CQNW 2018 Registration Details

Howdy, Folks!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at Camp Quest NorthWest in 2018, where our theme will be Flying Spaghetti Western. Our Programming Committee is already hard at work planning new and exciting activities for this summer’s camp sessions. We hope that you can join us, so here is the essential information that you’ll need for both volunteer and camper registration.

Camp Dates

  • Week 1: June 17-23, 2018 (staff: June 16-24, 2018), Camp Kirby
  • Week 2: August 12-18, 2018 (staff: August 11-19, 2018), Camp Kirby

Volunteer Registration is Open Now!

  • You can find the volunteer registration page here. If you need more information about how to register as a volunteer, you can find that here.
  • Our Planning Retreat is tentatively scheduled for March 23-25, 2018, at Camp Kirby. For the first time this year you can reserve your spot at the Planning Retreat through Active using the same registration link above.
  • Visit this page to find more information about Staff Grants.  To apply for a grant, please complete the supplemental form after completing your volunteer application.

Camper Registration Will Open January 6, 2018 at 12:01 a.m.

  • Additional details are available on our registration page here. Bookmark that page to find the link to registration as soon as it is activated.
  • The financial aid application will also become available at this time. Families seeking financial aid are encouraged to apply as we take the timestamp of your financial aid application into account in determining waitlist order.
  • Camp tuition will be $700 per camper. This is an increase over last year due to increased costs and planning for a smaller June camp session, but it is less of an increase than we had previously planned and announced.
  • Please check your school schedule in advance and plan for snow days before choosing a camp session to register for. Consider registering for June if your camper’s school calendar allows so that other campers can register for August.
  • Be aware that we have traditionally filled up the August sessions within a few hours of opening registration. Please plan accordingly!
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Announcing 2018 CQNW Camp Session Dates

CQNW will return to Camp Kirby for two weeks of camp in 2018.

The CQNW Board of Directors is happy to officially announce the camp session dates for the 2018 year. CQNW will again be hosting two weeks of camp at Camp Kirby on Samish Island, WA.

  • Week 1: June 17, 2018 – June 23, 2018 (staff: June 16, 2018 – June 24, 2018)
  • Week 2: August 12, 2018 – August 18, 2018 (staff: August 11, 2018 – August 19, 2018)

Mark your calendars! Please remember to check these dates against your camper’s school calendar as there may be some overlap. Also, consider the effect that snow days may have.

Additional details will be forthcoming, including registration dates and tuition pricing. We’ll make another announcement once we have that information finalized.

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Creating a Welcoming Camp for Transgender and Non-binary People

The following post is a statement by the Camp Quest NorthWest Board of Directors.

Well, 2017’s camp season has come to an end. This summer, the “CQNW Department of Skepticism” trained up over 115 new Special Agents with an emphasis on critical thinking, skepticism, and friendship. This was the second year where the theme of camp was woven into daily activities, and was the first year where we had a week long “story arc” with clues, double-crosses, and mysterious characters galore. The campers were engaged in figuring out what was fact, what was fiction, and what was the true motive behind mysterious sightings of our beloved arboreal cephalopod.

There was another first this past season, and that was the introduction of gender neutral cabins and bathrooms. This was borne from the board’s decision to better serve campers and staff who identify as transgender and non-binary. This issue is particularly important to us at a time where states are considering enacting legislation regarding the use of public restrooms, and the rights of transgender people in general have become a leading topic of national conversation.

We started this practice because we felt it was the right thing to do. This is not a change that affected every cabin or camper. Parents were able to opt their children in, declare no preference, or opt their children out.

After a lot of preparation and discussion we were happy to find that implementing this practice went incredibly smoothly. There were no major issues. From watching our campers interact with each other it was pretty clear that they are exceptionally mature and compassionate. Campers were involved in setting the ground rules for each individual cabin. They respected each other’s boundaries, and modeled a level of grace and maturity that was very inspiring to witness.

As far as bathrooms go, our host camp is set up such that there are two bathroom buildings. One had very poor gender separation to begin with, so it became the gender neutral bathroom. Anyone was free to use it. The remaining building had very good separation, and campers were free to use it according to their gender identity. Nobody was pressured regarding their choice of which bathroom to use.

We also made efforts to acknowledge campers’ choices with regard to their preferred names and pronouns. Our staff does their best to do this because it is important to us that campers are allowed the dignity of being identified in the manner they are most comfortable with.

