Liberty Bliss has been going to Camp Quest since the first year of Camp Quest Chesapeake in 2011. She started as a CIT, and now coordinates the CIT program.
Growing up, I was raised by a freethinking mother who started the first secular homeschooling group in our area. My mother taught me to think for myself and to be respectful of other people and their beliefs, and as a kid, that's how I expected everyone else to be. When I entered my teens, I discovered that this was not the case. My self identification as an atheist set me apart from the other kids, and not in a cute and quirky way.
Lacking a community on the ground, I turned to the online non-theist and skeptic communities as I tried to understand what being an atheist said about me. It was online that I found out about Camp Quest Chesapeake and excitedly sent it to my mother. Then 16 years old, I had never been to summer camp, but I was thrilled at the idea of spending time with likeminded kids my age.
I didn't know it until I got to camp, but as a sixteen year old I was classified as a Counselor-in-Training. I was assigned to assist the counselors in the youngest girl's cabin. Had I known that, I might have reconsidered attending camp. At 16, I was shy and not at all confident in my abilities. At the time, I thought, Who in their right mind would put me in charge of children? I just wanted to be a kid and not be judged for my lack of religious faith. » Read more