Staff Spotlight: Wesley Heredia
Meet Wes! Wes joined our team summer of 2020 as a SummerKids counselor and stayed on to help establish and run Jugamos Afuera, our new partner program with Vámanos Outside that connects Latinx youth with nature.
As an experienced outdoor educator, Wes brings a passion for nature to our team. Having interned previously with Camp Fire Columbia in Portland, Wes' connection to the Camp Fire mission helps us uphold and deliver our promise to all youth.
Check out our recent interview with Wes here:
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
That is a hard question to answer. I was born in Los Angeles but moved to the Willamette Valley when I was 12. Before moving to Bend, I was living in Colorado. I tell people I am an Oregonian though.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
I am down-to-earth and laid back with a unique sense of humor. Although, I do have intense moments when snowboarding or climbing. I dislike attention, which is ironic as I answer these questions. Other people have described me as passionate, curious, and (my favorite) mysterious.
WHAT LED YOU TO WORKING WITH CAMP FIRE?
Most summers I work in California as an outdoor educator but the pandemic last year forced me to stick around Bend. I had worked for Camp Fire Columbia in Portland while in college, so I knew a bit about Camp Fire C.O.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PART OF CAMP FIRE AND IN WHAT WAYS?
I first worked for Camp Fire Columbia in Portland as an intern while going to school. I helped with special projects like writing up biographies about successful people of color to share with students. Then last summer, I came on to work as a SummerKids Counselor here in Central Oregon. Later, I was made aware of a new program working with kids from the Latinx community, so I hopped on that.
WHY DO YOU LIKE WORKING WITH CAMP FIRE? HOW DOES IT IMPACT YOU? OR FEED YOU?
I love the values that Camp Fire is built on and their commitment to youth. Camp Fire has many resources and is able to support people as they develop professionally. Camp Fire Central Oregon specifically has amazing people in leadership who are dedicated to the youth in this area. That makes me it much easier for me jump onto that mission.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF "CAMP”?
The campfire of course!
WHAT ARE YOUR “SPARKS”?
Winter is a huge spark, I feel more alive in the winter.
WERE YOU INSPIRED BY AN ADULT MENTOR? HOW?
My friend Jim from who works with me at Mt. Bachelor, has continually inspired me to remain as youthful as possible as we get older. He is in his fifties but still climbs, snowboards, and has sweet hacky sack skills.