Sunday Times - nasty piece on Camp Quest

The Sunday Times has run a very poisonous piece against Camp Quest - a kid's summer camp run by Samantha Stein, to which kids of all faiths and none are welcome.

Go here.

Dawkins did not set up the camp, and has nothing at all to do with it - other than he donated towards it (not a huge amount, I know).

The word "grooming" applied to children (other than hygiene and neatness) is of course used to indicate child sexual abuse.

A fairer report here.

Camp Quest looks excellent to me. Samantha Stein is fantastic (nb.. having talked to her about it - the camp is open to all faiths, and focuses on thinking skills and a skeptical approach to answering questions, not on religion-bashing per se. It's about immunizing kids against purveyors of snake oil and bullshit - be it religious, atheist, or otherwise). And it's a bargain too.

NSS sets the record straight here: "Camp Quest Under Attack. Dawkins' response here.


anticant said…
When I was growing up, "grooming" referred solely to beauty parlours and stables. The insidious employment of this weasel word in relation to child abuse - it has even surfaced in legislation - is of course a two-edged sword. When I recall the legally enjoined daily school prayers, Sunday school, and compulsory attendance at church services long after I had decided I didn't believe a word uttered by these sly and fatuous parsonical persons, I would like to see the lot of them successfully prosecuted for mass child abuse and brainwashing. If anyone is guilty of 'grooming' children, it is priests, rabbis and imams.
Paul said…
Odd - seems the same journalist wrote the nasty piece and the fairer report.
Grumpy Bob said…
Paul - perhaps the final line ("Additional reporting: Philip Connolly") is relevant in the difference between the two articles?
Sally said…
Stephen, I agree. What appalling journalism from the Times. RD's letter to them is a very dignified response under the circumstances.

Personally I would rather send my kids to a science/philosophy camp that didn't mention religion at all - in a positive, negative or even neutral way - but all power to Camp Quest for their efforts.