Learn about Camp Quest Ohio

What is Camp Quest?

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.  Started in 1996, Camp Quest Ohio was 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.  

Are campers at Camp Quest required to be atheists?

No. Campers at Camp Quest are encouraged to think for themselves and are not required to hold any particular view. We do emphasize critical thinking and scientific inquiry over faith though.

When is Camp Quest Ohio held?

We will hold two sessions in 2018. The first will be June 17-23. The second week will be July 15-21.  

Where is Camp Quest Ohio held?

We are hosted by the wonderful folks at 4-H Camp Graham in Clarksville, Ohio. It is in between Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. This camp ground has a swimming pool, nature trails, activity center, playing fields, and a pond and stream, among many other amenities. 

What ages of children are eligible for Camp Quest Ohio?

Children ages 8 to 17 are welcome at Camp Quest Ohio.  Campers age 17 are eligible to apply to be Counselors in Training.

How many campers attend Camp Quest?

In 2017, we had 103 total campers attend Camp Quest Ohio with 55 in our June Session and 48 at our July session. 

How much does Camp Quest Ohio cost?

The 2018 rates are $575 per camper and $550 for an additional camper from the same family unit. Campers who are 16 or 17 are eligible for a LT (Leadership Training) rate of $400 if they apply and are accepted into the LT program.

You can register with a credit card using the secure online payment system in the registration section of this web site. You can also mail a check to our PO box.

Are there Camperships?

Yes, Camp Quest Ohio has limited ability to provide financial aid to reduce the cost of camp for families. Each year, we make a determination based on the number of donations as to how many camperships we are able to provide. All campership recipients are asked to pay, at minimum, the $150 deposit for camp and then to decide what amount, if any, they are able to pay above that amount towards the camp fees.

What are the daily activities?

The campers are given activities such as archery, biology, campfires, canoeing, carnival, chess, cooking, crafts (binders, drawing, bracelets, paper making, woodworking), creative writing, dancing, fossils, movie night, nature center, outdoor camping skills, overnight campout,  scientific method and critical thinking, singing, song writing, sports (basketball, volleyball, soccer), story telling, swimming, theater, tie dying, tug of war, and water balloon / sponge fights. You might also want to check out the pictures on our web site to get a visual feel for the experience.

There are some other important activities that we do every day but only take a few minutes at a time. After every other meal we do "famous freethinkers" where a counselor gets up and talks about two or three famous people (either living or dead) that were or are atheist/agnostic/humanist/skeptic/freethinking. Examples include Isaac Asimov, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Ted Turner and Alice Walker. At meals where we don't do that, we cover world religions/philosophies.

Who are the counselors and how are they chosen?

Despite the fact that we have an all volunteer staff, we have a wonderful group of returning counselors. In 2015, we had 66 staff members from a variety of backgrounds including a high school biology teacher, a physician, a software engineer, a learning specialist, three nonprofit activists, and several graduate students. We also have several college-age counselors, many of whom are former campers.

We have a staff application form on our web site and anyone is allowed to apply. Because we have so many excellent returning staff, we typically only accept a few new staff members a year. We have accepted parents as counselors in the past, but we're very reluctant to do so. We feel campers get a lot more out of the experience if they are able to exercise their independence.

Do you do criminal background checks on staff?

Yes! We do criminal background checks on all staff (new and returning) every year.

Can I contact some campers' parents or campers themselves from past years?

Yes! Either send us an e-mail or fill out the information request form and put in the comments that you'd like to contact some past campers or parents.

What is the best airport to use to get to Camp Quest Ohio?

Camp Quest Ohio is near the Cincinnati (CVG) and Dayton (DAY) airports. We recommend checking both of them to find the best price and times. We are happy to do airport pick-up and drop-off for campers. Please give us the flight times and numbers as far in advance as possible.

I want to help, what can I do?

There are two main ways to help out Camp Quest Ohio. The first is to donate. Donations help provide full or partial camperships to children who want to attend Camp Quest Ohio but need financial assistance.

The second way to help is to volunteer. The staff application is posted under the volunteer tab - ohio.campquest.org/volunteer. We encourage you to sign up early if you are interested in being a volunteer. Another option for volunteering is to do little things throughout the year--write a letter to the editor about Camp Quest, pick up kids from airports, helping raise funds or promoting camp or any number of other "off camp" tasks.

I want to contact someone about including Camp Quest in a media piece or publication that I am working on. Who should I contact?

Please email ohio@campquest.org if you are seeking information about Camp Quest Ohio for media or publication purposes. 

What options do I have if the dates/location of this Camp Quest don't work for me?

There are other Camp Quests that use the name with permission, are also focused around skepticism of the supernatural and have a very similar program to Camp Quest Ohio. For information about the dates and activities of the other Camp Quest locations please check out www.campquest.org/locations