Space still available at the CQNW July session at Camp Waskowitz

Camp Waskowitz was built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and used as a base camp for forest fire service until 1942. The camp has been a King County landmark since 1992 and is listed on the National Register for Historic Places.

Camp Quest NorthWest will be hosting two sessions this summer, with space still available for campers at our first session from June 30th to July 6th, 2019 at Camp Waskowitz. Our theme this year is “Star Quest,” a celebration of scientific inquiry, space exploration, and the humanist values presented in some of our favorite science fiction stories. We are excited to share additional details of our camp theme with you at as well as some details of our new host site.

First, we are thrilled to be spending our first week at Camp Waskowitz, which is nestled into the Cascade Foothills in the Snoqualmie River Valley just outside of North Bend, Washington. Here are some of the features that Camp Waskowitz offers.

  • Swimming pool!
  • Volleyball courts
  • Fully covered outdoor shelter featuring a large stone fireplace and bench seating
  • Covered shelter with picnic tables adjacent to the Snoqualmie River
  • Fire circle and outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Snoqualmie River
  • “4-H Challenge” ropes course
  • Recently refurbished original camp buildings dating back to 1935, including cabins, dining hall, education center and other structures.
  • 40 foot tall Stampede Pass Fire Lookout Tower built in 1934 and moved to Camp Waskowitz in 1974.
  • Trail system that includes a large pedestrian bridge over the Snoqualmie River, a cable bridge over a smaller creek, several shelters and other points of interest.

Our programming committee has been hard at work developing activities and special events for both of our 2019 camp sessions. Here are some of the ideas that are currently working on for our 2019 camp theme “Star Quest.”

  • Camp t-shirts will feature the colors of our three camp divisions: Fun, Friends and Freethought. Each division represents the mission and values of Camp Quest. These “uniforms” will feature a unique CQ insignia on the front left that represents the skeptical and scientific basis for Camp Quest as well as the interconnectedness of the three divisions.
  • Campers will be divided into groups of “away teams” and will be tasked with investigating strange phenomena, exploring new ideas, and solving problems. Our away teams may encounter powerful omnipotent beings, strange new alien cultures, and strangely familiar “theme planets.”
  • We will be revamping our very popular Leadership Track (LT) program for our high-school age teenage campers to help them prepare to take on new challenges in their communities and to push them to discover what it means for them to become a leader.
  • We will continue to develop the BLT (Before LT) program that we introduced last year for our younger teens to expand their role in the Camp Quest community and to challenge them with exciting new activities.

Our volunteers will be meeting at Camp Waskowitz for our annual Planning Retreat March 22-24 to brainstorm additional programming ideas, to further develop the camp theme, and to develop ideas for future camp sessions. Space is limited so register now if you’d like to attend!

If you’re interested in attending the planning retreat, registering yourself as a volunteer for either our July or August camp sessions, or registering a camper to attend the July camp session, please visit our Active registration page.

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CQNW 2019 Registration Details

Choose one of these t-shirt colors when you register! See below for more details.

Hailing Frequencies Open

Last year we took campers on a journey to the western frontier with our “Flying Spaghetti Western.” This year we’ll be voyaging into the final frontier on a very special “Star Quest.” Join us as we explore an exciting new camp location, seek out fun new activities and programs, and boldly go where no Camp Quest has gone before!

2019 Camp Session Dates

  • Week 1: June 30th to July 6th (Staff: June 29th to July 7th), Camp Waskowitz
  • Week 2: August 11th to 17th (Staff: August 10th to 18th), Camp Kirby

Camp Quest NorthWest will again host two sessions this summer. The first session of the year will be our first week at Camp Waskowitz. Camp Waskowitz is located on the banks of the Snoqualmie River, nestled into the Cascade foothills near North Bend. We’re very excited about this new location and the new opportunities it presents to us.

