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 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.

VISION

It is our vision that every child experiences what motivates them and leads a healthy, joyful, and purposeful life, because when young people thrive, the whole community thrives.

MISSION

Camp Fire Central Oregon helps young people discover their spark through enrichment activities that help them explore their environment, give back to their community, and grow their potential.

Meet Our Staff

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 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 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.  

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, 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.

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.

As Marketing Manager, Beth continually strives to share the Camp Fire legacy, transformative youth experiences, and latest in youth development with our community at large. She is motivated by seeing how young people thrive when given opportunities, encouragement and freedom to be themselves and loves to share these powerful stories.

Beth is also a photographer, loves the water, travel and all things creative. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at OSU Cascades with plans to continue helping others tell their stories.

Zafiro is a Tucson, AZ native who has pursued adventures around the world as an English teacher in 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 hobbies include hiking, camping, rafting, singing, performing, tasting as many different types of cheese that she can get her hands on, puzzles, escape rooms, costumes, animals, reading, and languages.

Zafiro’s philosophy is that children 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!

Javier has worked in education since 2006 and has experience working with children and adults, both in-person and online. He has delivered courses and presentations on digital technology and STEAM, and also has experience teaching Spanish and Catalan. He has additional work experience in digital technology and information management, among other topics. Camp Fire's welcoming philosophy resonates with him, where different backgrounds are seen as opportunity and strength, and he hopes to bring his skills and experience to our STEAM and Spanish programs.

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."

I am a first-generation American, originally from inner-city Los Angeles but grew up in the Willamette Valley. However, my ancestors come from the highlands and coastal parts of Guerrero, Mexico. I graduated with a degree from Pacific University in Environmental Studies in 2015. With a brief time living in the high country of Colorado, I moved to Bend to be closer to my family and for prime outdoor access. For the last few years, I had been fairly transient, spending my winters as a snowboard instructor at Mt Bachelor then living the "sedan life" working in the outdoor industry all over California and Nevada in the warmer months. These days, it has been wonderful to feel more settled in Bend, it has allowed me to build a web of support and be more involved in the community.

Most of my professional experience has been in youth development either as an instructor or mentor. I have led backcountry trips all over the West, taught environmental education in National Parks, and even coached a few sports teams. I believe in investing in our youth because they are contributing members of this society and are deserving of valuable experiences. I find it is very vital to pass on the inherited wisdom I have gathered throughout my time roaming this earth to a younger generation.

My first experience with Camp Fire began in 2012 working as an intern for the Portland office, I then worked as a summer camp counselor here in Central Oregon. Now, I am the Program Manager for a new program called Latinx Outdoor Connections that takes Latinx kids from low-income communities into outdoor spaces around the area. A couple of my favorite aspects of Camp Fire are their commitment to our city's youth and the support we receive from our leadership.

When I am not at work, you can find me on the mountain sliding around or in an apron cooking up some mexican food for my friends. I also love a good dystopian novel, listening to hip hop records, and tending to my succulents and cacti at home. A few sparks of mine include learning to make traditional mexican cuisine and exploring our blue spaceship called Earth.

James 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.


 

Board Members

 

President:

Melanie Kebler

At Large:

Molly Adam
Karen Hoevel
Christy Lawrence
Sandy Visnack
Kevin Watkins

Youth At Large:

Campbell Dixon

 

 

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!? Come join our team of awesome role models, motivators, educators, caregivers and spark champions.

 

Camp Fire Afterschool and No School Day Camp Program Staff

We're currently seeking a caring youth worker to contribute ideas, supervise youth, and deliver program activities at Camp Fire Afterschool and No School Day Camp.

Click here to learn more and apply now

 

Americorps Youth Leader

Camp Fire is seeking a proactive and caring leader to work directly with elementary students and maybe some teens at a variety of our programs, including summer camps, Camp Fire Afterschool, Latinx Outdoor Connections, and more.

Click here to 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 in need of Tumalo Day Camp Volunteers--Volunteers' kids attend camp for FREE! Facilitate and help plan outdoor adventures, fun activities, crafts, games, and songs for a group of similarly-aged kids at a five day session of Tumalo Day Camp. Click here to learn more and get involved. 

 

Other volunteer positions we are currently looking to fill:

 

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