We want to tell you why Camp Fire Central Oregon is different, and what makes us an innovative leader in youth development:

  1. Camp Fire is about what kids and teens can do right NOW. Lots of youth organizations help prep kids for positive futures. While that is important, and we do it too, Camp Fire focuses on who kids and teens can be today. (It’s even the last line of our Camp Fire Promise: “…it begins now.”) We think there’s no time like the present to discover your spark and be the best person you can be today.
  2. Camp Fire embeds Social Emotional Learning (SEL)in everything we do. We call this Thrive{ology}, a research-based toolkit to help kids continue to grow their potential. We don’t want kids to just stay in school and develop their talents. We want their whole lives to thrive, including their social skills, physical health, environmental awareness, sense of purpose and more.
  3. Camp Fire has been doing this in Central Oregon a long time. 103 years, to be exact! That makes us one of the oldest youth development nonprofits on the block.
  4. Camp Fire has been championing girl power since 1910. Camp Fire was the very first youth development organization for girls. Even 10 years before American women could vote, Camp Fire was encouraging girls to believe in themselves. We still do today. But that’s just one piece…
  5. Camp Fire has been co-ed since 1975, and welcomes ALL youth. Our co-ed cred goes back decades and today we welcome all youth.
  6. Camp Fire is committed to inclusion and diversity. We were the first multiracial, multicultural, and non-sectarian organization for girls in the country. We formalized our welcome of all sexual orientations in our Inclusion Policy back in 1993. And we continue to make sure every single kid/teen knows they belong at Camp Fire – no restrictions, no limits.
  7. Camp Fire teaches we are all leaders. Most youth development organizations emphasize prepping kids for their future or future leadership positions. That’s great! But Camp Fire also wants to encourage young people who want to lead in different ways, outside of position-based opportunities. Camp Fire helps kids discover how they lead right now (because they are, whether they realize it or not), using their own unique strengths.
  8. Camp Fire isn’t just camp! We do have excellent outdoor camp programs. And we have a wide variety of powerful school-year programs, teen service opportunities, day camps, and other unique programs.
  9. Camp Fire wants adults to thrive too. We practice what we preach to our kids. On all levels of our organization, from volunteers to full-time staff, we work on finding our sparks, having a growth mindset, setting goals, and taking time to reflect. Whether it’s committing to better conflict resolution or applying a growth mindset to how we talk to kids, we’re always learning.
  10. Camp Fire gets holistic results.Remember all the way back at the top of the list when we were talking about how Camp Fire helps whole youththrive now? That’s what we measure when we track the difference our programs make. We call these “indicators of thriving.” They include things like life skills, social skills, conflict resolution, confidence, empathy, inclusiveness and purpose development.

There we have it: 10 ways Camp Fire stands out from other youth development organizations. We hope this list helps explain why you should choose Camp Fire!