Our second session of the summer will be at our tenth week at Camp Kirby. We continue to enjoy a great relationship with our hosts at Camp Kirby and we look forward to working with them in the years to come as we simultaneously get to know our new hosts at Camp Waskowitz. We encourage families to choose whichever camp session works for their schedule and interests, whether that be Camp Kirby or Camp Waskowitz!

Volunteer Registration is Now Open!

You can find the volunteer registration form available here. You can also visit the Staff page on our website to find out more details about the staff application process.

The Planning Retreat is scheduled for March 22nd to 24th at Camp Waskowitz. You can reserve your spot at the retreat using the same registration link above.

Camper Registration Will Begin Saturday, January 5th at 9:00 AM

Yes, you read that correctly, there’s no need to stay up until midnight to register! Additional details are available on our registration page, or you can bookmark the link directly to Active to register on January 5th.

Tuition will be set at $700 per camper, which is unchanged from last year, and camp scholarships (“camperships”) are available for families seeking financial aid. As always, your application timestamp will count whether you submit either the camper registration form or financial aid form.

Please be aware that our August session typically fills up very quickly, so if plan to register be sure to set a reminder and register as soon as you can!

Choose Your T-shirt Color

Whether you are registering a camper or signing up to volunteer you will have the opportunity to state your preference for one of three t-shirt colors. The colors of yellow, blue and red represent the three parts of our motto of Fun, Friends and Freethought. Whether you are registering yourself or someone else, take a moment to decide which of these three shirt colors is preferred.

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Cameras at Camp: What to send?

Sending a camera with your camper can be a great way for them to capture camp memories.

As you are hopefully aware of by now, camp has a strict “No electronics” policy, with the one exception being stand-alone digital cameras. (This means that any device that can run applications, or has any functionality past that of a camera is not allowed).
In past years, I have seen parents send their campers with disposable film cameras, and while I love a good analog format as much as the next guy, the excitement of camp usually means that all 24 (or 36) shots are taken within the first few hours of arriving at camp, and if I had to guess, 90% of those shots are out of focus and / or too dark.

Now, I completely understand that you aren’t going to want to send your DSLR to camp, or even your nice point-and-shoot, but there is another option!
If you go to the Goodwill on any given day, I guarantee you will find a digital camera for about $5-10, that uses AA batteries, and an SD card to store photos on. They may not have 18 gigapixel resolution, or HDR functionality, but they are going to be more than adequate for capturing memories of camp. Additionally, if they get lost or broken, you aren’t going to be out much money.

When looking for a used camera at Goodwill (or any other thrift shop), I recommend the following:

  1. Bring some AA batteries, and an SD card with you when you shop. That way, you will be able to test the cameras out in-store. Most of the time, the storage media has been removed from the camera by the time it hits the shelf, and any batteries are likely dead so bringing your own SD card will ensure you can fully test the camera.
  2. Sunday mornings, around opening time seem to be a sweet-spot for finding the best electronics. Many folks are in church, or still sleeping, and the stores restock overnight so you’ll have a better chance at getting something good.
  3. Stay away from Sony. Most Sony cameras you will find at Goodwill (or other thrift stores) use memory-stick flash memory, and / or proprietary batteries. If the proprietary battery is even still with the camera, odds are it won’t charge, and the memory-stick format is pretty defunct now. Compact Flash is still somewhat common due to their use in a lot of industrial equipment, so a CF camera might still be a good choice. (CF Readers are also easy to come by). The only real downside to CF is that there are TONS of tiny pins on the camera side, and if your camper is a fidgeter, they might pop the card in and out a bunch, damaging the pins.
  4. Keep it simple! You may be swayed by a camera with a nice optical zoom, but these tend to drain batteries faster, and depending on the design, can easily get jammed up with sand and dirt; both of which we have in great quantity at camp.
  5. Make sure the camera has external media support, and / or uses a standard data transfer cable. Some digital cameras I have seen are super basic VGA affairs that only use internal memory. This might be ideal for some of our younger campers, since the camera is going to be much MUCH simpler to use, but make sure that you’ll be able to plug it in to get the photos off of the camera!
  6. Before sending your camper and camera to camp, organize a photography treasure hunt! Hand your future camper a list of items to take photos of, and let them go for it! First off, it’s a fun activity, and second, it will allow them the chance to get familiar with the camera’s operation, so the chances of getting usable photos back from camp is greatly improved.
  7. Pack extra batteries for them! We won’t have the ability to give out or charge batteries, and power outlets for chargers are an extremely rare commodity. Cameras are pretty high-drain devices, so if you can convince your camper to bring the spent batteries home, they will still serve you for months (or years) in wall clocks or remote controls. Amazon brand batteries are a great value, Costco brand batteries are good as well, and even dollar-store alkaline batteries stand up really well. (Don’t buy “heavy duty” batteries though, those use carbon-zinc chemistry, and are very low capacity compared to “alkaline” batteries.)

