Staff Spotlight: Alyssa Thomas
This winter, our staff spotlight shines on Alyssa Thomas. Alyssa joined the Camp Fire Central Oregon team as part of our SummerKids staff in 2019 and has since gone year-round with us as a Program Lead for Camp Fire Afterschool, No School Day Camps, and SummerKids.
Alyssa brings years of Camp Fire experience to our team (she previously worked at Camp Fire Seattle), as well as a degree in Early Childhood Education and contagiously positive energy! You're sure to see Alyssa channeling that energy around our youth and helping them to try new things, grow, learn, and thrive.
Check out our recent interview with her here:
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I am from Forney, Texas, which is a small-ish town outside of Dallas. I moved to Bend in 2015 and have been living here ever since.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
I would describe myself as a joyful, loving, and passionate person!
WHAT LED YOU TO WORKING WITH CAMP FIRE?
In 2015 when I moved to Bend, I started school for Early Childhood Education. The summer after my first year in college, I was looking for an enriching job in the field of childcare/education. That's when a friend pointed me to Camp Sealth, a Camp Fire camp in Washington state. I fell in love with the message of Camp Fire and the community that came with it.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PART OF CAMP FIRE AND IN WHAT WAYS?
I have been involved with Camp Fire on and off for around four years, in a couple different locations and positions. I spent two full summers in Washington working for Camp Sealth, as well as working a fall season of Outdoor Education there. I have also done some volunteering for Camp Fire Seattle and Puget Sound. This past summer, I joined the Camp Fire Central Oregon team through our SummerKids program and fell in love with my local Camp Fire. After the summer, I came aboard the leadership team, helping create and run our new Afterschool program, helping out with our No School Day Camps, running a competitive Lego Robotics team, and gearing up for SummerKids 2020.
WHY DO YOU LIKE WORKING WITH CAMP FIRE? HOW DOES IT IMPACT YOU? OR FEED YOU?
I love working for Camp Fire for so many reasons! I love making a direct impact in my community, forming real connections with community members, supporting youth in their growth and goals, and having the freedom to push myself to create engaging and enriching programs. I couldn't imagine having a more fulfilling position than working for Camp Fire!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF "CAMP”?
My favorite part of camp is without a doubt getting to see growth in children from when I first meet them to them later in their journey with Camp Fire. A close second though, is the community that we are able to create and hold through generations...that is so meaningful to me.
WHAT ARE YOUR “SPARKS”?
I have a lot of sparks, but a few of them are working with youth, leadership, science, writing, and camping!
WERE YOU INSPIRED BY AN ADULT MENTOR? HOW?
One adult champion I had in my Camp Fire journey was my supervisor at Camp Sealth. He was really bold and engaging and really helped me come out of my comfort zone for the benefit of the kids. He also helped to show me what an involved, supportive, and engaged leader looks like. I believe I have learned a lot through his example and model that for the kids still today.
ANY PARTING WORDS?
I love Camp Fire more than I can say and hope to continue to be involved with this community as long as possible!