Bend City Council Makes Joyful Proclamation: Thursday, March 21 Is Absolutely Incredible Kid Day® in Bend!

Council’s proclamation spotlights the national holiday of youth appreciation, while Camp Fire Central Oregon announces a free ice-skating party on Wed., March 21 to celebrate all local kids.

Bend, Ore. March 7, 2024 – The City of Bend is joining other municipalities across the United States on Thursday, March 21, honoring today’s youth in recognition of Absolutely Incredible Kid Day® (AIK Day). Founded in 1997 by inclusive youth development organization Camp Fire, AIK Day is a national holiday that focuses on lifting up the kids and teens in our lives.

On Tuesday, March 6, the mayor of Bend, Melanie Kebler, read a proclamation at the city council meeting, acknowledging AIK Day and the value young people bring to the world. In addition, the proclamation noted Camp Fire’s “commitment to providing a nurturing, encouraging and fun environment for young people to explore and discover their skills, passions and unique attributes.”

Through the proclamation, the council also collectively encouraged adults to “write and post letters of love and appreciation to young people in their lives,” urging parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, mentors and adults alike to participate in AIKD and make a difference in the life of a child. 

What’s more, as Joey Hamilton, Camp Fire Central Oregon’s marketing and development director, explained to the council, “AIK Day provides an opportunity to celebrate and tell a young person in your life why they matter. Our words are powerful, and AIK Day is a chance to say to a young person in your life, ‘You matter, you are incredible, and here’s why.’ The proclamation by Mayor Kebler and the Bend City Council recognizes the important role we all play in the future of our young people and our community—and the need to be proactive about it.”

Founded in 1916, Camp Fire Central Oregon makes taking action easy, according to Nadia Kelem, the nonprofit’s outreach coordinator and program specialist. Adults are invited to visit Camp Fire Central Oregon’s website to download free AIK Day stationery for writing such a note. A 2024 AIK Day coloring page is also available if someone prefers to color a picture along with a special kid in their life or gift it for youth to enjoy!

“Anyone can use the letterhead to craft an official AIK Day letter to an amazing kid in their life,” she says. “They can also use the coloring page to get creative and reflect alongside that incredible youth, then post it to social media, tagging @CAMPFIRENHQ and using the hashtag #KidDay. These are very simple ways to show gratitude for the kids in our lives but, collectively, when people do this across our country, the appreciation amplifies, having a powerful, positive impact.”

After receiving the city council’s proclamation on behalf of Camp Fire, Hamilton announced a FREE ice-skating celebration for Central Oregon kids.

All the fun is taking place in Bend on Wednesday, March 20, an event timed to coincide with early-release Wednesday for the Bend-La Pine school district.

Here are all the awesome details:

  • WHAT - ​Camp Fire Central Oregon celebrates the 27th annual AIK Day with free ice skating for any person under 18 years old. Must be accompanied by an adult and arrive by 3:00 p.m., limited to the first 200 kids in the door. Youth are encouraged to bring helmets for skating as supplies are limited. This is a FREE EVENT and is open to the public. No previous involvement with Camp Fire Central Oregon is required. The event includes plenty of time on the ice, plus unique AIKD activities, including a STEM table, photo booth, and crafts, plus Camp Fire birthday cake for all!
  • WHEN - Wednesday, March 20, 1:00-3:45 p.m.
  • WHERE - The Pavilion, 1001 SW Bradbury Dr, Bend, OR 97702
  • WHO - Camp Fire Central Oregon, and the youth and families of our community
  • WHY - How often do we stop to tell the kids and teens in our lives how incredible they are? This is why Camp Fire founded AIK Day in 1997 as an encouragement to activate millions of adults across the U.S. to write/tell a young person in their life what makes them incredible.

Nadia Kelem, Outreach Coordinator & Program Specialist | Camp Fire Central Oregon; (541) 205-9203

Katie Roberts, Marketing Coordinator | Camp Fire Central Oregon; (541) 299-2812

About Camp Fire Central Oregon
Founded in 1910, Camp Fire is a national organization that actively engages youth and teens in building essential skills for life. Camp Fire Central Oregon has been a local leader in youth development since 1916. The organization provides out-of-school time, teen service and leadership, camp and environmental programs. Young people want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to help them find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.