Campfire Coffee Co. & youth org Camp Fire join forces to encourage kids
Quincy Henry and his wife, Whitni, started Campfire Coffee Co. in Tacoma, WA, with the goal of bringing campfire-roasted coffee (yes: micro-batch coffee roasted over an open fire!) to his home-turf and supporting a broader mission—creating more access to the outdoors for BIPOC and underserved communities. He had no idea there was a nonprofit with a similar name and parallel mission in his own backyard. Not long after the Henrys launched their online store in late March of 2020 (the pandemic delayed their plans to open their physical shop until later in the year), Quincy started to hear from this other Camp Fire.
“One of our earliest customers in our online store—and a fan of what we are doing—was Nicole [from Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma],” says Quincy. “She passed our info along to Erin at National Headquarters. And at the same time, the local council here had been reaching out.”
Instead of being concerned about name confusion, the message was simple: Let’s work together!
“We’re both called Campfire! We have a similar theme,” Quincy laughs. “Both Whitni and I were like, this is a no brainer. Let’s do it!”
Those initial discussions led to a special edition Camp Fire + Campfire coffee—inspired by Absolutely Incredible Kid Day.
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“We’re super excited about it because we’re still building out what our nonprofit side will look like,” says Quincy. “In the meantime, we get to put our efforts and energy toward organizations that have a similar mission,”
Quincy and Whitni are developing Explorers Club, a nonprofit arm of Campfire Coffee, to bring outdoor activities to a more diverse audience. Their new headquarters will have outdoor gear rentals and classes on using that gear correctly and staying safe in nature. “Anybody who has felt like being in the outdoors has not been necessarily attainable to them—we want to break down barriers and create more access for them,” explains Quincy.
The outdoors played a pivotal part in Quincy’s life. Growing up, he heard tales of his family’s earlier outdoor adventures in Alaska, but they didn’t regularly spend time in nature after they moved to Washington, where Quincy was born and raised.
“I heard the stories, and I had a romanticized idea of it,” laughs Quincy. But his turn was coming. In 5th and 6th grade, he attended the Outdoor School program at Waskowitz Outdoor Center.
“Camp Waskowitz had a huge impact on me,” says Quincy. “That’s where I really feel in love with nature.”
He became a high-school leader and a trainer there as he got older, and even turned down a full-time position with them to go to college, instead. In addition to kickstarting his lifelong camping habit, that outdoor program also taught him the importance of encouragement in kids’ lives.
“One of the magic things about being at Wasko was that there was so much positivity,” says Quincy. “In high school, part of the training curriculum was to find these would-be leaders’ strengths and build them up.”
Quincy says he was lucky to have positive affirmation at home, at camp, and from teachers at school. He drew on that adult support as his passions led him to a music career—when his four older brothers were all Division 1 college athletes.
“I had a lot of pressure to perform up to their level,” Quincy says. “All of that extra encouragement and positive energy to do what I loved made a world of difference.”
Quincy has made it a point to pay that positive, supportive energy forward, whether by mentoring young musicians, building Explorers Club, or pouring into the lives of his own three children (ages 8, 6 and 4).
“I feel like you can never have enough guidance and direction when you’re young,” says Quincy. “I try to be that person for people. Especially for the kiddos. They need it!”
Want to be like Quincy? Pledge to tell a young person what makes them incredible. Mark your calendar for Absolutely Incredible Kid Day on March 18,2021.
Campfire Coffee Co. is the proud sponsor of Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®
Looking for some outdoor inspiration in the Pacific Northwest? Here are Quincy and his family’s current top spots for some return-to-nature R&R:
- Cape Disappointment State Park “Not a disappointment! It’s a gorgeous state park.”
- Dash Point State Park “If we just want to get away for a weekend, we load up the RV and slide down to Dash Point.”
- Lake Chelan State Park “Phe-nom-en-al.”
- Lake Wenatchee State Park “Another beautiful one just outside of Leavenworth, which looks like something out of a fairy tale.”
- Millersylvania State Park “That is a picturesque state park. I need to get back there.”