…and I may not be ready…I’ve made a joke of it but it’s true! Ever since I retired, I don’t have time for my hobbies. Currently, I’m preparing for my second year as a camp counselor at Camp Quest Arizona. Last year was my first year and I didn’t know what to expect. It’s safe to say that most of the other camp counselors didn’t know what to expect of me. I knew a couple of people. Most notably I knew Holly Schineller, the organizer of the 2400 member Phoenix Atheists Meetup Group, and Jessi Draper, the president of the Secular Student Alliance at the University of Arizona. I also knew “John Secular” the Camp Director for 2013 and 2014. This year those three won’t be at camp but during last year’s camp I got to know quite a few of the other counselors that will be returning this year. Also, we’ll be hosting quite a few returning campers. I have high confidence that this years’ experience will be every bit as rewarding as last years. Hopefully better!
Camp Quest Arizona is in a remote part of Arizona where there is no internet and the electrical power disappears at 10 PM. It’s held in June in Arizona. Bear in mind that the camp is in the Prescott National Forest and at 6500 feet above sea level which means that it is a very pleasant place to be in the summer in Arizona. It’s not totally primitive. We sleep in cabins on bunks and the food is catered. We have all the standard summer camp activities. Archery, fishing, hiking, star gazing, and appreciation of nature will be available. There will be camp songs. However, Camp Quest also includes scientific activities which involve microscopes, fossils, telescopes, and the construction of astrolabes. Some activities depend on the experience and knowledge of the individual campers. I’ll be bringing up a PineWood Derby activity including a 6 lane electronically scoring track, car kits, wood working tools, finishing tools, special lubrication, and the ability to adjust the weight of the cars. I’ll also be bringing up a Karaoke machine for a free time activity during the week. Other counselors will be sharing their knowledge about survival skills, self-defense, other cultures, and music.
One of the most appreciated activities, especially for the older kids, is the Socrates Café where there are open and frank discussions about reason, logic, and life outside of the confines of religious dogma. The activity is so popular that there have been occasions where the kids have opted out of other activities just to extend their time in the Café discussion sessions.
Camp Quest Arizona is just one of 14 Camp Quest camps located around the country.