Category Archives : Camp Fire Office News

Press Release: Camp Fire Central Oregon STEM Beyond School Project

Camp Fire Central Oregon and High Desert Museum selected as one of the Central Oregon STEM Beyond School Project sites.

STEM offers science, technology, engineering and math programming for underserved youth. 

Bend, Ore Camp Fire Central Oregon, a local organization that provides co-ed programs for our youth to find their spark and ensure they gain the skills necessary to thrive throughout their lives and the High Desert Museum have been selected by the Central Oregon STEM Hub to create STEM learning opportunities in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties.

In today’s rapidly changing world, all youth deserve the opportunity to participate in engaging, interactive and fun experiences related to science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM. The STEM Beyond School Statewide project (SBS) seeks to increase after school hours STEM programming for underserved youth by cultivating a vibrant and engaged collaborative network. Led by OSU Extension Service and Portland Metro STEM Partnership, and in partnership with the Central Oregon STEM Hub, together, they work to expand existing STEM programming and grow new STEM learning opportunities outside traditional school settings. Program sites of the SBS project are formed as part of a Community of Practice, where they will share curricular resources, receive coaching and professional development, and support project assessment and evaluation efforts to demonstrate the importance of STEM learning in non-traditional learning environments.

Oregon’s high school graduation rate of 69% ranks 49th nationally (National Center for Education Statistics). In the Bend-La Pine School District, economically disadvantaged students have a graduation rate of 68%. These students are unprepared for 21st century jobs, leaving an achievement gap that perpetuates a cycle of poverty. These students need high-quality STEM learning opportunities. Informal learning experiences are vital to achieving this goal. Studies complied by the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Community Engagement found that students who were engaged in informal learning in nature or at museums had higher standardized test scores in science, reading and writing; improved overall academic performance; increased pride in their accomplishments; and more advanced critical thinking skills. Many underserved students are not receiving these opportunities.

Together Camp Fire Central Oregon and the High Desert Museum will receive $28,000 to create STEM learning opportunities for a targeted group of 30+ students and will collaborate with the Central Oregon STEM Hub and other regional partners to implement the STEM Beyond School program in the Central Oregon region.

“Through the partnership with Camp Fire Central Oregon, we will engage students in activities from four established after-school clubs in some of the most economically disadvantaged schools in the region,” said Christina Cid, Director of Programs at the High Desert Museum.“ We will serve fourth and fifth grade students at Title I schools in Central Oregon, including Bear Creek, R.E. Jewell, Juniper, and Silver Rail,” said Cid.

The program will be divided between after school programs offered on school grounds and no-school day camps that will be located at several sites in Central Oregon, including the High Desert Museum.

“Camp Fire has been providing educational opportunities to underserved students in Central Oregon for 100 years,” say Kecia Kubota, Executive Director for Camp Fire Central Oregon. “Currently, we have more than ten established after-school clubs and through this program, participating students will gain vital STEM skills, explore STEM careers, and develop confidence and leadership skills,” says Kubota.



About Camp Fire Central Oregon

Founded in 1910, the national organization Camp Fire has actively engaged youth and teens in building essential skills for life. Camp Fire Central Oregon has been a co-ed youth development organization since 1975 that provides out-of-school time, teen service and leadership, camp and environmental programs. Young people want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.


About the High Desert Museum

Through exhibits, wildlife and living history, the High Desert Museum creates learning experiences to help audiences discover their connection to the past, their role in the present and their responsibility to the future. The Museum is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that was founded in 1982.


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

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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



Game Blog – Why Summer Learning Matters

Don’t forget to scroll down for links to eight fun games you can play with your child this summer!

Beginning at the age of four, the average child has the ability to learn up to six words per day.1 By third grade, most children can map out a complex dance routine, then repeat it—which makes for a wonderful skill at a talent show. While there are many steps on the ladder of early childhood development, only one thing can be certain: in order for your child to learn something new, they must be exposed to it.

Over the summer, children typically lose two months’ worth of educational knowledge. This phenomenon has been called “Summer Slide” by experts, and while all young people experience it, those who are exposed to educational activities during the summer typically have an advantage when school starts back up in the fall.2

Luckily, there are steps that parents can take to combat Summer Slide and keep their children’s minds active in the warm months to come. Playing a game that supports creative thinking can be a fun way to stimulate your child’s mind. Below is an example of a game that is suitable for ages four and up:

Game: Silly Comic Strip

Minimum number of players needed: Three

Materials needed: One piece of paper and pen/pencil for each person (that’s it!)

