It's Beyond Belief!
Welcome to Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains! Over ten years ago some caring people from the
Rationalists of East Tennessee in Knoxville had the vision
to establish the second summer camp especially for children of secular parents. For the first five years
it was very small, almost family size. Since 2008 it has grown rapidly, but we have been able, so far,
to retain that friendly, family atmosphere.
Our camp is held each summer in a small valley, nestled away between mountains in the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park. Our host is the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.
These wonderful people provide our facilities and make the natural world come alive for visitors throughout the year.
With our wonderful staff of volunteers, we swim in the Little River, hike the mountain trails, talk around the
campfire, play games, and learn about science, nature, and philosophy. We leave our friends, old and new, with the
dream and expectation of returning next year.
If you are a secular family, you can find others like yourself right here at Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains,
and if you are uncertain about your beliefs, we are here for you too. If our date doesn't fit, learn about
our other camps.
2013 REGISTRATION CLOSING SOON
Summer 2013 will be our eleventh camp, so save July 28 through Aug. 3
for Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains.
We are still accepting applications for campers, ages 8-17, and for 2013 staff at the moment. In 2012 we had 49 campers plus staff,
an increase of more than 50% over the previous year, and reached the limit that Tremont will allow us.
2013 application forms are available by clicking on the Forms links on the left or by reviewing the links below.
For more information on Camp Quest 2013, contact the director at (865) 896-9270. Keep checking our website
throughout the year as we add more information about the upcoming activities, and follow us
Attention !! Registrations are nearing capacity and we expect that for the first
time we will have to turn some campers away this summer. We may be able to accommodate a few more but not in the dormitory.
We will establish a waiting list, but late campers might consider Camp Quest - South Carolina. For next year we are planning to start a second session
in Alabama, near Birmingham, and have tentative reservations for July 13-19, 2014. We are looking for people there willing to help organize in a timely manner,
2012 CAMP REVIEW
Big is not always best, but our best was big. We had more campers in attendance, but we kept the
intimacy of a small camp. The counselors and many campers work hard to know everyone's names.
The hike to Spruce falls and the swim in the pool was a favorite as always. Stan & Nick led a group of campers and staff
again to camp out overnight on the West Prong and got them back for breakfast. A storm had knocked down many large trees and
the Park closed our usual trail so they used an alternate route to the campground. The night hike with quiet and no lights was
dark as ever. Some campers got quite good at catching magnetic fish with casting rods, and two tried their hand with real fish.
Traditional activities, swimming, field games, stilts, badminton, Socrates Cafe, science experiments, campfires, two movies,
and much more were all enjoyed. Campers did a great job on the service projects. As usual, the closing campfire was an emotional time.
The teens organized the senior camper circle where serious discussions went on past "lights out" several nights.
Each year we have some special needs and we seek some special people to help us. If you think you can help,
please go to this page.
Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains is a secular residential summer camp for the children of atheists, agnostics, humanists and freethinkers,
and its purpose is to provide children of non-religious parents with a residential summer camp, dedicated to improving the human condition through
rational inquiry, critical and creative thinking, scientific method, self-respect, ethics, competency, democracy, free speech, and the separation
of religion and government guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. However, registration is open to all children regardless of their
beliefs or the beliefs of their parents.
Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains is supported by the Rationalists of East Tennessee and UU friends and donors:
"Thinking people doing thoughtful things."