Dawkins Supports First UK Atheist Kids' Camp

The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins has sponsored a week-long summer camp geared towards making atheists out of children. The camp is a UK arm of Camp Quest, and its 24 slots had been booked even before the BBC and The Sunday Times ran brief stories about it back in June.

Camp Quest’s motto is “It’s beyond belief” and the camp targets children between the ages of eight and seventeen. It started in North America in 1996, and now has locations in Ohio, the Smoky Mountains, Minnesota, Ontario, Michigan, and California.1 Camp Quest UK, located in Bath, England, is the first branch to operate outside of North America.

“CQUK is the first residential summer camp for the children of atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers and all those who embrace a naturalistic rather than supernatural world view,” according to the camp’s website.2

The 2009 summer theme focuses on evolution, with this being “Darwin year” in honor of the British naturalist’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book On the Origin of Species.

The CQUK website posted a response to The Sunday Times article on June 28 depicting it as an atheist camp,3 stating that “Camp Quest is often labeled as an ‘atheist camp’ as we have a non-religious ethos, but we are open to the children from parents of all belief systems and none.”2

But with morning activities like “Philosophy for Children (P4C), pseudoscience…[and] evolution,” as well as financial support from Dawkins’ foundation and the British Humanist Association—which posted anti-God ads on buses last year4—it certainly seems like a camp aimed at turning children against their peers of faith.

The camp will also feature archery, zip wires, climbing, canoeing, as well as an “assault course.”

While people of faith may frown upon Camp Quest and its agenda, camps like this are the proper venues for parents who hold secular views to teach their children the same values they have.

Our taxpayer-funded public schools, which remain firmly entrenched in a Darwin-only, anti-faith philosophy, are not.

References

  1. Camp Quest: The Secular Summer Camp website.
  2. Camp Quest UK website.
  3. Rogers, L. Dawkins sets up kids’ camp to groom atheists. The Sunday Times. Posted on timesonline.co.uk June 28, 2009.
  4. Dao, C. Dawkins Supports ‘No God’ Ads. ICR News. Posted on icr.org October 23, 2008, accessed July 14, 2009.

* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on July 27, 2009.

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