Camp Fire Central Oregon | Light the Fire Within


Camp Fire creates safe spaces where young people can have fun and be themselves.

We do this through a variety of powerful youth experiences and programs customized to meet the needs of youth, their families, and their local community. 

The common thread woven through all our programs is relationships. 

This is how we support young people as they navigate the challenges of growing up in the world today and learn the life skills they need to thrive.

Our Vision

We envision a world where all young people thrive and have equitable opportunities for:

Self-Discovery: All young people find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are;

Community Connection: All young people find, build, and contribute to their community; they develop meaningful relationships with supportive adults and peers; they feel seen, heard, accepted, supported, and affirmed for who they are today, and who they will be in the future;

Engagement with Nature: All young people experience the power and awe of the outdoors; they learn to respect, love, and care for our world.

Our Mission

Camp Fire Central Oregon connects young people to the outdoors, to others, and to themselves.

Meet Our Staff

Kecia Kubota, standing arm-in-arm with her husband and two children

Kecia (she, her, hers) 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.

Melanie Feltmate, standing on a windy beach with a rainbow above, smiling with delight

A native New Yorker, Melanie (she, her, hers) found her calling—informal education and capacity building for non-profit organizations—while living in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She traded in warm, turquoise, ocean water for cold, green, river water when she moved to Colorado for a stint as a whitewater rafting guide, and the river is what eventually led her to 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.

Melanie spent many years building up Camp Fire's teen programs before stepping into the role of Program Director. As Program Director, she is focused on program quality and youth safety across all programs. In addition to guiding program improvement plans, she strives to create a workspace where all staff feel welcome to be themselves and are encouraged to grow both professionally and personally. She is a strong believer that when staff and youth feel safe and supported, they are able to lead, learn and ultimately thrive.

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.

Cece Valceschini, paddling a kayak while wearing a bright yellow life vest

Cece (she, her, hers) is an energetic, down to earth mother of three who loves camping, adventures, and candy sales! In 1991, 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 30 years of combined Camp Fire experience, making her a valuable resource to all participants who are looking to earn emblems, find their sparks, and embark upon a journey that helps them to thrive!

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 longtime Tumalo Day Camp lead, Cece has had 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.  

James DiRosa standing in shorts and a parka in front of a mountain snowy mountain stream

James (he, him, his) grew up in a small rural New Hampshire town exploring the woods and lake behind his childhood home. From building forts to snowball fights James just enjoyed being outside. As a young child he was heavily involved in sports, camps, and trying out new activities. He attended the University of New Hampshire graduating with an Associates degree in Business Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Recreation Management. James has also served six years in the US Army.

Since graduating James has spent his time exploring the outdoor education career field and traveling around the country. He has worked a variety of jobs from leading backpacking trips in places such as Alaska, Yellowstone National Park, and Montana; to leading educational trips in a plethora of locations around California. During the winter months James enjoys teaching skiing at whatever mountain resort is local for that season.

James has always found comfort in working with youth in the outdoors as well as helping youth achieve more than they think is possible. Those moments when someone realizes they have accomplished something bigger than themselves is what keeps James coming back.

During his free time James likes to ski, climb, play guitar, fly fish, and backpack. He also enjoys gardening, embroidery, and trying new hobbies. He is a sucker for some good dad jokes and enjoys relaxing around a campfire with friends after a fun day of adventuring.

Javier Leiva wearing red running shoes and standing in front of a banner that says Maker Faire Eindhoven

Javier (he, him, his, ell, él) has worked in education since 2006 and has experience working with children and adults, both in-person and online. At Camp Fire, he coordinated the STEM programs and coached robotics for around three years after a brief period teaching Spanish at CFA. He has additional skills in digital technology, research, information retrieval, and project management, all of which he tries to put to work in his current role to help the Camp Fire team run smoothly.

He was born in Catalonia, where he grew up and spent part of his life, before moving to Bend with his family in 2019. He's also lived in France and different parts of Spain. He has visited 34 countries, for vacation or work, and loves traveling because he believes being exposed to different people and cultures is one of the greatest sources of learning. He loves hiking, running, and playing tennis; he has run three full marathons and completed the 60 mile Intermon Oxfam Trailwalker fundraiser race, as part of a team called "Wacky Walkers."

Katie Roberts, smiling kindly and leaning on a deck above an expanse of water

Katie Roberts (she, her, hers) grew up primarily in Pensacola, FL. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of the South, she moved west to Colorado and earned a master’s in journalism and mass communication from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She’s worked as a television reporter, magazine editor, nonprofit executive director and owner of her own freelance writing/communications firm.

