Not Bible Camp

(photo originally uploaded to Flickr by that james)

Last week I wrote about my view on camp and how I’ve seen God move in the lives of children and volunteers uniquely in a camp setting.

A couple of days ago I came across this article when reading through Dave Roberts’ blog on Children Matter.

The UK is getting its very own atheist camp! In 1996, Camp Quest, was launched in the United States as an alternative to religious summer camps. Here is a description of the camp from the Camp Quest site:

“Camp Quest is the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view.

The purpose of Camp Quest is to provide children of freethinking parents a residential summer camp dedicated to improving the human condition through rational inquiry, critical and creative thinking, scientific method, self-respect, ethics, competency, democracy, free speech, and the separation of religion and government guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.”

Now, I’m not a fan of the “us vs. them” mentality that is so easy to fall into when running across stuff like this. It is so easy to either ridicule the camp or try and point out all the fallacies in secular humanism or think of ways to “evangelize” to these kids. The only problem is that camps like this one are formed in reaction to those typically evangelical responses.

How, then should we respond to camps like these and those who run these camps or send their kids to these or the kids who do attend these camps? Rather than looking only to the Great Commission, I think we ought to filter our call to make disciples through the Great Commandment of loving God and loving others. We need to enter into relationship with people and love them regardless of whether they will become Christians or not. I think we need to listen more and give answers less. We need to respect the journey that people are on and allow the Holy Spirit to move things along.

  • What are your thoughts when you read about a camp like this?
  • How would you respond to these parents and organizers?


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