CAMP INQUIRY: “STRONG COMMUNITY & LIFELONG MEMORIES”

By Stephanie LeRoy
Director of Center For Inquiry NYC & Camp Inquiry counselor

I love when folks ask me about Camp Inquiry. Immediately my eyes light up and I give a big smile.

My mind shuffles through the snapshots from a week of wonderful moments and I have to pause before I can answer because I don’t know where to start. I’m hoping that typing it out may be easier for me, but I’ve already rewritten this introduction four times. How can I possibly put into words this week-long sensation of joy and optimism?

——

On paper, Camp Inquiry is a secular summer camp for kids ages 7 to 16 that works toward helping youth confront the challenges of living a non-theistic, skeptical, and secular lifestyle in a world dominated by religious belief and pseudoscience.

Grounded on the conviction that kids can begin establishing habits of the good and ethical life early on, Camp Inquiry adopts a three-part focus: The arts & sciencesthe skeptical perspective, and ethical character development comprise an integrated approach to this “Age of Discovery.”

Campers, counselors, and teachers address key issues around individual identity, forging trusting relationships, establishing a sense of local and global community, and living with respect for the natural world.

However, Camp Inquiry is more than what you read on the website. It’s the feeling you get when you meet someone who shares the same interests and values. It’s the sense of awe you’re filled with when you realize how huge the universe is. It’s a euphoric hope for humanity revived. Camp Inquiry isn’t just a camp; it’s a life-shaping experience, for the campers and the staff.

Every day is filled with fun and engaging activities.

This year we learned “magic” tricks, saw some explosive physics demonstrations, wrote our own ten commandments, up-cycled kites, read some pretty terribly false news articles, made up our own fairy tales, wrote, directed, and starred in our own commercials, used hundreds of yards of string to make friendship bracelets, danced, sang karaoke, hung out with the Amazing Randi, hiked, played games in the sun, surfed a huge slip-and-slide, bombed counselors with water balloons, learned how to play chess, and had some of the most intense, yet considerate, conversations of our lives!

The strong community and lifelong memories created here in just a week inspires me every year.

This was my fourth year as a Camp Inquiry teacher/counselor, but I was still blown away by the level of curiosity in these kids.

It isn’t necessarily that these kids know so much (though many of them do), but that they recognize how much they don’t know and ask exactly the right questions. Just like every year, I can’t wait to return next summer.

If you’d like to get yourself or your kids involved next year, please visit www.campinquiry.org or contact kstrachan [at] centerforinquiry.net.

By Stephanie LeRoy
Director of Center For Inquiry NYC & Camp Inquiry counselor

First photo by Adam Isaak.  Remaining photos by  Stephanie LeRoy.
This entry was posted in Articles Archive and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to CAMP INQUIRY: “STRONG COMMUNITY & LIFELONG MEMORIES”

  1. Siobhan says:

    Awesome post! There is a similar organization, Camp Quest, where I volunteered over in Virginia earlier this summer as a counselor and photographer. Amazing experience, both for the kids as well as the adults! Good times were had by all. Thanks for posting, Stephanie. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>