Remember when summer camp meant ghost stories by a campfire, swimming, games, and group hikes?
Better toss those archaic notions out the window, you narrow-minded fools.
Camp Inquiry is a new, different sort of summer camp. Sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, is an environment void of the supernatural and religion. Skepticism and critical thinking are encouraged. Aliens, bigfoot, and urban legends are debunked by experts and the kids, ranging from 7 to 16 years old, are taught to demand proof.
While religion isn't openly discussed, it seems to be a topic left for free time. The majority of the children are either atheist or secular humanist. The camp provides a stark contrast to Bible study programs, allowing them to discuss their disbelief without fear of ridicule.
Austin and Jordan Fischer, brothers from New York City, learned of the camp from an advertisement in Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry (magazines coincidentally published by the Center for Inquiry). "All the other [camps] are team building, physical stuff, a lot of playing," said Jordan. "This is more intellectual."
Thankfully, cooperation, exercise, and imaginative fun won't be ruining the summer months for these kids.
While I'm all for encouraging children to make up their own mind on many philosophical matters of life, this just doesn't seem "unbiased" to me. Teaching children thought, reason, and science is a wonderful thing, but what lines do you draw? Do you tell the seven-year-old that he's a moron for believing in Santa Claus? If a child wears a cross, is he or she shunned by the counselors or deprogrammed? Does the child who believes she saw a ghost have to go in for a brain scan?
What's so wrong with leaving a little mystery and imagination in the world? And does science really have the answer to every, single, solitary question possible in the universe at this moment in time?