinking, the scientific method, self-respect, ethics, competency, democracy and free speech. The overall purpose is to provide interested children, regardless of their personal beliefs, with a summer camp free from religious dogma. The camp is dedicated to the advancement of tolerance, empathy, self-respect, self-expression, rationality, critical and creative thinking, cooperation, and ethics.
The camp’s programmes and activities introduce campers to the history and ideas of freethought. Campers also learn about science, the scientific method, critical thinking, and world religions. Campers are taught that ethical behaviour is not dependent on religious belief and doctrines, and that non-religious people are also good and fully capable of living a happy and meaningful life.
The camp’s programmes and activities also include what is usual for summer camps: crafts, drama, games, sports, singing etc.
This year Camp Quest Ireland was a weekend day camp in the Teachers' Club in Dublin. Any interested children are welcome with older (16 & 17 year olds) campers able to take part as counsellors in training with some limited responsibility over the younger campers.


Are you interested in future camps?
e-mail Rita at
to register your interest as a helper or for your children.