Secular kids' camp in Collin County aims to provide questions, not answers
By AVI SELK - THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Added: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 23:00:00 UTC
Thanks to LWS for the link.
"Mommy," 5-year-old Joseph recently asked Amie Parsons, "if Jesus was a carpenter and was real, and God isn't real, does that mean Jesus built the schools and buildings?"
Parsons, who describes herself as nonreligious, was delighted by her son's slightly confused question.
"We tell him to ask lots of questions," she said. "We're not real big into telling him what to think or what to believe."
On Sunday, Parsons watched Joseph play with nearly 40 other kids on an 18-acre farm in Princeton that she had helped convert into Camp Quest Texas, the state's first camp for the children of atheists, agnostics and other "free thinkers."
The eight-hour program began with Parsons reading the children the Apache story of fire. She asked the kids to devise their own creation myths.
Joseph, for his part, seemed more interested in playing with farm animals and hurling water balloons at his counselor than in discussing belief systems – and Parsons said that was exactly what she hoped for when she organized the camp.
"Our job isn't to tell children what to think," she said. "It's about opening up their minds and learning how to ask good questions."
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