Camp Activities

What Goes On At Camp Quest West?

Camp is a set of inter-locking activity blocks, all working towards the mission. Freethought activity blocks are designed to teach\illustrate\provoke discussion of scientific, skeptical or humanistic ideas. Team game blocks help children build team bonds. Freethought hero time reminds kids that folks who ‘think differently’ can impact the world – and might be them one day. Downtime blocks provide kids a chance to unwind and process their experiences internally. Free time blocks give kids a chance to make their own independent decisions about how to use their time. Elective blocks feature progressive skill learning to build self-esteem. Special activity blocks like field trips, carnivals, hikes, campfires and stargazing put the icing on the cake, bringing the entire camp community together to create memories to last a lifetime.

Intrigued?  Watch a video overview!

Freethought Activities

Freethought activityWhat is Freethought? Broadly, it means cultivating curiosity, questioning and a certain disdain for just taking the word of authority; demanding evidence and knowing you can make your own observations even if they lead you to disagree. In terms of activities, these can run the gamut from science games to humanist “life skills” activities – but always fun!

Each year, we develop a new curriculum set to match the camp theme with previous activities rotating back in after a few years. Some of our past activities have included:

  • Verbal Dodge Ball – Dealing with people with different perspectives.
  • Labels and Potatoes – You’re an individual. What labels might you choose to use?
  • Paradigm Shift – Scientific process and what you can make out of new evidence.
  • Another’s Shoes – Imagine you’re someone else…what’s different?
  • What’s Random? – Can you find randomness? Or do you find patterns everywhere?

A Typical Day at Camp

Children are put into same-gender, similar-age cabin groups and sleep in a bunk in a cabin. (Note: a gender inclusive cabin is available to parents who select this option. This helps support non-binary or non-conforming campers but is available to any camper.) Normally there are 8 children and two adults in each cabin, although some cabin groups may be smaller.

We think it is important for campers to have the opportunity for both tight small groups to build emotional connections and confidences and also larger groups where they can connect and have fun with campers who might be older or younger. In our schedule, there is time for both. Teams usually consist of multiple cabins and many activities are done in these team groups like Team Games and Freethought Extravaganza. Other activities are camp-wide like Big Sound Jamboree, our annual service projects and our weekly Big Group Game. Still other activities enable campers to choose. These are not only opportunities for campers to choose what to do but also freedom to mix and mingle with who they want to hang out with. These would include elective selections, free time and our weekly hike choices. Usually, one meal each day has open seating so campers can spend time talking with campers and staff outside their immediate group.

You’ll notice our free time block is fairly sizable – because we believe that giving children freedom to manage their own time is an important part of growing up. During free time, there are many activity stations available like archery, swimming, canoeing, crafts, the chill zone, ice cream making and rock climbing. And, of course – the opportunity for campers to start up their own games – like pick up basketball or softball.

Here’s a typical day’s schedule:

  • 7:00  Wake up bell
  • 7:30  Breakfast Assembly
  • 8:30  Cleanup
  • 9:15  Team Games
  • 10:15  Water Break
  • 10:30  Freethought Activity
  • 11:30  Lunch Assembly
  • 12:30  Flat-on-Bunk Time
  • 1:15  Elective
  • 2:00  Water Break
  • 2:15  Free Time (includes pool, archery, canoe, arts and crafts, and more)
  • 5:15  Dinner Assembly
  • 6:00  Cabin Skit Planning/Practice
  • 6:45  Big Sound Jamboree
  • 7:15  Freethought Activity
  • 8:15  Evening Activity
  • 9:30  In Cabins
  • 10:00  Lights Out

My Favorite Thing at Camp Quest West was…

Favorite things at camp