November 2014 Volunteer Update

The Camp Quest NorthWest Board of Directors is pleased to announce the election of three new board members. Natalie Koonce, Gordon Schryer and Bridget Lombardo have each been elected to Member At Large positions. They will serve alongside President Chuck Wolber, Vice President Brennon Church, Secretary Jami Blackann, and members at large Lou Amadio, Rebecca Friedman and Mike Warbington.

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From left to right: Natalie Koonce, Gordon Schryer and Bridget Lombardo

The CQNW November board meeting will be held on Saturday, November 22nd at 11:00 AM at the Round Table Pizza in Burien. We will have a full agenda, including discussing the camp leadership structure as it applies to operating two camp sessions, planning for CQNW’s participation in the Camp Quest Leadership Summit in Dallas this February, and reports from each of the five CQNW committees.

Thank you for your continued support of Camp Quest NorthWest! If you would like to receive these updates via email, please subscribe to

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October 2014 Volunteer Update

This newsletter was originally distributed via email on 10/16/2014. There has been a minor correction to that email regarding the dates of the planning retreat. The correct dates are included below. If you would like to receive these updates via email, please subscribe to –Mike

October Meeting Recap

The Camp Quest NorthWest Board of Directors recently held their first of two October meetings this year. With 19 volunteers present it was the most well attended board meeting in CQNW history! The focus of discussion was the 2015 planning calendar and deciding the course of action regarding camp expansion.

Two Summer Camp Sessions

The board voted unanimously to expand camp to two sessions next year after an in depth discussion of the associated benefits and challenges. The first session will be held June 21st through 27th at the Oregon 4-H Center in Salem. The second session will be held August 9th through 15th at Camp Kirby.

Planning Retreat

Mark your calendars now: The date has been set for the 2015 Planning Retreat. It will take place at the Oregon 4-H Center the weekend of March 20th through 22nd, 2015. This will give staff a chance to get to know the layout and facilities of our new camp in order to successfully program activities and events that suit that location.

New Committees Formed

Several new committees were formalized at the October 11th meeting. If you’re interested in joining any of these committees, please contact their respective chairs.

  • The Registration Committee will be chaired by Kathy Amadio and will handle registration and other camper logistics. Email to volunteer.
  • The Staffing Committee will be chaired by Lou Amadio and will handle staff recruitment, interviewing, training, etc. Email to volunteer.
  • The Darwin Day Committee will be chaired by Chase Keffeler and will be responsible for planning and executing the Camp Quest activities at the Seattle Atheists Darwin Day celebration in February. Email and we’ll put you in touch with Chase.
  • The Social Committee will be chaired by Bridget Lombardo and will be responsible for organizing regular social events for CQNW volunteers and staff to stay in touch throughout the year. Email and we’ll put you in touch with Bridget.
  • The Programming Committee will be chaired by Rebecca Friedman and will be responsible for developing the camp theme, special events, lesson planning, and developing the LT program. Email to volunteer.

What’s Next?

The next CQNW Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 21st at 6:30 PM at the Burien Round Table Pizza (15730 1st Ave S, Burien, WA). On the agenda are the upcoming board elections and deciding on official names to distinguish our two camp sessions. Paul Mopps, Kayla Ritchie, Bridget Lombardo, Gordon Schryer and Natalie Koonce have been nominated for board positions and will be invited to speak briefly about their qualifications and vision for Camp Quest NorthWest. Elections will follow via email later in the week.

Thanks again for your continued support and efforts towards making the 2015 CQNW session(s) the best yet!

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September 2014 Volunteer Update

Below is a post from Mike Warbington, our 2014 Lead Male Cabin Counselor and a member of CQNW Board of Directors.  If you would like to receive these updates via email, please subscribe to


September Meeting Recap

On September 16th the Camp Quest NorthWest Board of Directors held its first meeting since returning from camp in August. We discussed our successes this year, some of the challenges that we faced, and talked about the possibility of expanding camp next year to two week long sessions. We also took a look at Oregon 4-H Center in Salem, OR, which a few of the board members visited earlier this month, and we established a Programming Committee who will meet throughout the year. Take a look at the meeting minutes for the full run down of what was discussed!

Programming Committee

Becky Friedman, our Programming Director and CQNW board member, was elected as the chair of the Programming Committee. If you’re interested in developing programming for summer camp next year, including creating a camp theme and developing the LT program, please contact Becky and let her know! The programming committee will be meeting regularly outside of the larger board meetings and your participation is encouraged!

