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.

Andrew Navarre, smiling and dressed for outdoor adventure by a river

You could call Andrew Navarre (he, him, his) a “Jack of all trades.” Andrew joined Camp Fire Central Oregon in 2017 and, since that time, he’s served in a variety of roles, stepping in as a counselor, lead counselor, field trip coordinator, risk management lead, extended care lead, site lead, LEGO robotics coach and a program specialist. No question about it, he’s a hardworking, dedicated team player. But he’s also, self-admittedly, a little bit goofy… his sense of humor being one of his hallmark traits, one that makes him so much fun to be around!

Originally from Plano, Texas, Andrew grew up traveling about Texas, exploring state parks and finding new fishing holes. He also spent every summer of his youth on a family farm, fishing and being a kid in the woods, alongside his cousins and older brother. Upon moving to Bend in 2015, he earned an associate’s degree from Central Oregon Community College (COCC) in tourism and outdoor leadership, then a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in tourism, recreation, adventure and leadership with an emphasis in nature, eco and adventure.

Upon learning about Camp Fire from a friend in Bend, Andrew came aboard our team, bringing to our programs a background in working with youth plus his passion for learning and trying new things, engaging in adventures of all sorts, and helping kids find their “sparks.” It’s inspiring for him to see their faces light up with excitement, wanting to learn more about some activity or aspect of our programming, all while having fun. What’s more, Andrew has found true connection with his fellow Camp Fire colleagues—staff members who are interesting and also empower him to grow in all his roles with us.

In his free time, Andrew is likely to be engaging in the great outdoors, his sparks being fishing, rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, and cross-country skiing but also technology and engineering. Some fun facts: He has traveled to 20 different countries and been a kayak and whitewater raft guide in Wyoming and Utah. In perfect symmetry with Camp Fire’s mission, Andrew also believes in providing a safe area for youth to access, experience and further connection to the outdoors.

Brett Dery, holding his young son in front of colorful autumn leaves

Ask Brett (he, him, his) what he loves about life, and the list could be quite long. He’s an adventuresome sort who appreciates exciting challenges as well as the creativity and commitment needed to accomplish his goals.

Originally from Dallas, OR, Brett grew up with parents who not only taught him to appreciate nature but also encouraged him to pursue a career working with youth. Before joining us at Camp Fire as a staff member, he had been a camper and worked in other youth programs. Through those experiences, he’s come to know how to make it fun, engaging and purposeful.

In leadership roles, he’s found it meaningful to watch kids learn new things in the most unexpected ways. What’s more, he finds it really neat when kids start to offer up cool new ideas or make suggestions around improving activities or programs. He gets that kids often know best just how to make their experience really interesting, memorable and fun!

Brett really believes that camp provides one of the best—if not the best—non-traditional ways for today’s youth to be curious, tap their imaginations, embrace challenges, build countless lifelong skills, and find their spark through the discovery experience that being outside and/or in nature nurtures. (School is cool. But camp is where it’s at!)

As for Brett’s sparks? The biggies include mountain biking, canoeing, table top games and film.

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 loves to play outside and facilitate effective and efficient communications. Raised in rural (beautiful!) New Jersey, she lived in Seattle and Snoqualmie Pass, WA, enjoying the soggy, lush environment and hilly bicycle commutes 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 now-adult daughter: confidence, courage, leadership, cooperation and a thirst for exploration. (It worked!)

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 has landed at Camp Fire. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder and is on the path to become an elementary school teacher.

Sara’s hobbies include collage-based art, climbing, surfing, backpacking in the wilderness, cooking outdoors, painting with watercolors, traveling, and collecting plants!

Sara 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.