If you have any thoughts about the ideal camera to bring, or you have any other hints, tips, or tricks for camp, please comment below, and share them with the other parents!

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Order your 2018 CQNW T-Shirt or Hoodie Today!

2018 CQNW T-Shirt

The 2018 CQNW T-Shirt includes a retro sunset design on the front and a Flying Spaghetti Western themed design on the back featuring the silhouettes of famous freethinkers.

Complete this form to order your 2018 Camp Quest NorthWest hoodies and extra t-shirts now. Zip-up hoodies are $50 and all t-shirts are $20. Orders received before May 25th will be printed and ready for pickup at the June camp session. Orders received after the May 25th cutoff will be available for pickup at the August camp session.

You should receive an invoice within 48 hours of submitting your order. Please wait for an invoice before sending payment. The preference is for pickup will be at the June or August camp session, although the option to have items shipped to you is available. Shipping costs will be estimated and will be included on your invoice. Delivery will be no earlier than the conclusion of the August camp session.

Remember that all campers receive one t-shirt included with the cost of their registration, and all volunteers receive one t-shirt at no cost. Use this order form to order extra shirts for yourself or family members.

All proceeds benefit CQNW Camperships.

This zip-up hoodie includes a unique “Camp Quest NorthWest Marshall’s Badge” on the front and the retro sunset design on the back.

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Space is still available at Camp Quest NorthWest – June 2018

Camp Quest NorthWest provides an educational adventure shaped by fun, friends, and freethought, featuring science, natural wonder and humanist values. Register now for our June camp session, June 17-23, 2018. Visit our registration page for more information and details, or head straight to Active to register for camp or apply for financial aid.

We recently held our annual Planning Retreat at Camp Kirby, where 22 of our dedicated volunteers spent the weekend developing programming based on our exciting Flying Spaghetti Western camp theme. Here is just a taste of what we have in store for this year’s camp session.

    • Our intrepid campers will embark along The Camp Quest Trail, inspired by the classic Oregon Trail video game. Their pioneering journey will be complete with a stop at the general store, broken wagon wheels, and the looming threat of dysentery.
    • Regular visits from our resident Snake Oil Salesman to test the campers skepticism and critical thinking skills.
    • Campers will learn how early pioneers brought color to their world by trying out some methods of natural Cloth Dyeing.
    • We will discover the origins of photography by building replicas of early Pinhole Cameras.
    • Campers will have the opportunity to create and dress their own loveable Flying Spaghetti Monster Yarn Dolls.
    • Campers between the ages of 15-17 will participate in our Leadership Track (LT) Program, with programs designed to foster leadership, engagement and independence. LT campers pitching in with certain camp responsibilities such as administering hand-sanitizer at meal times and raising and lowering the camp flag, while also enjoying some additional freedoms to choose their preferred outdoor activities and helping to influence and develop the LT program itself.

We look forward to our June camp session which will feature an extra hour of daylight each day and actual green grass in the playfields. We also expect beautiful weather at the idyllic Camp Kirby and a smaller, more intimate camp session.

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