Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains

Information for Donors

Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains is affiliated with National Camp Quest , the first secular summer camp for youth in the history of the United States. Camp Quest was specifically designed for children of agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, humanists, and others who hold a naturalistic world view.

Camp Quest Smoky Mountains for 2014 will be held July 27-August 2, for campers ages 8-17 at the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont, near Townsend, Tennessee within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Campers stay in clean, air conditioned, bathroom-equipped dormitories, with dedicated adult counselors. Food is prepared by the licensed staff of the GSMIT facility. Camp Quest Smoky Mountains is supported by the Rationalists of East Tennessee, a nonprofit organization; tax-deductible contributions and scholarships will be gratefully accepted.

The purpose of Camp Quest is to provide children of freethinking parents 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.

It is our intent at Camp Quest to provide campers a safe and fun environment for personal and social development. We seek to promote among the youth participants a sense of belonging to a large freethought community. We encourage critical thinking to enable the young people to draw their own conclusions based on good evidence and promote respect for others even though they may have different viewpoints, values, and beliefs. We believe that virtues like morality, kindness, justice and generosity derive from natural human values and reason.

The camp is conducted by a dedicated volunteer staff, both residential counselors and day staff who come to conduct activieies. We seek to provide a staff to camper ratio of at least 1:3.

Last year the Great Smoky Institute at Tremont lost an annual grant from the National Park Service and so raised the rates they charge us, then raised them again this year. We absorbed much of the increase, drawing on reserves, but this is only a short-term solution. To assure the continuation of Camp Quest in the Smoky Mountains, to keep camper costs down, to be able to offer financial assistence to needy campers, and to maintain favorable camper to staff ratio, we earnestly solicit financial support from the freethought community.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Camp Director, or send a check payable to "Camp Quest Smoky Mountains" to:
Camp Quest Smoky Mountains
c/o Dan Smucker
1219 Holly Avenue
Columbus, OH 43212