Camp Fire Central Oregon | Light the Fire Within

About

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.

Our Values

 


 

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.

Sarah Williver

STE(a)M Program Manager

Sarah’s passion for Science and Education has been a constant throughout her life. She worked for Oregon State University 4-H as their STEM outreach specialist on the state and local level. She has partnered with NASA, National Geographic, and ESRI to bring innovative science and technology programs to Oregon. She holds a Master’s Degree in Teacher Education, and a Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems. 

Previously, Sarah spent 9 months opening a STEM school (K-12) in Da Nang, Vietnam. She worked as a Programs Director for San Ysidro Vanguard Education Foundation, taught for robotics education for Carnegie Mellon internationally, worked for Oregon State University as an outreach specialist, and co-created EquipoGIS (a traveling GIS team). She was also a NASA Mercury Messenger Fellow, and consulted with NASA on their rural outreach program. She worked with National Geographic and ESRI to create a mapping competition at local and state fairs that now has been implemented across the country. 

Sarah is passionate about all things STE(a)M and will be bringing new science focused programs to Camp Fire Central Oregon. Some of these new programs are competitive and recreational robotics, geospatial information system community projects, drone flying and videography, and after school programs based in science. 

Haley Bringuel

Program Manager

Haley is a graduate of Oregon State University - Cascades with a Bachelor’s in Human Development & Family Studies. Haley is Bay Area native who left the city to pursue a life centered around the outdoors and community. She spent 4 years in southern Utah before making her way to Central Oregon.

Haley is excited to be leading the Camp Fire Afterschool program, No School Day Camps and assisting the Camp Fire organization in a variety of other aspects. Haley truly connects with Camp Fire’s mission and values on a professional and personal level.

Haley enjoys empowering and encouraging youth to pursue their own passions and breaking outside their comfort zones. She also gets excited for opportunities to mentor youth in becoming their true authentic selves. She loves to help families and communities thrive. Haley believes true leadership is supporting others in becoming their best selves.

In her free time, you can find Haley adventuring with her dogs, camping, going to see live music shows, or traveling. When Haley travels she tries to truly immerse herself within new cultures in order to grow, learn, and connect with others. Haley is especially drawn to mountains, forests, and lakes when planning her adventures. Being in nature is Haley’s happy place.

Alyssa Thomas

Program Lead

Alyssa first started working for Camp Fire when she was nineteen as a camp counselor at Camp Fire Seattle’s Camp Sealth. There she found her spark for working with children and her connection to Camp Fire’s message. For two years, she spent summers in Seattle counseling primarily girls, aged seven to seventeen, and taught outdoor education for a fall season.  Since then, she has been developing her passion by pursuing and attaining her Associates in Early Childhood Education and continuing to work and volunteer for Camp Fire Seattle. She began working for Camp Fire Central Oregon in the summer of 2019 and is looking forward to continuing a bright and meaningful future with our organization in her own community.

Alyssa primarily works in our Afterschool Program and our No School Day Camps, but also coaches Lego Robotics and works in our Summerkids Program. As a native Texan, she moved to Central Oregon in 2015 to explore what Bend has to offer and fell in love with the community. She is looking forward to giving back to the place that was so welcoming to her and continually growing with the organization that is so close to her heart!


 

Board Members

 

President:

Melanie Kebler

At Large:

Michael Hopp
Rick Olegario
Kara Smith
Sandy Visnack
Kevin Watkins
Christy Lawrence
Karen Hoevel
Jacob Fain

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!? Now hiring for various positions to join our team of awesome role models, motivators, educators, caregivers and spark champions:

 

Camp Fire Afterschool Rec Staff, Part Time

Camp Fire is seeking enthusiastic, empathetic, and dynamic youth workers to join our team in our new 5-day a week afterschool program for youth in K-5th grade, Camp Fire Afterschool. The right individual is motivated to make a difference in the lives of children, is ready to inspire, and believes youth are the key to our community’s future.

Learn more and apply now!

 

Volunteers

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:

 

WHY CAMP FIRE?

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