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Camp inquiry, the skeptical summer camp. Education or Indoctrination?

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posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 06:59 PM
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One of the emails that dropped into my inbox today was an update from the JREF forum, a skeptics and critical thinking forum of which I am a member, announcing that several of the JREFs top staff members attended this years camp.

Having never heard of "Camp Inquiry" I was pretty interested to see what it was, heres a quote from the page that I was linked to from the email


For the nearly fifty campers—aged 7 to 17—Camp Inquiry offers much of what you would expect from any residential summer camp. There are roasted marshmallows, nature hikes, team sports, sing alongs, crafts, and new friendships, but that’s where the adventure just begins. The thing that makes this camp special is its mission to help kids adopt a reason-guided and evidence-based approach to taking on all of life's questions. The campers—through dozens of engaging activities, presentations, and discussions—explore the tools of critical thinking, scientific skepticism, and information literacy. The week also offers the kids plenty of opportunities to exercise their intellectual muscles as they take on the challenges of navigating pseudoscientific claims, urban legends, media misinformation, the pitfalls of the internet, and even some of their own cherished beliefs.

full article

So it's basically an everyday summer camp, but with lectures and lessons focusing critical thinking and skepticism.



The Camp Inquiry web site states their goals as

This is a place where kids can be themselves. We work toward helping youth confront the challenges of living a non-theistic/secular lifestyle in a world dominated by religious belief and pseudoscience. Grounded on the conviction that kids can begin establishing habits of the good and ethical life early on, Camp Inquiry adopts a three-part focus: The arts and sciences, the skeptical perspective, and ethical character development comprise an integrated approach to this “Age of Discovery.” Campers, counselors, and teachers will address key issues around individual identity, forging trusting relationships, establishing a sense of local and global community, and living with respect for the natural world.

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I personally think this camp sounds absolutely fantastic as I have long thought that schools spend way too much time teaching children how to remember facts and little or no time teaching them how to discern what is true fro themselves, how to evaluate evidence and how to think critically. If or when I have children I would have no problem sending them to this camp at all. In fact I would encourage any ATS parents to look into it too.

In fact looking at their list of tutors I think I would sign up for it myself if there wasnt that pesky age limit link

But what say you ATS people? Do any of you see any problems with this? Would you send your children to camp inquiry?




posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 07:20 PM
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reply to post by davespanners
 


Something like this should be mandatory for all kids everywhere so they can learn to think for themselves and not just swallow what they're told. I'd absolutely send my daughter to something like this...Every summer of her life if I still could.



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 07:42 PM
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Can you imagine the bombardment of questions from your kids after that camp?

Timmy, eat your carrots, they're good for you.
Why are they good for you?
They have vitamins which help your body.
Where did you learn that?
Well, I, I learned it from a nutritionist.
What is a nutritionist?
They are experts in what is good for your body Timmy.
Do you just believe what they say? Did you get sources from the nutritionist?
No, I just believed them.
I will not eat these carrots daddy. I do not believe you.



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by Enlightenme1111
 


I was discussing that with someone earlier, whether you children would be unbearable after returning from camp inquiry.

Mum : Now go to bed Jimmy or Santa won't bring you any presents

Jimmy: Mother really must you continue spreading this tissue of lies about a benevolent gift giving immortal when there is no evidence for him



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 07:58 PM
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I know the director of Camp Inquiry personally (we worked together).

Camp Inquiry claims to be about allowing kids to think for themselves and make their own decisions about things. The director is a professed atheist, and loves to make fun of people who have religious faith. She spends a LOT of time mocking people with religious beliefs.

Therefore, I assert it is not genuinely a place where all views are welcomed. It's just a different type of brainwashing.

EDIT: I just went to their site, and their current director is not the person I know. The person I know was the previous director.
edit on 16-8-2011 by GeorgiaGirl because: updated information



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 08:19 PM
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reply to post by davespanners
 


It's absolute indoctrination, yet those so minded mostly refuse to see so just as they refuse to see what they deem science is really a religion all of it's own.

Is it bad? No, no worse than Sunday Scool, or Bible Camp...



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 08:23 PM
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reply to post by pianopraze
 


I wouldn't disagree, critical thinking is great and needed but there's a line...like with everything.



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 08:24 PM
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i think i can do a good job of corrupting my own offspring, no need for professional help.



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 08:35 PM
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I have to say I half agree with the last few posts, if the camp is being used to push an anti religious agenda rather then just giving the children the tools to decide for themselves then I couldn't condone it



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 05:30 PM
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I just read a blog article by a teacher friend on something called Direct Instruction, which basically says you have to teach kids HOW to think ... by the old fashioned methods of drilling them in the core principles and showing them how to do it. (her blog is here: inquizzical.blogspot.com...) After years of experience with the "feel good"/"child directed"/"self directed"/holistic stuff, I can heartily say "let's go back to the OLD ways!"

Kids today can't reason well at all. They look at some Youtube video and everything is real to them. They don't know how to analyze.

You don't learn that by feelgood-ism. I remember one young girl from the "feelgood-ism" school (homeschooled) who sincerely believed that God put down the parking lot. When we (the other students and I) explained that someone building the school had paid to have it built, her reply was that God gave them the recipe. The idea that the recipe for asphault was developed over time (since before the Romans) by trial and error from chemists and engineers couldn't make it past that wall of belief. (She also had explanations involving God directing the changes in formulation.) And like so many, she believed everything she saw on Youtube.

I'm all for the camp. I just wish they'd started this camp 50 years ago!



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