Part of the struggle with this disease is giving my kids places and activities where they can blow off steam, be "normal", and enjoy their childhood despite the limitations my health puts on their experiences. My blogger friend, Calludus, from Fresno, suggested Camp Quest. I'm so glad that he did. The program looks amazing! And, the facilities are in a beautiful part of California gold country. When we discussed this with the kids, P1 started to glow with excitement! The Camp's purpose statements tell you all you need to know...
Camp Quest Purpose
*Promote among the youth participants a sense of belonging to a large freethought community.
*Encourage critical thinking to enable the young people to draw their own conclusions based on good evidence.
*Promote respect for others even though they may have different viewpoints, values, and beliefs.
*Provide a safe and fun environment for personal and social development.
I think this will be a great opportunity for any humanist/atheist/freethinking child. P1 said it best: "It will be fun to be around people who are as interested in science and humanism as I am." She is going to use part of her birthday money to fund the camp tuition.
As atheists and humanists and science-minded folk, we need camps like this to give our children an opportunity to develop relationships and friendships and connections with other humanists. There's that old saying that atheists are like cats - independent and not inclined to group-up. But, for our children, I think we need to give them that sense of community. I think this camp will set a precedent for our young atheists/humanists/freethinkers to feel less isolated and anomolous. I suspect they will carry that sense of fellowship and confidence far into their adulthood. And, it looks like the kids will have a ton of fun. :)
So...go take a gander.