I tend to think of Richard Dawkins as slightly deranged, but I respect his right to have an opinion. I also think it’s kind of cool that he’s opening a summer camp for atheist kids. Via The First Post:Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion, has helped launch an atheist summer camp for children. Alongside the more traditional activities of tug-of-war, swimming and canoeing, children at the five-day camp in Somerset will learn about rational scepticism, moral philosophy, ethics and evolution.
Camp-goers aged eight to 17 will also be taught how to disprove phenomena such as crop circles and telepathy. In the Invisible Unicorn Challenge, any child who can prove that unicorns do not exist will win a Â£10 note – which features an image of Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary theory – signed by Dawkins, Britain’s most prominent atheist.
I was never a summer camp person, but the rest of my family and most of my friends are hardcore Jewish camp people, and I’ve always said that I’d like to send my kids to Jewish camp because it was such a great experience for almost everyone I know. I wonder if atheist summer camp is as great as religious camps. In theory, it should perform the same key functions–informal education, introduction to other kids your age who have similar backgrounds/beliefs, exposure to major life philosophies in beautiful natural surroundings. Stillâ€¦maybe I’m wrong about this, but something about atheist summer camp sounds pretty serious, and not very fun. It seems like it would be a killjoy.
But then, what do I know? Maybe camp is way more fun when you never have to sit through services or a dvar Torah.