Camp Fire Central Oregon | Light the Fire Within


Camp Fire Central Oregon is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth find their spark and discover who they are.

We believe that every young person deserves the opportunity to learn, grow, enjoy nature, and thrive, so we offer a variety of programs, camps, events, and service learning projects meant to engage youth and inspire them to be themselves.  Young people want to shape the world.  Through Camp Fire, they can see immediate action and discover that they have what it takes to make a difference now.

As part of the Camp Fire national organization, which dates back to 1910, Camp Fire Central Oregon has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in preparing young people for the bright futures ahead of them. We are an inclusive organization, welcoming all youth, and believe that our co-ed programs allow young people to lay strong foundations for exceptional social skills.

Our programs range from pre-K to 12th Grade, proving that it is never too early, or too late, for young people to become involved.

Meet Our Staff

Kecia Kubota

Executive Director

Kecia has returned to her passion for youth development work after 20 years in the business sector. She holds a Masters degree in International and Intercultural Management with an emphasis in Training and Human Resource Development.

Previously she has been a Creative Business Coach: helping entrepreneurs and small business owners discover how to make their passion a viable, sustainable, and profitable venture. Prior to that, she spent 10 years in the photography industry working alongside her brother to grow his business from three people in the garage to a 25-employee multi-million dollar company.

Kecia is enjoying applying her business expertise to Camp Fire Central Oregon to breathe new life into the organization and revitalize and grow its programs and outreach in the community.

Mary Bowker

Program Director

Mary has spent most of her working life in education, in both formal and informal settings. With a background in Physics, she has spent over 10 years teaching middle and high school math and science, as well as facilitating life experiences for students outside the walls of the classroom. Through teaching in traditional or outdoor schools, guiding and participating in various adventures, or leading teenagers on international service adventures, Mary has seen the power of adventure, nature, and community to foster personal growth for all ages.

As lifelong learners, she and her husband recently embarked on their own personal growth opportunity. They left Bend and headed east for China, taking 14 months to pedal their bicycles nearly 18,000 km around the world (with a few planes, trains, and boats).

Mary returned to Bend with the intent to foster the confidence and courage in our youth and to inspire them to recognize and pursue their biggest dreams. Mary will be responsible for the oversight of all Camp Fire programs, out-of-school time, environment, camp teen service, leadership, staff and volunteers.

Cece Valceschini

Program Manager

Cece is an energetic, down to earth mother of three who loves camping, adventures, and candy sales! In 1999, she started at Camp Fire and has been a guiding force to all young participants ever since. Before that, she was a leader for over five years, which means that she has over 20 years of combined Camp Fire experience, making her a valuable resource to all participants who are looking to earn beads and emblems, and embark upon their journey towards a WoHeLo—the highest award that Camp Fire has to offer.

One of the things Cece loves most about Camp Fire is seeing the same kids come back, year after year, watching them grow, have fun, gain self-confidence, and become positive role models for the next generation. Tumalo Day Camps are her pride and joy, and she works hard every year to ensure everyone has a fun and safe experience.

As the Program Manager, Cece has her work cut out for her. There is always something to plan, learn, and be excited about. She takes everything on with a smile and has a great sense of humor, which makes her a fun person to work with and get to know.

Melanie Feltmate

Teen Program Manager

A native New Yorker, Melanie found her calling - teaching environmental sciences and building capacity for non-profit organizations while living in the US Virgin Islands.  She traded in her warm, turquoise, ocean water for cold, green, river water when she moved to Colorado to become a whitewater rafting guide, and the river is what eventually led her to her new home, Bend.

Melanie is committed to community and environment, working non-stop to inspire positive behavior changes in those around her in order to create a world rich in nature, well-being and culture for the future.  Working with Camp Fire to direct Teen Programs such as Outing Club, Service Days, In Defense of Food and Summit to Sea Watershed Expedition, Melanie is thrilled with the opportunity to combine her passions of teaching, nature, adventure and wellness.

Melanie thrives on enthusiasm and creativity.  When not at Camp Fire, you will find her indulging in her various sparks: yoga, rafting, SCUBA diving, tarot card reading, telling bad jokes, puzzles and blowing bubbles.

Beth Babicz

Teen Program Manager

From teaching photography to teens in Tanzania, to working for a girls' mentorship start-up in New York City, to coaching swimming in California, Beth has worked with youth in many capacities throughout her career. Her work and personal endeavors as an avid traveler and adventure-seeker have instilled in her a deep appreciation for the power of new experiences to open eyes and change lives.

