Category Archives : Club 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.


Top 5 Reasons to Join A Camp Fire Club This Fall

Don’t let this warm weather fool you; Fall is making a comeback as she slowly creeps into Central Oregon. Some of the leaves have already begun to change, and the morning air has been gradually getting chillier– have you noticed? Very soon, t-shirts and bathing suits will be replaced with sweaters and hot-chocolate. While not all of the changes are noticeable, some of them are so glaringly obvious that they’re difficult to ignore, no matter how hard you may try!

Somewhere over the course of summer, your second grader may have turned into a third grader, your sixth grader into a seventh grader, and your four year old may have taken his/her first steps toward kindergarten. Summer-to-fall can feel bittersweet. Kids grow up so fast, and the transition this time of year is never easy.

Luckily, there are many places you can turn to, and resources available that can help you along the way. One of those places is Camp Fire. We have a wealth of knowledge, and the resources you need to ensure that your children thrive throughout the entire year.


Top 5 Reasons to Join A Camp Fire Club This Fall:

1. Make new friends

Ask anyone who was in Camp Fire as a kid and they will tell you all about the fun things they did with their friends while in Club. From camping and hiking to crafting and candy sales, clubs encourage young people to enjoy their time together, be themselves, and appreciate each other for the diversity and differences that make them unique. Our clubs are special because they are for boys and girls of all ages, and all walks of life.

Camp Fire Central Oregon, Discovery Club 2015














From pre-K through 12th Grade, being in a Camp Fire Club is a great way for any kid to make new friends, or simply spend more quality time with their buddies from school.

2. Find your spark

Do you know your child’s spark? Is it the creative life, sports, social justice, or the pursuit of knowledge? Do they have more than one spark? More than two?

These are the questions that are essential to ask if youth are going to truly thrive. At Camp Fire, we have over a century of experience helping youth to discover the things they love in life, as well as guiding them and instructing them on how to implement those things into their daily lives in a productive, engaging way.


Clubs do many activities throughout the year that are meant to help kids find their spark. Above, Cece and a group of Camp Fire kids give nature a helping hand by cleaning up a park.
















Camp Fire Clubs are an excellent way to help your kids discover what they are passionate about. We do this by providing a broad range of activities, projects, and progressions that are all completed within the course of one year. Every child in a Camp Fire Club has access to a trained and caring adult mentor who is there to encourage their growth and development as they seek out and identify their spark(s).

3. Give service 

Camp Fire’s motto is “Give Service.” We believe that an important part of growing up is learning how to help others. The young people in Camp Fire Clubs can be seen giving back to the community year-round. As they get older, Club participants begin to plan their own service-learning projects.

Valentines camp

Making Valentines Day Cards for veterans is a favorite service project among Camp Fire kids each year.
















Giving service feels good, and for many kids, it’s a large part of who they are. Clubs provide the opportunity for young people to figure out what types of community issues they are passionate about, as well as what an enormous positive impact they can have on the lives of others.

4. Gear up for the future 

Camp Fire has been around for over a century, making us one of the oldest youth organizations in the nation. Studies have shown that young people who participate in Camp Fire programs, such as Clubs, are more likely to:

-Stay in school

-Demonstration social competence

-Lead a healthy lifestyle

-Be environmentally conscious

-Have a sense of purpose

-Achieve their full potential

pic 3

End of school year Grand Council Fire Ceremony, 2015
















It’s easy to see how Camp Fire Clubs allow for growth and positive advancement in the lives of our young people. With the help of trained, caring adults, Camp Fire kids are able to identify their spark, adopt a growth mindset, build goals and management skills, and take time to productively reflect on the outcomes of each project they complete. All of these things together help youth to thrive.

5. Get involved  

There are countless ways to get involved in your child’s life, but Camp Fire Clubs offer some of the easiest, most time-tested methods out there. You don’t have to be a Club Leader to be involved (although it sure helps!). We believe that family activities are an important part of growing up and maintaining positive communication with your kids throughout the years, that’s why we offer many inclusive, family-friendly events and encourage parents to attend.

