We are sad to report that Edwin Kagin died this past Thursday. Edwin, along with his late wife Helen and several other people, founded the first Camp Quest in northern Kentucky in 1996. Since then, he and Helen continued to be a powerful source of inspiration in the world of secular summer camps, touching the lives of hundreds of campers and adults along the way. You may not know him, but he’s touched your life, too. The very act of your reading this post is a part of the legacy that he created and through which he will continue to live.
I (Amy Monsky) first met Edwin when I volunteered in 2010 at Camp Quest Ohio to find out what this Camp Quest thing was all about and if I wanted to start one here in the Carolinas. Edwin was supportive of me and called me Ms. Carolina, which caused me to envision myself with a tiara and ribbon with “Ms. Carolina” draped across my chest as if I were in a Camp Quest pageant, and I giggled at the thought. I didn’t meet Edwin again after that first summer, but the image I will always carry in my head is that of him telling the kids “It is okay to be an atheist” while 2 other staff members held up a banner with the same words at one of the camp fires.
I am grateful for the path that he paved for my own children and those of countless others. Our lives are better because of Edwin.