Summer Robotics InstructorDeliver Camp Fire Lego Robotics Summer programs that engage youth in science, technology, engineering, and math so they can see if they find their spark in it. Work with the help of an assistant and the Program Manager.
  • 160-hour Summer Seasonal
  • July 10-August 25, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm
  • SummerKids Day Camp CounselorBuild community within groups of 8-12 campers aged 5-12 years old; lead games and activities and manage the physical and emotional safety of the group. May prepare for and lead activities for combined groups or organize camp wide activities. Periodically run activities in our extended care program outside regular camp hours.
  • 35-40 hours/week
  • 3 week rotations: June 19-July 7, July 10-28, July 31-Aug 18
    STEM Programs CoordinatorDeliver Camp Fire programs throughout the year: short robotics and coding sessions, week-long tech programs, full-day engineering sessions, and seasonal robotics teams and competitions. Manages programs, working closely with the Program Manager to collect program quality data and to develop and expand upon our current offerings.
  • Full time, 32 hours/week (40 in the summer)
  • Includes after school hours, and Bend-La Pine school holidays
  • Other hours are flexible with the ability to do work from home.
    Camp Fire Afterschool/No School Day Camp Program StaffYouth work position to contribute ideas, supervise youth, and deliver program activities in our Camp Fire Afterschool (CFA) program. The job includes developing relationships with youth and supporting youth growth, leading engaging activities and games, and much more.
  • Temporary, school-year seasonal
  • 1-5 afternoons/week and/or half- and full-day work on school holidays
  • 5-25 hours/week, Monday-Friday (some flexibility possible with days of the week
  • Select No-School Days (Bend LaPine School District) required
    Americorps Youth LeaderRun our teen service and leadership programs, designed to challenge 6th-12th graders to learn what it means to be a leader and to serve their community. Work closely with our Program Manager to develop a pilot job-training/pipeline program for teens. Some evening and weekend hours and possible travel to neighboring communities.
  • Temporary, full-time: 40 hours/week
  • 6- or 12-month
  • School-Year InternGain experience in youth development while exploring a special project of your interest. Develop and implement curriculum, assist in program planning, and learn the inner workings of a small non-profit organization, while engaging with students from kindergarten through high school.
  • 90-180 hrs
  • Typically 12 weeks between September 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023
  • Summer InternGain experience in youth development while exploring a special project of your interest. Develop and implement curriculum, assist in program planning, and learn the inner workings of a small non-profit organization, while engaging with students from kindergarten through high school.
  • Approximately 160 - 350 hrs
  • 5-10 weeks between June 1, 2023 - Aug 30, 2023
  • SummerKids Junior CounselorTeen interns gain practical work experience while practicing leadership at SummerKids, our weekly theme-based day camp for youth. Learn resume-building skills as well as go through an interview process with Youth Career Connect as part of the internship application. Act as role models for younger campers, while still enjoying the fun traditions, songs and games of summer camp. Designed for teens who have never worked in a camp environment before and who have limited schedules during the summer.
  • 100-hour internship & practicum, unpaid. (Eligible for HS elective credit!)
  • Training: June 26 - 30, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • 2-week practicum: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm (to be completed before August 18)
  • Tech Camps Program Assistant (Multiple Locations)Work closely with the program coordinator to set up, clean up and deliver the program. While the activities will be created and scheduled by the coordinator, the intern is encouraged to share program ideas, build community through ice breakers, games, reflections and challenges, and infuse the program with added fun!
  • 40 hours/week, plus training (date TBD)
  • July 10 to August 25 - Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Locations: Bend, La Pine, Madras, Redmond, Warm Springs
  • 160-hour Summer Seasonal Internship; paid
    Tumalo Day Camp CounselorFacilitate and help plan outdoor adventures, fun activities, crafts, games, and songs for a group of kids at our super fun and beloved Tumalo Day Camp!
  • Volunteers get to send their kids to camp for free!
  • Tumalo Day Camp NurseUse your skills to help keep kids safe and healthy at our super fun and beloved Tumalo Day Camp!
  • Volunteers get to send their kids to camp for free!
  • Board of DirectorsCamp Fire Central Oregon is seeking passionate, caring community members who would like to join our board. We seek diverse members of our community to be ambassadors and champions of our mission and offer creative thought leadership for the benefit of the organization.
  • 1-3 hours/month; year-round
  • Learn more about the board position


    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