Opening up a strong line of communication with your child now – as soon as you can – is so important to the health and well being of your entire family. Knowing who your kids are hanging out with, who is supervising them, and where you can turn to if there is an issue is extremely valuable. We believe that all young people deserve the opportunity to grow, find their spark, and thrive, but you, as the parent, are a big part of that equation, and we value your involvement in Camp Fire and your child’s life.

A group of pirates at Tumalo Day Camp

Tumalo Day Camp 2015 – Hundreds of young people participate in this all-volunteer run camp each year!














To learn more and register for a Camp Fire Club, CLICK HERE.

The Top 11 Best Pictures from Grand Council Fire this year!

We had such a wonderful time at Grand Council Fire this year – thank you so much to our amazing leaders for making yet another year of Camp Fire possible here in Central Oregon. It’s your continued support and dedication that allows us to be a viable and relevant organization within our community – you rock!

We took a number of pictures throughout the day, during the BBQ and ceremony, so naturally we would love to share them with you!


Starting out, we had an awesome BBQ, complete with our expert cooks – thanks so much guys for cooking up all that food for everyone!

the cooks at GCF 2015








Then Kecia, our Executive Director, thanked the Leaders for their service, and welcomed everyone to our Grand Council Fire.

Kecia giving speech at CGF 2015








We celebrated the winners of our art competition, and said a big THANK YOU to Elsa for being our Top Candy Seller in 2015!

Jewel Club_art contest winners 2015

Elsa Bell_Top Candy Seller takes a bow 2015








Starflight Fly-Up was fun and inspiring!

Starflight Fly-Up 2015








And then Amber’s Discovery Club led us as we all sang “The Bear in Tennis Shoes” – a traditional camp favorite!

Discovery Club leads song








Elsa crossed over to Discovery – Way to go, Elsa!

Elsa does her cross over to Discovery








We felt pride during The Passing of the Torch…

Passing of the torch 2015








And when our teens did their Reach for Horizon, we couldn’t help but smile.

Amber's club prepares to reach for horizon

Reach for horizon 2015








All in all, it was an awesome Grand Council Fire.

CITs at GCF 2015








And we can’t wait for next year!

…If you took pictures, we would love to see them! Send them to



Becoming a Leader: How ANYONE Can Do It!

It was so nice to see you all at our Open House Last week! For those of you who couldn’t make it, we have so many new and exciting things going on this year, including our super awesome Halloween PARTY!  We’ll make sure to get you guys more details here soon…

We had some really great questions from interested parents on what it’s like to become a Leader, and to those of you who attended our Leader Trainings this week, we hope that all those questions have now been completely answered.  If not, feel free to contact us anytime! One of the best things about Camp Fire is that our trained and professional staff is on hand every week to support YOU. We want you to have a great time as the Leader of your club, and will do what it takes to ensure that you are comfortable and confident in your own leadership and time-management, because we know that when you are having fun, your kids will be having fun too–and that’s what it’s all about!

Speaking of time-management, we understand that the idea of setting aside time each week for club meetings can be intimidating to anyone. Whether you’re a brand new leader, or well seasoned, life can get pretty crazy for us all! We totally get it and are here to help. There are a couple of simple things that can be done to minimize the time-impact on your life, such as bringing more rotating leaders to your club, and/or utilizing monthly Camp Fire Connects events to substitute for one meeting. Cece would be more than happy to talk to any of you about these options, and see how we can fit them into your club schedules.

We truly believe that anyone can become a Leader, and have a great Club experience, as long as they have the right kind of support and time-management game-plan set up. When you become a Leader, you’re doing something truly wonderful for your children, but you’re also giving yourself something pretty cool too–a sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction of knowing that YOU are the one helping your children find their spark and discover who they are. Their passions in life will unfold right before your very eyes, and you will be amazed at how incredible they truly are.

Please, contact us today if you have not signed up to be a Leader, but would like to learn more.

We still need Leaders at:

High Lakes



Bear Creek