Katie grew up going to a number of camps as a youth, plus worked as a summer kindergarten assistant and program youth director in Tennessee when she was in high school. Having had positive experiences with youth mentors who inspired her to believe in her abilities to accept challenges and hit goals, she has huge respect for the power behind the camp counselor-camper relationship.

In her role at Camp Fire Central Oregon, Katie brings us her love for people, connection, relationships and community, along with her professional communication and leadership skills. She’s excited to be contributing to an organization that supports and lifts up today’s youth, positioning them for current and future success.

Outside of work, she and her husband have two children and a crazy cute corgi named “Honey.” Katie loves to get outdoors, skiing, hiking, paddle boarding, and floating rivers in Central Oregon’s beautiful back yard!

Liz Diether-Martin, smiling contentedly, covered in snow, and leaning on her ski poles

Liz (she/her) loves to play outside and facilitate effective and efficient communications. Raised in rural (beautiful!) New Jersey, she enjoyed the soggy, lush environment and hilly bicycle commutes of western Washington for decades. But mold got old, so she and her husband moved to Bend to be closer to the plentiful cross-country skiing, hiking, and biking in Central Oregon—and to be closer to the sun and their grown daughter who lives in San Francisco.

Liz's multifaceted career has always focused on communicating with clients, understanding their needs, and addressing those needs. She has been a horseback riding instructor, technical writer, usability tester, interface designer, massage therapist, and a web content developer.

She joined Camp Fire Central Oregon to ply her information organization skills in support of youth enrichment programs. Camp Fire instills exactly the qualities that she hoped to nurture in her daughter: confidence, courage, leadership, cooperation and a thirst for exploration. (It worked!)

Logan Betts, a young woman with fair skin and long hair hiking by a Central Oregon river

Logan (she, her, hers) grew up outside of Nashville Tennessee, spending a lot of time on the lake with her family. She attended The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

Her love for the outdoors grew when she met her husband; they spent six years exploring the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and on the Tennessee River before deciding to continue their adventures out west. In Bend, her long list of hobbies grew to include skiing, rock climbing, and stand-up paddleboarding.

Logan knew from an early age that she wanted to work with kids and in education. She taught third grade for five years and is passionate about working alongside youth, helping them discover new things, and connecting them with the world around them. She wants all kids she works with to know that they can do anything they set their mind to!

When she’s not working with kids and coding robots, you can find Logan exploring Bend with her husband and her dog, with her head in a book, drawing, or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.

Mary Bowker, ready for adventure in a brimmed hat and fuschia jacket

Mary (she, her, hers) has spent most of her working life in education, in both formal and informal settings. With a bachelor's degree 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 foster personal growth for all ages.  Her personal adventures and interests often include riding bicycles, skiing, climbing, roller skating, sailing or any other activities that allow her to be outside or to travel to exciting places.

Mary sees Camp Fire as an opportunity for Central Oregon youth to build the confidence and courage that will inspire them to recognize and pursue their biggest dreams. As Camp Fire's Grants Manager, Mary hopes to help build the organization's capacity to reach more youth who will do just that.

Nadia Kelem, smiling, sitting in a rock crevice above the high desert

Nadia (she, her, hers, ella) started working with youth as a school garden educator, combining her passions for food, health and wellness, gardening and teaching. She holds a B.A. in Global Food Systems and has been working in school food systems for most of her career (making school lunches better and building school gardens!). Since 2020 she has worked for nonprofits doing outreach, marketing and program coordination. She has served 3 years as an AmeriCorps FoodCorps service member.

Nadia has worked as a kids dance teacher, youth snowboard coach, creative arts instructor, and summer camp nature specialist, and loves creating fun, safe, inclusive spaces for youth to engage with nature and with their own creativity.

Born on California’s central coast, Nadia grew up surrounded by ocean, mountains and redwood forests and loves spending time outdoors with her dogs backpacking, paddleboarding, taking road trips, and identifying plants.

Sara Ward on a paddleboard and looking off at a mountain sunset

Sara (she, her, hers) grew up spending her early childhood in the mountains of Idaho and has had a passion for environmental studies from the start. She has explored 15 countries (and counting!) while holding a wide range of jobs. After leading educational butterfly tours in Laos, volunteering in Mexico, leading river trips in Ohio, and finally building trails and teaching outdoor education in Oregon, her path landed at Camp Fire. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder and is currently studying marketing and communication.

