Introducing Camp 42: The Secular Summer Camp Exploring Life, the Universe, and Everything!
SUMMERVILLE, SC – Amy Monsky, former Executive Director of the Atheist Alliance of America, and Kim Ellington, former co-host of the American Humanist Association’s “The Humanist Hour” broadcast, are proud to introduce Camp 42: Exploring LIfe, the Universe, and Everything! Formerly called Camp Quest Southeast, Camp 42 currently has locations in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida, serving hundreds of campers from secular families since 2012.
Camp Quest Southeast released its licensing agreement with Camp Quest in October of 2018 and is now Camp 42: Exploring Life, the Universe, and Everything! Executive Director of Camp 42, Amy Monsky, said, “We love Camp Quest and its mission, but being an affiliated organization limited us in some ways, so we decided to fledge and become our own independent organization.”
From their inaugural year of 35 campers in 2012 at their flagship camp in Aiken, SC, the Camp 42 organization has grown to offer their week-long residential summer camps for campers ages 8-17 years old at three locations, serving close to 200 campers in 2018.
Camp 42 offers a full spectrum of traditional camp activities, such as swimming, hiking, canoeing, campfires, and arts and crafts. In addition, it offers programming that supports its mission to “change the world by providing a reason-based inclusive camp experience designed to create caring and inquisitive humans who want to create a compassionate and innovative future with a connection to the natural world.” This includes science programs, like having an astrophysicist come to camp with an inflatable planetarium. It includes fostering skepticism and critical thinking skills, like a session with Bryan & Baxter of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society, who assisted the James Randi Educational Foundation with its Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge. It includes community service projects, upcycling, philosophy, and more. Camp 42 also offers a Leadership Training program for 16-17 year olds.
Inspiration for the name came from the late atheist Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, in which 42 was the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything. At Camp 42, campers are encouraged to actively create meaning in their own lives and make a positive impact in their communities. The number 42 has many other associations for Camp 42, each of which is used to illustrate its goals and values, including social justice and equality from Jackie Robinson’s number 42 jersey, LGBTQ inclusion from the 42 degree angle at which we see rainbows through droplets of water, and more.
“We’re excited,” said Kim Ellington, who has served as a counselor, program director, camp director and camp cook at various times at various locations over the years. “We have an amazing family of volunteer staff and the best camp families in the world. This change will allow us to serve everyone even better, and we’re ready to get started!”
Registration for all Camp 42 locations will open in January.