In managing our teen programs, Beth is excited to bring many eye-opening new experiences to Camp Fire's middle school and high school members. She is continually motivated by seeing how young people thrive when given opportunities, encouragement and freedom to be themselves.

Beth also teaches photography and visual storytelling for teens, loves the water, travel and all things creative.

Chris Talcott

Program Manager

Growing up in the Midwest Chris learned to stack hay, eat corn, and avoid tornadoes as well as anyone.  After graduating from college in Chicago with a B.A. in Youth Ministries he spent the next decade traveling the world working in various youth and outdoor programs.  

Through his time as a youth worker and adventure travel guide, Chris developed a belief that anyone can thrive when given support and encouragement.  He brings this belief into his role as the Director of the SummerKids day camp program.  His goal is to enable the staff to engage the youth and allow for opportunities to learn, grow, enjoy nature, and thrive.    

After years of working at camps in France, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington, he and his wife have made Central Oregon their home.  Most days you can find them outside on an adventure together or out for a long run on the trails.  Most of the time you’ll see their energetic little boy joining them on the adventure.  

Chris is glad to be a part of the Camp Fire community and is always willing to share tips on stacking hay, eating corn, and avoiding tornadoes with anyone willing to listen.  

Board Members



Jacob Fain


Erica Keeton

At Large:

Michael Hopp
Catherine Lee
Rick Olegario
Kara Smith
Sandy Visnack
Kevin Watkins

Youth At Large:

Shilo Grayson



Join our volunteer Board of Directors!

Serve as a voting member of the board with the authority and responsibility to develop policies, procedures, and regulations for the conduct of Camp Fire Central Oregon. Help shape the direction of the organization and contribute to its financial sustainability. If you're interested in applying for a position on the Camp Fire Central Oregon Board of Directors, please contact us for more information.

Job Opportunities

Current Openings:

Looking to gain experience in the youth development field AND have a ton of fun at camp this summer!? Now hiring for various positions to join our 2019 team of awesome role models, motivators, educators, caregivers and spark champions:


SummerKids Camp Counselor

Build community and lead a small group of 8-12 youth through engaging camp activities and games.  Have fun alongside campers by participating in, leading, and facilitating camper participation in all activities at camp.  

Learn More and Apply Now!


SummerKids Camp Instructor

Build community and lead a small group of 8-12 youth through engaging camp activities and games.  Prepare and lead more involved activities for combined groups and act as a mentor for less experienced staff.

Learn More and Apply Now!


SummerKids Activities Coordinator

Be a part of the SummerKids leadership team, with special focus on writing curricula and supporting counselors and instructors by preparing and managing activities and materials.  

Learn More and Apply Now!


SummerKids Assistant Director

Be a part of the SummerKids leadership team, with a focus on managing logistics and systems, facilitating meetings, communicating with parents, and supporting youth and staff in their day-to-day camp experiences.

Learn More and Apply Now!


Youth Programs Intern - Exploration of Nature

Help connect youth to the wild! We offer a stipend of $1000 for a 120 hour internship that runs 3 weeks in the summer. Great opportunity to work in experiential education with our weekly field trips, or to engage every age group in nature exploration with a cumulative project at the end of your session.

Learn More and Apply Now!


SummerKids Camp Extended Care Program Staff

Participate in activities and assist with the children enrolled in our Extended Care Program.  This will include set-up, tear-down, and interaction with youth ages 5-12. This is a part-time morning and/or afternoon position, 1.5 - 3.5 hours per day.  

Email for more info!



We always need volunteers! Help us with everything from flyer distribution to mentoring or being a guest educator for one of our programs.

We are currently looking to fill the following volunteer positions:



For more than 100 years, Camp Fire Central Oregon has given youth support and inspiration that they might otherwise not have found. This is what fuels us: To provide experiences that help kids THRIVE today–to become tomorrow’s teachers, parents, thinkers...leaders.

What drives Camp Fire programs and philosophy is something far broader-reaching than just a fun day at camp. We are part of a national, inclusive organization intentionally committed to using research-based methods to help kids grow, understand themselves, acquire life skills and SUCCEED in life no matter what their passion or path: Thrive{ology}our growth mindset approach, strives to create the optimal environment for youth to be nurtured by caring adults...“Thrive Champions”.

A Thrive Champion is a caring adult who recognizes and encourages youth's sparks. They guide and help youth gain self-understanding to expand their possibilities. Become a Thrive Champion with Camp Fire Central Oregon!

Our Promise

Young people want to shape the world.

Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.

In Camp Fire, it begins now.

Light the fire within