Life At Camp

What do we do at Camp Quest NorthWest?

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Lots! Camp Quest NorthWest and all CQ camps offer a mix of traditional summer camp activities and educational activities related to the Camp Quest mission (click here to read our mission statement.) including traditional staples like swimming, archery, wall climbing, hiking, stories around the campfire, boating, a variety of sports, arts and crafts, etc. We also include a variety of thought-provoking freethought and science activities. The past three summers saw the likes of:

  • Socrates Cafe
  • Hominid evolution
  • solving math problems with bubblesCQNW-Activities-archers
  • physics lab
  • nature walks
  • crystal radio
  • watercolor
  • marine biology
  • creative drama
  • owl pellet dissection
  • cooperative engineering
  • American Sign Language
  • and more!

5 (1)Freethought Activities. What is Freethought? Broadly, it means cultivating curiosity, questioning and a certain disdain for just taking the word of authority; demanding evidence and knowing you can make your own observations even if they lead you to disagree. In terms of activities, these can run the gamut from science games to humanist “life skills” activities – but always fun! fun! fun!

Leadership Track. Older teens who have completed 9th grade and turned 15 are part of our camper Leadership Track! This new program allows older teens to fully participate in camp and cultivate leadership skills. For more information, see Older Teens: LT Program page.

Typical Day at Camp Quest NorthWest

Schedules vary a bit during the week to accommodate special activities.

7:30 AM Wake upcalisthenics
7:45 AM – 8:00 AM Morning assembly and calisthenics
8:00 AM – 8:45 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM Cabin and shower time
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM Morning Programs
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:45 PM Free Choice Afternoon Activities
2:45-3:00 PM – Fruit and veggies snack time
3:00 – 3:50 PM Back on Bunk Time (quiet hour)
4:00 PM – 5:15 PM Afternoon Physical Challenges: Swimming, Team Sports, Archery,  Climbing and Kayaking
5:30 PM – 6:15 PM Dinner
6:30 PM – 7:20 PM Cabin Skit Practice
7:30 – 8:45 PM All-Camp Evening Activity
8:45 PM – 9:30 PM Campfire
10:30 PM Lights out!

campfoodFood. Camp food is nutritious and plentiful! Campers get breakfast, lunch, a midday snack of fruits and veggies, and a hearty dinner. Hydration is taken seriously, and water breaks are frequent. Campers and staff with special dietary needs, including vegetarians, reported being highly satisfied with our responsive cook and meal planner.

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 4.24.40 PMStaff. All Camp Quest Northwest staff and Board members are adult volunteers. Program instructors and bunk counselors hail from myriad professional backgrounds and areas of expertise, including but not limited to: art, education, engineering, mathematics, media production, medicine, music performance, psychology, science, theater, and scholarly research. Leaders in Training are high school-aged campers with limited supervisory and support responsibilities. Staff are meticulously vetted through interviews, references, and background checks. In addition to our camp nurses, other staff members carry certification in first aid, adult/child CPR and AED administration, emergency preparedness, lifeguarding, climbing/archery safety, and other training.

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 9.38.03 PMFacilities. Camp takes place on the grounds of Camp Kirby on Samish Island, and at Camp Waskowitz in the Cascade foothills. In both locations, wildlife abounds. Campers can run in open grassy areas, hike the woods, play games in the lodge, or hang out in the arts and crafts shed. At Camp Kirby campers can swim and kayak under lifeguard supervision, play a pickup game on the basketball court, or visit the archery range and climbing wall at the top of the hill. Camp Waskowitz boasts a swimming pool, extensive hiking trails, and an idyllic riverside setting.

At both locations, campers sleep on bunk beds in enclosed cabins. Cabins are typically gender inclusive, with campers and counselors of multiple genders residing together. At Camp Kirby, the main bathrooms are divided by gender and are located a short walk from the cabins. At Camp Waskowitz, the main bathrooms are gender inclusive and are in the same building as the cabins. Both locations also offer single occupant bathrooms to all campers.

What do Camp Quest Families Say?

CQNW-Scenes-18“I learned many things, and I was able to be the atheist I am without being bullied or shunned.” -2012 Camper
“My daughter loved everything about camp- the activities, the fellow campers, her counselors, even the food!” -CQNW parent
“Socrates Cafe was probably my favorite of all the freethought activities. It was cool to talk about things and think about things in new ways.” -CQNW 2012 Camper
“Camp Quest helps me remember that there are other people my age who think like I do.” camper
“I really liked the crafts.” -CQNW 2012 camper
“I’ve learned how to question things better.” -CQ Camper
“Archery and flint knapping were really fun!” -CQNW 2012 Camper