Expanding Summer Camp to Two Sessions

Camp Quest NorthWest is growing by leaps and bounds, and in order to accommodate that growth we are considering expanding camp next year to two sessions. The scenario that is under consideration is to hold a session at the Oregon 4H Center in late June in addition to the usual session at Camp Kirby during August.

Planning and operating two camp sessions would require an unprecedented degree of support and energy from the CQNW community. The board is actively seeking as much input and participation as possible before moving forward with this decision. Are you ready to step up and take on additional responsibilities to support camp growth? Are you willing to join us in planning for camp throughout the next year? Great! Let us know! Camp expansion will be the primary focus of discussion at our October 11th board meeting so please be in attendance if you would like to extend your support or offer your concerns. If you’re unable to attend then feedback by email or on facebook is also encouraged.

October Meetings

The CQNW Board of Directors will be holding not one but TWO meetings in October. We heard lots of feedback that some people were unable to attend weeknight meetings, so the first of these two meetings will be held on Saturday, October 11th at 11:00 AM and the Round Table Pizza in Burien (15730 1st Ave S, Burien, WA). The second meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 21st at 6:30 PM. The topic of whether or not to expand to two sessions next year will be the primary topic of discussion, with the intention of coming to a decision at the October 11th meeting. We will also be talking about the upcoming board elections, camp programming, and whatever else comes up. We have also had requests to vary the location of board meetings, so if you have a venue in mind that can host 10-20 people for a three hour meeting then let us know! We have an exciting and challenging year ahead of us and now more than ever we encourage active participation in camp planning and execution.

Finally, we’d like to extend a huge thank you to all of the 2014 Camp Quest NorthWest staff and volunteers who made the 2014 session a huge success! We look forward to working with you over the upcoming months to make 2015 even better!

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One month after Camp: We had a BLAST!

In August 2014, 39 adult volunteers hosted 96 campers in Camp Quest NorthWest’s third summer session!  Our theme “Blast off!” helped our community envision traveling to distant worlds, build flight-worthy capsules and rockets, and ponder extraterrestrial encounters.

Our new campers and volunteers were welcomed into the Camp Quest Family, coming as far away as New York and South Korea! Founding CQNW volunteers Jami and John finally got to spend the week as cabin counselors, and counselor Jesse wins the distinction of Most Quested, having volunteered at EIGHT camp sessions around the US, included Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado, and now NorthWest. Counselor Liz tied returning camper Bagel for Second Most Quested, having attended seven sessions around the west coast.

Other highlights:

  • A camp-wide scavenger hunt helped introduce campers to famous freethinkers throughout history
  • Talented musicians serenaded us with fiddles, trumpets, ukeleles, pianos, and more!
  • Climbers summited our tower–and their personal fears!
  • Green, blue, and pink flames in our campfire helped us explore the concepts of electrons and elements.
  • We were overcome with ALIEN SLIME!!
  • The “prophet” of Architeuthis challenged us to examine logical fallacies.
  • Smiley Fries.

One month after camp, CQNW Board members and volunteers are already hard at work planning for next year.  Stay connected through our volunteers email list, our Facebook page (where photos are posted throughout the year), the parents discussion group, and our Meetup group, and stay tuned throughout the year for exciting developments!


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Less than one month till camp!

Camp Quest Families: get ready for a fantastic week in August!  Have you and your child looked at what it takes to prepare for camp?  Our registrar  is hard at work making sure all our camper info is on file, and she’ll be sending out info packets in the next week.  Did you also know about our parents’ discussion group?  Some families have already arranged carpools or pre-camp play dates. If you’re a first-time camper, our director Chuck has some wonderful resources.

IMG_7880Our staffing is complete, with counselors and specialists journeying up coasts, through mountains, and even across an ocean to spend a week volunteering!  We’re all busy behind the scenes working on programming, bunk arrangements, supplies, and making sure preparations are in place for our amazing campers. All staff, returning and new, are investing their own time prior to camp to watch important training videos that will ensure all of us have a safe and rockinsummer!  In addition to expanding up to nearly 100 campers, we’ve also added some specialized programming for our older teens who will be part of our Leadership Track, and all campers will have the chance to experience favorites like climbing, Socrates cafe, archery, and marine biology.

See everyone on August 10!

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