We’re very happy with the implementation of this practice, and we’re looking forward to continuing it in the future. We expect this will be expanded and formalized in the future, and we’ll continue to look for new ways that we can be inclusive and welcoming to all campers.

The Camp Quest NorthWest Board of Directors

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CQNW 2017 Mission Briefing

The following mission briefing will be delivered to campers the week prior to the camp session.


THE CQ-FILES, CASE # 20170618-7


Greetings, agent.

Something mysterious has taken place at CAMP QUEST NORTHWEST. Reports from the residents of SAMISH ISLAND and surrounding environs indicate that a mysterious figure has been seen moving through the trees. Some eyewitness accounts describe a large glowing octopus-like creature, while others have reported shimmering lights appearing on the surface of the water. The CQNW DEPARTMENT OF SKEPTICISM requires your assistance in determining the truth behind these reports.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to report to CAMP QUEST NORTHWEST on Sunday, June 18th between 1:00PM and 3:00PM. When you arrive you will be assigned to a Task Force that will be responsible for investigations into this and other unexplained phenomena. Once you and the other members of your Task Force have completed training you will be asked to gather all available evidence of these strange sightings, examine the clues in an appropriately critical manner, and determine whether there is a scientific explanation for these seemingly paranormal events.

Your discretion in these matters is of the greatest importance. Please consider this information to be TOP SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL. This message will self- destruct. (Please note, the self-destruction mechanism is subject the biodegradable properties of the paper on which this message is printed. Allow 10-10,000 years.)




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Does Camp Quest NorthWest Accept Parents on Staff?

We get asked this question a lot. The answer is – of course we accept parents on staff! But the real question we need to answer is, “Do we accept parents on staff who also have children at camp?”.

The answer to that one is – yes, but it’s complicated…

It should not be a surprise to any parent that children have distinct personalities and develop at different rates. This is what makes the job of parenting difficult – there is simply no “one size fits all” approach to being a good parent. Despite that, it is the job of a parent to guide their children through the process of growing up to become compassionate, productive, and independent adults.

Part of the process of guiding a child is allowing them to be in situations where they can safely “test the waters” and make their own mistakes. This is where Summer Camp becomes an excellent tool.

A week of Summer Camp is a great opportunity for parents to take a break and enjoy their own vacation. While at the same time, they can be assured that their child is in excellent hands, having a great time, enjoying new friendships, and learning to navigate many important life situations independently.

From a parenting perspective, we recognize that our child emerges from this carefully structured experience with tools and perspectives that we could never teach them on our own. From the campers’s perspective, a successful camp experience is something that stays with them for the rest of their life. It informs many of their future decisions and colors their future relationships in ways that only they can explain many years later.

Where it gets complicated is when parents are on staff when their child is at camp. For the camp experience to be successful, the camper must have the opportunity to be independent, and free of parental judgement and critique. At the same time, the camper has to be willing to navigate the camp experience without seeking out their parent for comfort and reassurance.

Not all campers and parents are capable of making this a successful experience. So as a parent of a camper who is considering applying for a staff position, you need to consider the following:

  • Will you take your role as a staff member seriously? Your role at camp is to fill an integral position on a team that is responsible for the lives and well being of 50-100 campers.
  • This will be an enriching experience for you, and it will be an enriching experience for your child, but it will not be an enriching shared experience. You will be busy with your own duties, and your child will be part of the camp program. Ideally, you will rarely, if ever, intersect.
  • If you revert to the role of parent, you are not fulfilling your own duties, and are potentially undermining their cabin counselors. You may also be making it harder for them to form bonds with their cabin mates.
  • If your child seeks you out at camp, are you able to gently but firmly, redirect them back to their counselor without addressing their needs, regardless of the size of their request?
  • Are you able to remain detached and let their counselor handle things when your child encounters a difficult situation at camp?
  • If you are completely honest with yourself, do you feel like you are going to have difficulty focusing on your own job duties while your camper has their own independent camp experience?

This is not a comprehensive set things to consider, but they should help get the conversation started and convey a general idea of what is expected of you as a staff member. We take the role of staff very seriously and expect you to as well.

To sum up, yes, we would absolutely love to have you on staff. But only if you honestly believe that you and your camper are ready to make this a great independent experience for both of you!

If you are still interested in joining us on staff, you can find our application instructions here.

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