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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest as a helper or for your children.