Camp Quest, the summer “freethought” camp, has come to Britain and is running right now. Some of the froth in the media has been amusing (particularly the hilarious Dawkins sets up kids’ camp to groom atheists in the Sunday Times) and there have been plenty of mistaken statements to the effect that the camp was set up, or even run, by Richard Dawkins (his foundation is a donor to Camp Quest, I understand).
And yeah, why not? Get kids questioning stuff and thinking for themselves. If I had kids, I’d far rather they went to a secular humanist summer camp than anything based on a single religion.
But then, if I had kids, I wouldn’t be sending them to any summer camp. I mean, seriously, what sort of parents send the poor buggers on these things? Kids want to be kids, not some kind of prototype office-motivational-away-day drones. Let’s see what they’re going to be doing…
Well, okay… some kids like that sort of thing. Posh kids. Swotty kids who always get picked first in games.
[And kids who never learn how to use the possessive apostrophe on plurals? No, I'm not that pedantic or bitchy, am I? Hmmm?]
School, then. Or even worse than school, by the sound of it. Just the thing that you want to escape from during that long, blissful summer break. We could take a big step in improving the world by filing the word “activities” in the same class as “paedophiles”, “power lines” and “deep, dark water”… the sort of things that all kids should be warned about and taught to avoid from an early age.
Like I say, why not just let kids be kids? Their school hours and after-school hours are already filled with adult-devised schemes to foster obedience and conformity… give them a break during the holidays and let them idle around. They’ll get bored, of course, and then imagination and self-sufficiency takes over. It has done for every other generation up to now, after all.