Frequently Asked Questions
What is Camp Quest?
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.
Are campers at Camp Quest required to be atheists?
No. Campers at Camp Quest are encouraged to think for themselves and are not required to hold any particular view. We do emphasize critical and scientific thinking over faith though.
When is Camp Quest Michigan held?
The dates for our 2017 session will be July 16-22. Check-in will be held from 1-3pm on Sunday, July 16th. Check-out will be from 9am-11am on Saturday, July 22nd.
Where is Camp Quest Michigan held?
We are hosted by the wonderful folks at 4-H Camp Kidwell, 39000 1st Ave, Bloomingdale, MI 49026. It is located between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, near Allegan.
What ages of children are eligible for Camp Quest Michigan?
Children ages 8 to 17 are welcome at Camp Quest Michigan. 16 and 17 year old campers can apply to be Counselors in Training.
How many campers attend Camp Quest?
In 2015, we had 61 campers attend Camp Quest Michigan and 13 campers on the waitlist. This number is near full capacity. If you are interested in attending in 2016, please plan to register early to avoid being placed on any waiting lists.
How much does Camp Quest Michigan cost?
Although our cost of attendance has remained flat for nearly a decade, the costs that Camp Quest Michigan incurs each year have not. To ensure the quality of our camp experience isn’t sacrificed due to budget constraints, a $50 across-the-board increase in CQMI rates will be introduced for the 2015 season.
As such, 2016 regular rates are $550 per camper and $525 for an additional camper from the same family unit. Early enrollment rates (registration and full payment is received by May 1st) are $500 and $475, respectively.
You can register with a credit card using the secure online payment system in the registration page or mail in a check to our PO box.
Are there Camperships?
Yes. We don’t want financial difficulties to prevent a child from attending Camp Quest Michigan. We are willing to work with parents to find a rate that is within reach for their family. If the cost of camp is holding you back from registering, please let us know. We will work with you discreetly.
What are the daily activities?
The campers are given activities such as archery, biology, campfires, canoeing, carnival, board games, crafts, drama, Socrates Café, movie night, scientific method and critical thinking, sports (basketball, volleyball, frisbee), storytelling, swimming, horseback riding, rock climbing, ziplining, and tie dying. You might also want to check out the pictures on our web site to get a visual feel for the experience.
There are some other important activities that we do every day but only take a few minutes at a time. For instance, “famous freethinkers” where a counselor gets up and talks about two or three famous people (either living or dead) that were or are atheist/agnostic/humanist/skeptic/freethinking. Examples include Isaac Asimov, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Ted Turner and Alice Walker. At meals where we don’t do that, we sometimes cover world religions/philosophies.
What should we pack for Camp Quest Michigan?
Our Packing Check Sheet can help you decide what you and your camper should pack for camp. We ask that you please leave electronic devices at home.
How many kids generally attend? What are their age brackets? What about boys vs. girls?
Our capacity is approximately 60 campers. Campers range in age from 8 to 17. There are usually a few more girls than boys.
Who are the counselors and how are they chosen?
Despite the fact that we have an all volunteer staff, we have a wonderful group of returning counselors. In 2014, we had 15 staff members from a variety of backgrounds. We also have several college-age counselors, many of whom are former campers.
We have a staff application form on our web site and anyone 18 and older can apply. Because we have so many excellent returning staff, we typically only accept a few new staff members a year. We have accepted parents as counselors in the past, but we’re very reluctant to do so. We feel campers get a lot more out of the experience if they are able to exercise their independence.
Do you do criminal background checks on staff?
Yes! We do criminal background checks on all staff (new and returning) every year.
I want to help, what can I do?
There are two primary ways to help out Camp Quest Michigan. The first is to donate. Donation money goes to help provide full or partial camperships to children who want to attend Camp Quest Michigan but need some financial assistance.
The second way to help is to volunteer. At Camp Quest Michigan we have a fairly full slate of returning volunteer counselors, but it doesn’t hurt to fill out a staff application to see if we might have need of your particular skills at the 2014 session. The other Camp Quests located in other parts of the country may also need volunteer help. You can get to their websites by following the links at the bottom of this page. Contact them directly if you want to volunteer at any of the Camp Quests other than the Michigan camp.
What options do I have if the dates/location of this Camp Quest don’t work for me?
There are other Camp Quests all across the country. For information about the dates and activities of the other Camp Quest locations please check out www.campquest.org/locations.