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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CQNW Staff Plan 2014

The chilly weather didn’t stop 25 freethinking grownups from spending a weekend on Samish Island developing a fantastic 2014 camp program!

Returning staff welcomed new faces as we cooked, moved furniture, collaborated on programming, tended fire, sang and yelled, probed deep questions, generated and questioned ideas, and shared knowledge, vision, meals, and camaraderie. We came from all directions to work towards our shared goal: a summer of friends, freethought, and fun!

Those who couldn’t join us in person were missed, but the great minds behind CQNW are still busy sharing contributions and enthusiasm in our lead-up to a fantastic summer session.

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2014 Staff Applications Now Available!

science danCamp Quest NorthWest experienced a 100% growth in campers between our first and second years.  This summer, we’ll again be needing the help of energetic, caring, responsible, patient, creative, risk-taker adults to create another stellar staff team!

Many veteran Camp Quest NorthWest staff report their week volunteering at camp to be one of the most unique and rewarding experiences in a long time.  College students interested in working with children, and adults who have experience working with children, are especially encouraged to apply.  The truth is that program instructors and bunk counselors alike hail from a myriad of personal and professional backgrounds and areas of expertise, including but not limited to: art, communications, education, engineering, mathematics, media production, medicine, music performance, psychology, science, and smikecholarly research.

Want to know what a typical day is like?  Check it out!  Get your application in early and join us at the March planning retreat!

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