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Last updated at 17:10 BST, Monday, 29 June 2009

UK's first atheist summer camp


1 July 2009

The UK's first atheist summer camp for children opening this year is already fully booked with four enquiries for every place. It's called Camp Quest, and has come to the UK from the US with the help of Britain's leading atheist, Richard Dawkins.

Keith Adams

Boy scouts

The new camp will be an alternative to faith-based Scout camps


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'It's beyond belief!' is the motto of the organisation, which was set up in the United States to counter the influence of faith-based summer camps run by the Scouts and church groups. But the Director of the camp in the UK, Samantha Stein, says its purpose is not to spread atheism - rather to encourage thinking:

The idea of Camp Quest is really to let the children decide what they think. So we're going to run some activities on philosophy for children. And we'll run activities on logical fallacies. So it's really a way of getting the kids interested in thinking, interested in philosophy and questions of religion and all sorts of scientific and critical thinking.

One of the games played at Camp Quest is called the Invisible Unicorn Challenge. Campers are told that unicorns live in the area around their tents, and are then asked to prove that they don't exist. The aim is to illustrate the difficulty of proving a negative. But any children who manage the feat will win a ten pound note signed by the author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, whose money also helps fund the camp.

Keith Adams, BBC


Click to hear the vocabulary:



a short catchy phrase that expresses a belief or purpose of something or someone

set up

founded, created, born

to counter the influence of

here, to provide strong alternative ideas to

to spread atheism

to convince more and more people that God does not exist

logical fallacies

invalid arguments, or arguments with mistakes in reasoning


an imaginary white horse-like creature with a horn growing from the front of its head

proving a negative

finding and presenting reasons to show that something is not true

manage the feat

are able to complete this difficult task

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