Learn about Camp Quest Ohio
What is Camp Quest?
Camp Quest provides an educational adventure shaped by fun, friends, and freethought, featuring science, natural wonder and humanist values. Camp Quest envisions a world in which children grow up exploring, thinking for themselves, connecting with their communities, and acting to make the most of life for themselves and others.
Camp Quest provides a traditional sleepaway summer camp experience with a wide range of activities including sports, crafts, games, swimming, and campfires. In addition to our traditional summer camp activities, Camp Quest offers educational activities focused on critical thinking, ethics, scientific inquiry, philosophy, and comparative religion. 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 ask questions and explore different worldviews as they grow and are not required to hold any particular view. Some of our staff and campers are from blended families, where they have religious and nonreligious family members. Staff are trained not to label campers.
When is Camp Quest Ohio held?
We will hold two sessions in 2019. The first will be June 16-22. The second week will be July 14-20.
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 16 and 17 are eligible to apply be in the Leadership Track (LT's).
How many campers attend Camp Quest?
In 2018, we had 134 total campers attend Camp Quest Ohio with 64 in our June Session and 70 at our July session.
How much does Camp Quest Ohio cost?
The 2019 rates are $590 per camper and $565 for an additional camper from the same family unit. Campers who are 16 or 17 are eligible for a LT (Leadership Training) if they apply and are accepted into the LT program, it is the same fees as traditional campers.
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 $175 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?
All of our activities are developed and age appropriate for campers age 8-17. Campers can choose activities such as archery, swimming, science, campfires, canoeing, carnival, chess, arts & crafts (drawing, bracelets, painting. tie dying), dancing, nature hikes/fossil hunts, movie night, scientific method and critical thinking, karaoke night, sports (basketball, soccer, tetherball), theater & improv, tug of war, and water balloon / sponge fights.
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, or otherwise questions the religious dogma of their day. Examples include Isaac Asimov, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Ted Turner and Alice Walker. At meals where we don't do that, we cover scientific concepts (in a way even the eight-year-olds will understand). We also do a Moment of Science highlight scientific facts related to our weekly theme.
Does Camp Quest Ohio have an inclusion statement?
Yes! In alignment with our humanist values, Camp Quest Ohio believes that we are all made better by celebrating difference, cooperatively learning from one another, practicing empathy, and questioning cultural constructions that are designed to exclude individuals. For these reasons, Camp Quest Ohio is committed to providing youth with a safe, non-judgmental, bully-free environment that embraces human diversity and makes every reasonable effort to be inclusive. Camp Quest affirms the right of all people to be treated with respect and encouraged to understand and accept others regardless of their religious affiliation, race, class, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ability or any other characteristic that makes them unique.
Camp Quest Ohio’s respectful, inclusive environment does not, however, prohibit disagreements, critiques, and debates over ideas as these are essential aspects of human discovery through the scientific method. People should be respected. Ideas should be questioned and debated using evidence. With those with whom one disagrees, Camp Quest Ohio values constructive, respectful engagement about ideas, evidence-based conclusions, empathy, and engaged coexistence.
Finally, while driven by our philosophical desire to accommodate all youth, Camp Quest Ohio remains a small nonprofit in which factors such as supervision ratios, host camp facilities, financial resources, or available medical support may practically limit our ability to accommodate every potential camper. We encourage parents to contact us to find out whether Camp Quest Ohio can provide a positive and safe camp experience for their child. Indeed, parent-leader communication before camp is most essential for ensuring that Camp Quest is prepared to support your camper in achieving a positive, empowering summer camp experience.
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 2017, we had 54 staff members from a variety of backgrounds including a PhD anthropologist, a physician, nonprofit activists, and graduate students. We also have several college-age counselors, many of whom are former campers. We have a staff application form on our website and anyone is invited to apply.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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