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Announcing New Humanist Youth Programs
Special Message from the President
September 2013I am pleased to announce that SHL will be launching a brand-new program designed specifically for kids! We will continue to offer all of the same family activities you have come to know and love over the past four years, but with some fantastic additions, making this the most comprehensive humanist-youth-oriented program yet!
Families will enjoy getting to know each other and building our community at casual meetups at local parks each month, as well as festive ones planned for the holidays. In addition to our traditional fall picnic at the corn maze in October and our holiday cookie party in December, a super-cool evolution activity will make its debut in February as the first-ever activity just for kids during the College of Charleston’s annual Darwin Week.
A large element of humanism is a belief in science as the best way of understanding the world, and science programming will play a prominent part in our educational offerings. We have partnered with Charleston County Parks and Recreation to put together a themed set of programs for the year. When they’re not busy partying during the holidays, our kids will enjoy learning about the natural history of the lowcountry throughout the rest of the year with fun, hands-on programs such as Bird Study, Forestry, Soil and Water Conservation, and Salt Marsh Ecology. We’ll have two tracks - one for elementary-aged kids and younger and one for middle and high-school kids - so that the content be age-appropriate and kids will have excellent opportunities for peer bonding. We have offered educational programs in the past, but we are kicking them up a notch. Think scouting. For Humanist youth. Like with merit badges, our kids will have the opportunity to earn “badges” for participation and achievement.
No humanist program would be complete without a humanism component. Fortunately, we have that covered! We are especially proud of this new and exciting offering which we feel will provide our children an opportunity to learn about humanism and all of its life-affirming ideals. Modeled after the Harvard Humanist Learning Lab and other secular Sunday schools, our goal is to create a safe space for children to explore their developing worldviews, think for themselves, connect with their community, and build a strong ethical foundation. Scheduled during our third-Sunday monthly speaker presentation at Gage Hall, SHL’s humanist youth program will be geared toward children ages 5-12 years old. If space allows, children younger than 5 years old may attend with a parent and children older than 12 years old may attend as program assistants. We are pleased to offer our pilot program at zero cost to participants, but space is limited, so pre-registration is required. Because consistency is key to a successful program, priority will be given to those who plan to attend the entire series.
We will celebrate the close of our very exciting year with an outing to a local park. Perhaps we will take a canoe trip. Perhaps it will be a nature hike or a trip to Bee City. Whatever we decide, it will be a fun way for families to connect.
We are thrilled with the possibilities this year brings, but we cannot do it alone. We welcome the suggestions, feedback, and general input of parents. We are also relying on parent volunteers to assist with our humanist program. Together, we can build a meaningful community for ourselves and our children. If you would like to volunteer your services or time or just make a suggestion, please email Amy Monsky. We also invite all parents to join SHL’s online community just for secular parents. We can be found on Yahoo! and Facebook.
Camp Quest South CarolinaCamp Quest is a residential summer camp based on humanist values. Amid traditional summer camp activities like swimming, boating, sports, and campfires, campers put their science and critical thinking skills to the test to examine the natural world, collaborate on team challenges, and explore their developing worldviews from a secular perspective.
Camp Stipends Available for SHL MembersTo encourage participation at atheist/humanist conventions and summer camps, the SHL board is offering a limited number of stipends to reimburse costs for members. Click here to learn more and apply now!
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