McKenzie at her WoHeLo presentation last year.

At Camp Fire, we're constantly striving to make an impact, to make a difference in our community and in the lives of youth. And nothing's better than when we see our youth making an impact themselves!

We wanted to share one such story. The story of one of our seasoned Camp Fire members who is truly making an impact as a youth leader in our organization, on a local and national level.

McKenzie joined Camp Fire Central Oregon when she was in elementary school. She rose up through the ranks to earn her WoHeLo, become a CIT and then counselor for Tumalo Day Camp. And she didn't stop there! She served on our Board of Directors and now serves as Chair of Camp Fire's National Youth Advisory Cabinet where she has a unique opportunity to make sure youth voice continues to be heard at the highest levels of Camp Fire.

We chatted with McKenzie about her Camp Fire experience and here is what she had to say:

What is your spark?

"My spark is learning. I love finding out new things, whether through talking to people, reading interesting articles, or exploring new places."

What inspired you to stay with Camp Fire throughout the years?

"As much as Camp Fire’s programs resonated with me, the thing that kept me coming back was the people. Whether staff members, volunteers, or other participants, I looked forward to seeing people at Camp Fire events and programs."

What skills have you learned from participating in Camp Fire?

"It’s hard to think of a skill that I haven’t developed thanks to my experiences in Camp Fire, but the one that I think is the most important is self-confidence. I’ve done so many things—from leading a group at Tumalo Day Camp to serving as the Chair of Camp Fire’s National Youth Advisory Cabinet—that were initially intimidating. These have been opportunities for me to learn that if I’m willing to work hard and learn from my experiences, I am capable of more than I expect."

If you were talking to a friend about Camp Fire, how would you describe it?

"Camp Fire is an organization that will allow you to have fun while developing invaluable skills. These skills may be as specific as how to build an outdoor shelter and as broad as how to adopt a growth mindset. Either way, you will benefit for a lifetime from your experiences in Camp Fire."  

Why do you think it is important that all kids get the opportunity to participate in Camp Fire?

"Camp Fire helps kids be themselves by providing them opportunities to be happy, healthy, and empowered. With these qualities, kids can follow their passions, whatever they may be."

How does participating in Camp Fire make you feel?

"I feel really proud of what I have accomplished in Camp Fire, and I’m happy to be a member of a movement that I think is having a positive impact on the world."


Let's make a bigger impact! You can help give more kids just like McKenzie an awesome experience at Camp Fire. Donate today!