In the beginning…
Camp Quest was founded in 1996 by a small group of dedicated and energetic people with the Free Inquiry Group of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
The idea to offer a summer camp program designed for children from atheist, agnostic, humanist, and other freethinking families originated partially in response to the Boy Scouts of America’s increasing enforcement of their policy requiring boys to profess a belief in God. It became clear that children from nontheistic families needed their own place to belong and enjoy the summer camp experience.
The first Camp Quest session, serving 20 campers ages 8-12, was held in Boone County, Kentucky in August of 1996. As Camp Quest grew, it expanded to serve teenagers ages 13-17 as well as children 8-12. Campers traveled from across the U.S., as well as from Canada, the UK, Japan, and the Curacao Islands to attend Camp Quest sessions.
In the early 2000s, a desire to expand was met with grants and independent incorporation. By summer of 2006 there were a total of six Camp Quests in North America. As the number of camps increased, a need developed for coordination among the independently operated programs. In 2007 Camp Quest, Inc., the operator of the original Camp Quest, expanded its mission to also serve as an umbrella organization supporting all of the Camp Quest camps in North America.
A dedicated group of freethinkers in the greater Seattle area began envisioning Camp Quest NorthWest in 2010. A board was incorporated, and thanks to generous grants from Humanists of North Puget Sound and Seattle Atheists, CQNW was able to hold its inaugural summer session in August of 2012