Author Archives : Mandy Butera

About Mandy Butera

Mandy is a highly motivated individual who loves making a difference in the lives of others. She has a strong desire to participate in the community she lives in and help enrich the lives of children world wide. Mandy has a passion and belief that today’s youth are the future leaders of tomorrow. She has spent time in Africa helping children with cancer through the creation of nutritional programs and fundraising for hospital support. Mandy spent the past 20 years as a successful cosmetic executive with a record of driving sales in a multi-unit region through developing direct reports for future leadership, successful event planning and execution, problem solving and building strong relationships with sales partners. Mandy also holds a Health Coaching Certification and is a Registered Yoga Teacher. With her love of the outdoor life and all that the Bend area has to offer, you can often find her, her husband and Booker their English Bulldog running on the trails and floating on the river. Mandy will work closely with the organization's marketing team in the implementation of Camp Fire's marketing strategy, social media community building, outreach efforts, community partner relations and customer service

5 Great Reasons To Volunteer With Us

Did you know that Camp Fire relies on amazing adult and teen volunteers to make the magic of Campfire Central Oregon happen for kids each year? Volunteering is easy and fun! Here are the top 5 reasons why you should volunteer with Campfire Central Oregon.


Make New Friends

Volunteering at Campfire Central Oregon is a great way to meet others in the community and form new friendships!  Friendships made at camp are often lifelong, motivating and inspirational.

Make A Difference

Being a volunteer at Day Camp means you have the opportunity to make a difference in our campers’ lives! Imagine inspiring others and making a meaningful difference in the life of a child in our community.

Stay Active and Healthy

Campfire camps are always full of energizing and fun activities that keep our kids as well as our volunteers active. Hiking, canoeing and field games are just some of the activities that will keep you moving. Volunteering is also a great morale booster and can help keep you feeling happy and more self confident by staying active and busy.

Connect to the Outdoors

Day Camps are a great way to enjoy the beautiful parks all around Central Oregon while giving your technology a much-needed rest! Participate with campers in tons of great hands-on activities that explore the outdoors including walks, nature hikes, fire-building, outdoor cooking and safety classes.


Full-time adult volunteers get to send their kids to camp for free! Children of full-week adult volunteers will also automatically gain entrance into the camp of their choice and will be immediately taken off the waitlist!

Teen Volunteers learn critical leadership, communication and problem-solving skills while building their resumes and earning much-needed service hours!

YOU Make it Possible!

Learn more about Volunteering at Day Camp and join the fun!

Camp Counselor Emma Bell

Meet Emma Bell

Emma Bell is a remarkable young lady and camp counselor who joined Campfire Central Oregon during her high school years here in Bend Oregon. She is remarkable in that she earned her Wohelo award so quickly thru hard work and perseverance and a truly giving spirit.

“Wohelo” stands for Work, Health, and Love—values that have been central to Camp Fire since our founding in 1910. The Wohelo Award is the highest achievement for youth in Camp Fire. This prestigious award, open to teens in grades 9 through 12, offers opportunities for personal development, leadership, and advocacy on important issues.

The award is earned by completing an intensive and highly individualized project. Teens design their projects based on their interests, values, and goals. Completing the requirements to earn the Wohelo Award takes hard work, dedication, motivation, creativity, determination, and discipline. The award demonstrates perseverance, the ability to set and achieve meaningful goals, a strong work ethic, commitment to community service, and leadership.

Wohelo Award recipients tell us it is the most rewarding experience Camp Fire youth will ever have. And, it is an important addition to a job application, college application and interview, and as part of other community activities he or she is interested in.

Emma is currently a student at COCC and an active camp counselor as well as a lifeguard at one of the local pools. To know Emma is to know that she is one of those rare and beautiful beings inside and out. She gives so much to her family and the kids at Campfire Central Oregon. Emma’s leaders tell us she has an amazing sense of humor, loves working with all the kids and has a very bright future in front of her.

Would you like to find out more about earning your Wohelo Award? Send us an email at and we can will help you light your fire and ignite your spirit.


Back to School Tips


Before you know it this summer will be a distant memory and your kids will already be back to school. Will you and the family be ready? There are so many items to check off the list for everyone. We have put together these top tips to help transition you and your kids to this time of year.

Adjust to the new routine

Easing into the new school year schedule and be challenging. into the school-year schedule. Getting back into the school routine can be a challenge for everyone in the family. To make the adjustment easier, start early.

• A few weeks before school starts, move bedtime back to an earlier time.
• Put a positive spin on going back to school. Talk about the fun things your child will learn, the old friends he’ll see and the new friends he’ll make.
• If your child is anxious about starting the next grade, reassure her that other children have these feelings too.
• Establish school-day schedules for homework, TV, baths, and bedtime.
• Arrange play dates with friends from school to re-establish connections that may have been dropped for the summer, or to create new ones.