Sara’s hobbies include collage-based art, climbing, surfing, backpacking in the wilderness, cooking outdoors, painting with watercolors, traveling, and collecting plants! She is passionate about creating learning environments where kiddos can be themselves—and find their own personal sparks—while learning to communicate and connect with their community. Sara’s camp name (RAAAAA!) encompasses the enthusiasm and fun she loves to have with the groups of youth she works with!

Zafiro Larsen, standing on a beach at sunset and grinning widely

Zafiro (she, her, hers, ella) is a Tucson, AZ native who has pursued adventures around the world as an English teacher in the USA, Italy, South Korea, and Spain, and an outdoor trekking guide and teen program leader in Peru, Nepal, India, and Australia. She has a Master’s degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education and is a certified Wilderness First Responder.

Zafiro’s sparks include playing with her baby boy Mateo, hiking, camping, rafting, singing, performing, tasting as many different types of cheese that she can get her hands on, puzzles, escape rooms, and reading.

Zafiro’s philosophy is that youth thrive best when they are encouraged to learn in a fun and creative environment. She looks forward to bringing this philosophy to life in SummerKids, Teens, and No-School Day programs!


Board Members

Molly works at Lonza in Bend as a Research Engineer developing new technologies to make pharmaceutical products. She grew up in Minnesota and went to school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and eventually made her way to the west coast. She has always had a passion for volunteering and teaching kids about STEM careers. She has volunteered with Expanding Your Horizons, teaching middle school girls about STEM and getting them excited about science. She continued her STEM education volunteering in Oregon demoing cool science experiments conducted by Lonza called Science Night and also organizing Inventerprise, an invention contest put on every year through her work.

Molly continued her passion for empowering youth by volunteering on the Camp Fire board. She has been on the board since November of 2019 and became President in January of 2022. In her spare time Molly likes to play many sports and participate in outdoor activities—hockey, skiing, mountain biking, paddle boarding and pickle ball. Another one of her sparks is crafting—she completed a minor in art in college and continued to grow her creative side by painting, making cards and sewing dog bandanas.

Devin Barclay grew up in Annapolis, Md., where his mother was head of a school, which cultivated in him a passion for teaching, coaching and, ultimately, sports. An avid athlete, Devin played football for THE Ohio State University during college and also played Major League Soccer for five years. Today, he’s working as a sports marketing manager at Nike. In this role, Devin serves as the connection point between brand/story and athlete—a natural fit, given his experience in both playing sports and coaching athletes. Outside of work, Devin loves spending time with his family, anything related to football (global as well as American), skiing, hiking, travel, mountain biking, dogs, music, innovation and creativity. He says that as a youth, he took family trips out West, and these formative experiences got him hooked on nature and outdoor recreation. That invariably sparked his appreciation for youth programs and camps like Camp Fire Central Oregon, which strive to connect youth to the outdoors, others and themselves.

At the beginning of 2021, Rui Cruz and his wife came all the way from Portugal to Bend, following their thirst for adventure and the desire to embark on a new direction in life. Rui currently works at Lonza in Bend and is involved in the development of new and repurposed pharmaceutical drugs. Super curious and very committed to learning and his community, Rui regularly enjoys reading, observing, listening to very different perspectives related to politics, philosophy, world history, science, pop culture and even conspiracy theories! He loves team sports as well as exploring the central Oregon region, which has helped inspired him to commit to a nonprofit that supports youth in getting outside and their own connection to the great outdoors. He is very proud to be serving on the board of Camp Fire, which he says is the ideal organization to help children find their place in our world, bettering themselves and, by extension, all of us.

Jessie has spent most of her career of 25 years in the outdoor industry working with middle and high school aged youth in outdoor education and therapeutics. For the past 13 years, she has served as faculty for the Outdoor Leadership program at Central Oregon Community College, preparing the next generations of outdoor educators, guides, and therapists. Through her years working with others in the outdoors, she has seen first-hand the influence spending time in the outdoors can have on one’s ability to connect with nature, community and self. One can often find Jessie playing outside and traveling, having adventures to connect with humans and different environments, often with a backpack on or bicycle under her. The experiences she has had in her professional and personal life influences her belief in the Camp Fire vision.



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

Looking to gain experience in the youth development field AND have a ton of fun!? Come join our team of awesome role models, motivators, educators, caregivers and spark champions. See our current job opportunities on the Jobs page.

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