Summer 2024: Camp Dreams Coming True!

Grant funding and community partnerships open doors to affordable STEM-focused outdoor programs and robotics adventures with Camp Fire Central Oregon.

Bend, Ore. May 13, 2024 – With summer camp season just around the corner, Camp Fire Central Oregon is working busily behind the scenes to make camp dreams come true, reaching more youth than ever in rural Central Oregon. 

Thanks to grant funding and community initiatives, inclusive nonprofit youth organization Camp Fire Central Oregon, along with various partners, will offer affordable camps for residents in the Madras area as well as for residents in the Three Rivers area. According to Sam Ward, Camp Fire Central Oregon’s program manager, these camps seek to amplify accessibility to more rural Central Oregon communities. 

“We are so excited to bring Camp Fire adventures to Central Oregon communities again this year! Having the opportunity to offer several free and low-cost camps to the Madras, Warm Springs, La Pine and Three Rivers areas this summer is something we’ve been looking forward to and planning since January, and that has been such a great experience!” 

Founded in 1916, Camp Fire Central Oregon provides a progression of youth programs for Grades PreK-12. The inclusive organization offers well-trained, compassionate staff who are invested in engaging groups in enriching activities that help youth find their ‘sparks’ — their passions!

“ExplORegon is a camp designed for the communities of Madras and Three Rivers, and it focuses on engaging youth in the outdoors through experiential learning," Ward says. "Through STEM-focused discussion strategies, team-building exercises, and the creation of an outdoor journal, youth will connect with each other, themselves and the outdoors. We’re thrilled to offer this program for a second year at the accessible price of $25 per registration! This is thanks, in part, to our valued partnership with the Central Oregon Health Council Opportunity Grant, which provides essential funding support."

ExplORegon in Madras takes place July 8-12, while the Three Rivers program takes place July 15-19. Signups and details can be found on Camp Fire Central Oregon’s website:

Youth in Madras operate a robot.Meanwhile, more weeklong camps, but with a rad “robotics” twist, are rolling out soon. Thanks to grant funding from the Computer Science Initiative, the camps are free to rising 3-6th graders.

Two Level 1 Robotics sessions, one in Madras (July 29-Aug. 2) and one in Warm Springs (Aug. 12-16), are available through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. These camps are free and intended for youth living in these areas.

Similarly, La Pine Elementary and Camp Fire Central Oregon will host free Level 1 (June 24-28) and Level 2 (July 8-12) Robotics camps, but with Camp Fire running registration for these programs, intended for La Pine, Sunriver and Three Rivers area youth, especially those who would not typically have the opportunity to experience this kind of camp.  Camp Fire works to recruit families through partners such as Family Access Network and Every Child Central Oregon. Questions about registration details can be accessed by contacting

“We are so grateful to work with incredible partners that support us and help make these programs affordable and accessible to Central Oregon families,” Ward says. “We are dedicated to centering safety, connection and fun opportunities for youth to find their sparks, plus investing in our staff team with a comprehensive six-day summer training, frequent professional development opportunities, and intentional community building. Additionally, Camp Fire Central Oregon offers a STEM Internship for college students who reside in Madras, La Pine or Warm Springs communities, with additional internship opportunities for the Bend/Redmond area. Our team is excited to create a great summer of free or low-cost camp for over 120 youth this year—we can’t wait!"


Sam Ward (she/her/hers), Program Manager | Camp Fire Central Oregon; (541) 382-4682


Katie Roberts (she/her/hers), 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.