Category Archives : Press Releases

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.


Camp Fire Open House

On Wednesday, September 10th, from 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm, Camp Fire will be hosting an Open House at the Deschutes Children’s Foundation (2125 NE Daggett Lane, 97701). There will be food, games, and lots of information on our upcoming programs and special events for the year.


We had an amazing summer, filled with nine weeks of SummerKids Day Camps, two outstanding Teens In Action programs, two weeks of Tumalo Day Camps, and an Adventure Challenge Camp. We visited Equine Outreach, learned more about Growth Mindset, brought on some great new Camp Counselors, and did Story Time at both Barnes and Noble and the Deschutes Public Library—but boy, are we excited for fall!


We believe that the fun doesn’t have to stop at the end of summer, so we are offering some great after school Club programs, events, No-School Day Camps, and Teens In Action programs throughout the year. Our trained and experienced staff are always there to offer parents support, guidance, and sound advice, as well as point them in the right direction towards the resources they may need to keep their families happy, healthy, and having fun.


Join us for our Open House to learn more about how you and your family can get involved with Camp Fire—or, just come say “hi” and meet the smiling faces behind our every growing Central Oregon Council! You’ll be glad you did; it’s going to be a blast!

Camp Fire Teens Plan Pet Food Drive To Benefit the Humane Society of Central Oregon

Local youth work hard to put food on empty shelves





On Monday, August 11th, Camp Fire’s Bend Teens In Action program will begin a weeklong Pet Food Drive to benefit the Humane Society of Central Oregon. This event will run from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm each day outside the following business locations: Monday, August 11th, and Tuesday, August 12th, at Food 4 Less (63455 N Highway 97, Bend), Wednesday, August 13th, at Albertsons (61155 S Hwy 97, Bend), Thursday, August 14th, and Friday, August 15th, at PetSmart (63455 N Hwy 97, Bend).


Pet food donations will be accepted by the young people in the Teens In Action (TIA) program at each location during the hours of this event. All donations will go to benefit the Humane Society’s Pet Food Assistance Program, which offers aid to roughly 125 families per month who are struggling to feed their pets. This program goes through about fifteen tons of pet food each year, keeping many pets in low-income households out of the shelter and with their families.


This event has been planned entirely by the local youth in Camp Fire’s TIA program, who identified the empty shelves of the Humane Society’s Pet Food Assistance Program as a problem within their community that they wished to address. During the Pet Food Drive, a demonstration of, an interactive website that helps people get food to local animal shelters, will be on display. All the animals at the Humane Society of Central Oregon are fed by food earned through this website. There will also be information available on pet adoption programs.


Camp Fire’s TIA program encourages young people to identify community problems, and take action to come up with solutions. This program is made possible through a partnership with the Better Together Initiative’s 8+9 program, which supports students’ transition from middle to high school by providing free, fun & future focused programs in the summer before and after 8th grade, with a link to a mentor at the start of 9th grade. Oregon Campus Compact provided Summer AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers to help facilitate all of the 8+9 programs throughout Central Oregon this summer.


There are currently two active Camp Fire TIA program locations in Central Oregon, one that meets at Juniper Elementary School in Bend, and one that meets at The Landing in Prineville. This program is unique because the youth who participate have total control over their service projects and the course of action they take to plan those projects. In the end, youth discover that they have what it takes to make an immediate difference in their community now, and are able to see the results of their hard work firsthand.