How to play: Write one sentence at the very top of your paper (the sillier the better). Pass the paper to the person on your left. You will now have someone else’s paper, with their sentence on it, in front of you. Now draw a picture that represents that sentence. Carefully fold the top of the paper back, hiding the original sentence. Pass the paper to your left again. You will now have a new piece of paper with a picture at the top. Write down one sentence that you believe represents what is happening in that picture. Fold the top of the paper back, hiding the picture. Pass the paper to your left – continue to repeat this process until there is no more room on the page, or you get your original paper back. Unfold the page and get ready to laugh!

TIP: When drawing your picture, make sure to leave enough room below for a sentence description, as well as other pictures down the line.

Fight summer slide! Outdoor learning is a great way to keep young minds active and engaged. Camp Fire Central Oregon offers many opportunities for young people to get outside, learn, stay active, play, and meet new friends. We now offer an exciting new Pick Your Days program for SummerKids. And don’t forget to sign up for a week of outdoor learning at Tumalo Day Camp! Whatever your schedule is this summer, Camp Fire will be there.


Looking for more fun game to play with your child this summer? You’re in luck! Click the links below and let the fun begin:

Balloon Ball


Alpine Caper

Black Magic 

The Game of Shapes


Superheroes & Villains 

Human Knot




1. PBS, Child Development Tracker, Your Three Year Old

2. National Summer Learning Association, Know The Facts,

Time Well Spent – Camp Fire Teen tells about her experience with the YAC

McKenzie Napier tells all about her time spent on Camp Fire’s Youth Advisory Council

By the age of 16, most teens are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in to the world. Camp Fire’s McKenzie Napier is no different. She keeps herself extremely busy between Nordic Skiing competitions by being an active member of her school’s leadership council, speech and debate team, and Camp Fire’s Work Health Love (WoHeLo) program. It’s clear that Napier has a strong head of steam. She’s determined to make a difference in her community, and learn how to be a leader. That’s why she decided to join Camp Fire’s National Youth Advisory Council (YAC).

Soft spoken and extremely bright, Napier has decided to lead by example, proving that young people can participate in more than one extracurricular commitment at a time. Her term with the YAC began in January, and she has been participating in regular phone meetings ever since. “Every few weeks we have a conference call and we go over whatever we’re working on that week,” she explains. Right now, Napier and her group, consisting of other teens from around the nation, are working toward revising Camp Fire’s WoHeLo program, the very program she is now a part of here in Bend. She is one of 12 young people who have been accepted to the YAC this year. The competition was stiff, and not all who applied were selected. The other participants are working on projects that range from planning for Absolutely Incredible Kid Day, to ensuring that Camp Fire councils from around the nation can communicate more efficiently with each other. “That’s basically our job,” Napier points out, “to help advise Camp Fire National on programs.  We make sure they’re still relevant and functioning.”

Of course, they have some help along the way. Each new YAC member is paired up with someone who participated in this program in the past. Napier’s mentor, a senior in High School, lives in Florida. “She’s really nice,” Napier acknowledges. “She checks in to make sure everything is going well.”

When asked if she believes that the YAC has had a positive impact on her life so far, Napier enthusiastically replies; “Oh yeah, definitely because I feel like it’s really difficult for teens to have an influence on things. Being in YAC allows me to be around a lot of other like-minded teens who want to have a positive impact.”


For more information on how you, or someone you know can get involved in Camp Fire, contact us today. Or check out some of these great teen programs:

Teens In Action

Counselor In Training (Summer)


Camp Fire member Camille and her mentor Cece featured in PSA

Life-long Camp Fire member Camille and adult mentor Cece were featured in a Better Together PSA.

In second grade, Camille was a very shy girl—some might say painfully shy—but she had to attend Camp Fire’s SummerKids program while her parents worked full-time. Over the years, with support from Camp Fire’s caring adult mentors, she blossomed into a confident young woman, eventually earning her WoHeLo, working full-time during the summers at SummerKids and helping to design the activities the kids enjoy! Now a freshman in college, Camille’s experiences with Camp Fire helped her find her spark and have shaped her future in amazing ways.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown – Camp Fire Benefit Show!

We are so excited that the Cascades Theatrical Company has asked us back for another benefit show this year!

Join us on November 18th, at 7:30 pm, for the well-loved musical, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schultz, this 1967 musical comedy, with music and lyrics composed by the famed Clark Gesner, will be sure to surprise and delight us all.

Tickets to this show are usually $23.00 – but thanks to the generosity of the Cascades Theatrical Company, you may use the following discount code and get them for just $13.00 for the November 18th showing!