Get organized

Take advantage of the slower pace during your time away from school to set up for the busy school year ahead.

• Many schools send out school information and a packet of forms to fill out before school starts. If you can discipline yourself to fill out the paperwork several days before it’s due, you’ll avoid a last-minute panic.
• Have the necessary immunization records available for easy reference.
• Update school emergency contact and health information for the coming year.
• As you read through all the school information, mark important dates (such as back-to-school night, parent-teacher conferences, and school holidays) on the family calendar.
• Start a folder for school newsletters and other papers so that you can easily find and refer to them if necessary.
• Establish a “get ready the night before” policy. Pick clothes for the next day and pack the backpack every evening before bedtime, and you’ll save precious time in the morning.

Arrange for transportation

Everyone will feel better if transportation to and from school is addressed well before the start of the school year, particularly if your child is walking, riding their bike, or taking the bus.

Walking or biking

• Chart out a route to school or to the school bus stop.
• If your child is going to a new school, take a dry run a few days before school starts.
• Go over the rules of stranger awareness and traffic safety. Warn your child to always walk with a friend, and to avoid vacant lots and places where there are not a lot of people.
• Be sure your child has your daytime phone number (including area code) and address, as well as the number of another familiar adult.
• Scout out safe houses in the neighborhood where your child can go in case of an emergency.

Taking the bus

• Remember to get the new bus schedule!
• If your child will be taking the bus for the first time, discuss the bus route and bus safety rules with her.


• If you will be driving your child, have a backup arrangement with another parent in case you are delayed for some reason.
• Confirm carpool arrangements in advance and make sure your child knows who will be picking him up before and after school.
• Become familiar with your school’s traffic safety rules, drop-off and pick-up procedures.

Confirm after-school care arrangements

Most after-school care arrangements must be made months ahead, frequently in the winter or spring before your child starts school. As the school year approaches, however, it’s a good idea to confirm your plans.

• Make sure your child knows where he is going after school.
• Double-check on your care plans and communicate with the provider a few days before school starts.
• If your child will be home alone after school, establish safety rules for locking doors and windows, and for answering the door and the telephone. Make sure she knows to check in with you or another adult when she/he arrives at home.


Do you have any tips you would love to share? We would love to hear them!


Free Summer Meals For Kids

Here is a great resource for the children in our state in need of free meals. During the school year many kids eat free or reduced meals each day. When school ends so does this important resource. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is meant to help fill that nutritional gap.

Summer Meals is open to all kids 1-18. Adults are welcome to attend, although the meal service is just for kids. More info and an interactive map can be found here;


Don’t Forget Your….



SummerKids is off to a great start!  With so many fun games and creative activities planned, we know your kids will be having a blast right from the start.

What to Bring EVERY Day

  • Water bottle – labeled with child’s name.
  • Closed-Toed Shoes or sandals that stay on. No flip-flops.
  • Sunscreen – please apply everyday before arriving.
  • Lunch – Bring lunch OR you may participate in the Bend-La Pine free summer lunch program at Ensworth. (We were previously asking for advanced sign ups, but that is no longer necessary.)
  • Snacks – Unlike last year, we are unable to provide snacks this year. Some kids tend to get hungry easily, send as many fruits, veggies, and other health snacks. Please no processed sweets, gum, or candy. We thank you for your help on this!
  • Swimsuit and towel on WEDNESDAYWednesday is water play! Every Wednesday all summer long, we will have a Water Slide and Slip-n-Slide from 2:00-4:00pm.  A hat and swim shirt is also recommended if your child is sensitive to too much sun

Thank you, Sarah Saunders for saving a child’s life!

Snack Time

Camp Fire Central Oregon would like to recognize Sarah Saunders for successfully administering abdominal thrusts in order to save a child from choking at Juniper Elementary School. Sarah is a Camp Fire Club Leader at Juniper. We are incredibly proud of her efforts, and applaud her for thinking clearly and acting decisively in a time of crisis.

Of course, this scenario is not uncommon. “On average, a child will die every 5 days in the United States from choking on food.” (1) While this is truly a frightening statistic for any parent, there are steps and preventative measures that can be taken to decrease the risk of a choking injury death.

Choking deaths are very preventable, yet many caregivers simply do not know the proper steps to take in order to ensure a child’s safety. It is important to communicate with anyone who is in direct contact with your child in a caregiver role. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and especially siblings who are caring for one another should all be aware of how to prevent choking related injury deaths.

Camp Fire’s Babysitter Training Course is an important tool to help get young people ready for the responsibility of caring for younger children. Even a seasoned babysitter can have misinformation and gaps of knowledge, so we recommend that all young people, even those who have been caring for younger siblings for years now, consider joining us for this course. It is essential for young babysitters to learning about choking preventative measures, basic first aid, and how to react calmly and decisively in a time of crisis – just as Sarah Saunders did.

