CQ Director's blog

Happy Birthday Mary!

Thank you Larry Jones!

Amanda Metskas and Larry JonesLast weekend our executive director gave the following speech at a dinner honoring Larry Jones. We wanted to share this speech with everyone because Larry's contributions to Camp Quest have been so crucial to our success.  Thank you, Larry! If you're inspired by what we've done with Larry's help, please join him in making a donation.


It would be cliché to say that without Larry Jones, Camp Quest wouldn't exist, and to be honest I'm not sure if that's true.

It's possible that Camp Quest would exist without Larry, but if it did, it would be almost unrecognizeablely different.  Camp Quest without Larry, if it still existed today, would likely be one camp session in Ohio with 40 campers.  Instead, in 2013 Camp Quest served more than 850 campers at 17 different week-long sessions.

Larry, through the Institute for Humanist Studies, funded start-up grants that provided the seed money for Camp Quest's very first expansion efforts -  » Read more

Welcome Mary Barczak, Camp Quest's New Program Manager!

Mary BarczakCamp Quest is excited to announce the hire of Mary Barczak as our second full-time staff person.  Mary got involved with Camp Quest as a camper at our very first session in 1996.  After many years as a camper, Mary grew up and became a volunteer cabin counselor.  In the last four years, she has served as both Art Director and Assistant Camp Director.  Mary has volunteered with both Camp Quest Ohio and Camp Quest Chesapeake.  In addition to Mary's many years of experience as a Camp Quest volunteer, she brings her experiences in the arts, technology, program development, graphic design, and marketing to her new position.  

As Program Manager, Mary will be working with Camp Quest's volunteer leaders across the country as well as with groups interested in launching new Camp Quest programs.  Camp Quest's goal with this position is to provide more resources and support to our growing network of local camps. » Read more

Statement from Camp Quest on Restaurant's Cancellation of Camp Quest Oklahoma Fundraiser

We want to thank everyone who has supported Camp Quest Oklahoma this week after their fundraising event at a barbecue restaurant was cancelled on Monday night.  The cancellation of their fundraiser, which had already started, was due to the restaurant owner, Joe Davidson, claiming that supporting the camp wasn't compatible with his Christian identity. » Read more

Stiefel Foundation Matches Donations to Camp Quest Oklahoma this Week!

Camp Quest OklahomaSupport Camp Quest Oklahoma with a donation, and have your donation matched this week with a gift from Stiefel Freethought Foundation to Camp Quest, Inc.

You may have heard that Camp Quest Oklahoma's fundraiser scheduled for Monday, April 8th at Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma was cancelled last night by the restaurant owners after guests had already started arriving.  Despite a flyer clearly stating the mission of Camp Quest, and planning for the event for at least a month in advance, the owners decided once the fundraiser had started that it conflicted with their Christian identity. » Read more

Camp Quest Joins Secular Leaders Supporting Civility in Our Growing Online Communities

Civility NowCamp Quest is proud to sign on to the following letter promoting civility in our growing and increasingly diverse secular community.

An Open Letter to the Secular Community

It is an amazing time to be part of the secular movment.  Look at what's happened in 2012 alone.  We held the Reason Rally, the largest event our community has ever had, which brought over 20,000 atheists, humanists, and other secular people together on the National Mall. We are growing, attracting new people, and drawing more attention than ever before.  A big part of that growth is thanks to our large and dynamic online community.  Online secular communities have helped people encounter new ideas, deepen and broaden their thinking, and even change their minds.

A Problem with Online Communication

At the same time, the fact that so much of our community is online brings with it certain challenges. » Read more

Camp Quest Oklahoma Partners with National Inclusion Project

National Inclusion ProjectCamp is about building memories - having fun and making friends while also enjoying the outdoors. Young people with disabilities or behavioral health challenges are sometimes left out of social gatherings at school or in their neighborhood. At camp, where the emphasis is fun and friendship, differences in ability are less important than they are at school.

Camp Quest Oklahoma is once again being held at Camp Fire Green Country's Camp Waluhili - a proud partner of the National Inclusion Project's Let's ALL Play initiative. As a partner agency, Camp Fire is becoming more intentional about providing camp opportunities for children with Down Syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, behavioral health challenges, or other developmental or functional struggles. » Read more

We Met Our $50,000 Match - Thank You!

Stiefel Freethought Foundation LogoWe're very excited to report that Camp Quest has raised $50,000, meeting our 2012 matching challenge from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation.  We want to thank everyone who doanted to Camp Quest this year to help us meet our match! We also want to thank Todd Stiefel and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation for their generous support this year.

We were also very honored to have Todd as a counselor at Camp Quest South Carolina for their first week-long camp session this summer.  When we let Todd know that we'd met the matching challenge, he said, "It has been a joy getting to work with Camp Quest and an honor serving as a cabin counselor.  My foundation is thrilled to give CQ this grant for reaching the matching challenge."

Camp Quest is excited because a match of this size will give us an opportunity to really grow as an organization. » Read more

Thanks to you Camp Quest won $20,000 Grant!

All of you who supported Camp Quest in Chase Community Giving last month helped us get enough votes to win a $20,000 grant!  To all of you who helped, thank you... with style!


 » Read more

Revenge of the Horde? Blogger Contest 2012!

Bloggers vs. PZ

Update: By popular demand from the bloggers, the contest is being extended to September 3rd! Contest will end during the Atheist Alliance America Denver Convention! » Read more

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