Use Code: CampFire2015

We cannot wait to see you there!

Charlie Brown Benefit

Camp Fire Culture: The Top 3 Things You Should Know

If you’re a parent, then chances are your relationship with fall is a little different now than when you were a kid. Sure, the changing leaves, crisp mornings, and shorter days continue to instill a sense of wonder and excitement in you for the colder weather ahead – you may have even readied your stock of hot cocoa and blankets a little early this year! But one thing that has probably changed over time is the amount of decisions you find yourself making this time of year as your household shifts from summer to school-year activities.  It can be exhausting to research different after-school programs, shuffle schedules around, arrange transportation, figure out childcare for younger kids, and still have time to make sure everyone in your family is eating healthy foods and getting enough outdoor time. We get it! And we’re here to help.

Camp Fire has been around for over a century. That means we’ve had over 100 years of experience getting kids ready for the bright futures ahead of them, watching them grow, find their sparks, and thrive. Camp Fire Members have access to all of our special events, programs, childcare options, classes, and family resources, but membership means much more than all these things combined: When you join Camp Fire, you become part of a culture of caring. Young people learn how important it is to give service, make lasting friendships, and create goals that are aligned with their passions.

If you’ve ever wondered just what Camp Fire is, or how we’re different than any of the other after-school clubs/programs out there, then you’re not alone! To shed a little light on this topic, so you can make the best after-school choice for you and your family, we present…


The Top 3 Things You Should Know About Camp Fire

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#1. Camp Fire is all about THRIVE 

NOTE: Camp Fire is the only youth organization in Central Oregon that is operating based on a Thrive model

Woven into every Camp Fire experience is our proven framework for thriving. We call it Thrive{ology}. It is a research-based, measurable approach to youth development. Created in partnership with the Thrive Foundation for Youth. Our approach enables youth to achieve their full potential through four components:

1. Identify Sparks – Identifying Sparks and Spark Champions (a caring adult who is invested in a child’s future)

2. Growth – Adopting a growth mindset (the belief that you can learn new skills and get better at them all the the time)

3. Goals – Building goal management skills

4. Reflect – Creating the opportunity to reflect on activities and outcomes (understanding what worked and what didn’t is essential for growth)

Equipped with these skills, and with the support of trained, caring adults, Camp Fire participants are more likely to:

  • Stay in school
  • Demonstrate social competence
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle
  • Be environmentally conscious
  • Have a sense of purpose
  • Achieve their full potential

Youth often see Camp Fire staff as their spark champions. In a recent survey, 83% of youth said that adults in Camp Fire encouraged them to explore the things they are interested in, and 82% of youth said adults in Camp Fire help them solve problems instead of telling them what to do.

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#2. Camp Fire’s motto is Give Service

There are many reasons why young people may choose to give service. Whether it’s for resume building, graduation requirements, or simply because it’s fun and fulfilling, Camp Fire provides plenty of opportunities for young people of all ages to give back to their community.

At Camp Fire, giving service starts at a young age. Kids in our clubs can start service learning projects as early as Kindergarten. Young people in Clubs earn emblems and awards based on the service projects they complete. Just a few of the awesome service projects that have happened recently include:

  • Valentines for Veterans – This annual event is family friendly! Every year we create hundreds of Valentines Day Cards for US Veterans around the world
  • Chili Feed to benefit the homeless in Prineville
  • Teen Fundraiser & Pet Food Drive to benefit the Humane Society’s Pet Food Assistance Program – Helping low income families keep and feed their pets
  • Birthday Party Services – Teens throwing birthday parties for homeless youth in Central Oregon
  • Essential Items Donation Baskets – for homeless teens in Central Oregon

Every grade has age-appropriate service-learning activities and projects that fit great into an after-school schedule!













#3. Camp Fire is Inclusive 

Inclusion can mean a lot of different things in today’s society, so we’re more than happy to make it really clear what we mean when we say that Camp Fire is for everyone:

  • Camp Fire is for boys and girls, ages 4 – 18
  • Camp Fire is for young people of all sexual, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds
  • Camp Fire is for families – this means that parents, grandparents, and siblings are all welcome at our fun (non-program) events (and there’s A LOT of them throughout the year!)

Camp Fire’s Statement of Inclusion: Camp Fire works to realize the dignity and worth of each individual and to eliminate human barriers based on all assumptions that prejudge individuals. Designed and implemented to reduce sexual, racial, religious, and cultural stereotypes and to foster positive intercultural relationships, in Camp Fire, everyone is welcome.