If you are a parent of a young child, ask your babysitter if they have undergone any training. At the end of our Babysitter Training Course, each young person will receive a certificate of completion. If you already have a babysitter that you and your children adore, yet discover that they have not gone through any training, you may consider offering to sign them up for this course.

Learn more about our Babysitter Training Course now!




1. Science Daily. Choking is a leading cause of injury and death among children.


Great Camp Fire resident camps in the Pacific Northwest

zip line

Looking for a resident camp this summer? Check out these great Camp Fire Camps in the Northwest!

There’s something special about a resident camp experience. Many children find their spark, and cultivate an inner self-reliance and strength when given the opportunity to attend a sleep-away camp. Resident camps are great places to make new friends, learn useful skills, and discover who you are. There are a number of Camp Fire resident camps here in the Pacific Northwest, and they are just calling for your child to experience something new, and light the fire within.

Click on the links below to learn what each camp has to offer:

Mt Hood, OR: Camp

Eugene, OR: Camp

Seattle, WA: Camp

Everett, WA: Camp Killoqua –

Spokane, WA: Camp



A Day in the Life of SummerKids 2016

There’s something special happening this summer: for the first time ever, we will offer a Pick Your Days program for Summerkids, which means that you will be able to tailor your child’s experience to perfectly fit your schedule.

We have nine unique and imaginative themed weeks of SummerKids planned this year.  If you’ve ever been curious about what a day-to-day schedule may looks like at this fun camp, see check out the example week below.

You can CLICK HERE to learn more about SummerKids, or click on your favorite weeks below and register today!


The Joy of Camp: A Conversation with Cece Valceschini

Nestled in the remote outskirts of Bend, Oregon, Tumalo State Park sits on just over 330 acres of High Desert wilderness. It is a local hot spot for camping, hiking, and summer barbecues. It is also the location of Camp Fire Central Oregon’s Tumalo Day Camp, a week-long experience that serves to connect young people to nature, themselves, and new friends in an outdoor learning environment. “It’s just the best thing about summer,” explains Cece Valceschini, Camp Fire Central Oregon’s Program Director, “and it’s literally right here in our own backyard. Kids don’t have to travel very far to get a really meaningful outdoor experience.” In fact, hundreds of young people from across Central Oregon flock to Tumalo Day Camp each year, many of them with parents in tow. “What some people don’t realize is that when you volunteer as a Camp Counselor, your kids can attend camp for free.” Cece enthusiastically points out; “That’s a huge deal to a lot of families who normally couldn’t afford something like this. It evens out the field and makes camp about the kids, not about the money.” Of course, Camp Fire strives to offer financial assistance to as many families as possible each year. Last year, thanks to a generous donation from the Clabough Foundation, $10,000 worth of financial aid was awarded to families so their children could attend Tumalo Day Camp.

Once at camp, the fun truly begins. “Our Counselors In Training really run the show,” Cece admits:

“When camp actually starts, the adults take a back seat. It’s great! We let the kids guide themselves through a lot of their own activities. We make sure they’re safe, and offer guidance when needed, but really, we try to let them learn things on their own, and do a lot of the activities together, without too much adult intervention. Kids just learn better by doing, and it’s so fun to let them try new things. Of course, we do have adults teaching each group certain things. For example, I’ll teach compass and survival skills.”  –Cece Valceschini

Each group at camp has a Counselor In Training (CIT). These are middle-school and high-school students who have gone through multiple training courses, and even camped out overnight to learn all the things that they will be expected to teach the younger kids in their groups. The CIT’s act as mentors. It seems to be a winning formula, and has been a tradition at Tumalo Day Camp for many years.



A CIT leading her group in a performance skit at Tumalo Day Camp.













CIT’s seem to work their way up the ranks year after year. Amber Goemaat, now a student at the University of Oregon, was once a camper, then went on to become a Counselor In Training. She dedicated her summers to Camp Fire and eventually became the CIT Director the year before heading off to college. It was a great thing to put on her application. Amber attributes many of her leadership experiences at Camp Fire with helping her to secure a full ride scholarship to the U of O.

“That’s just the culture of Camp Fire,” says Cece. “It’s more like a community, and kids feel like they belong. The experiences that they have stay with them for a long time. I’ve seen so many kids completely break out of their shells, so many of them come to us just painfully shy, but after a while they really surprise me.” Sometimes this transformation takes a little time. “When I first met Camille years ago, she was so, so shy. She could hardly talk! But after a while, she really opened up. She started becoming more confident, and just last year she was in a leadership role helping us to run the SummerKids program.”

It’s easy to see why Camp Fire has played an active role in the Central Oregon community for over 100 years now.


Get in on the summer fun and CLICK HERE to sign up for Tumalo Day Camp now!

Also, check out SummerKids HERE – It’s better than childcare; it’s a place to grow all summer long.


Everyone gets into Pirate Day!

Cece seen here in a costume during a Pirate themed day at Tumalo Day Camp – even the adults get in on the fun!