Tracking Camp Fire’s Impact
Impact. From the Latin impingere, meaning “driven in.” To come into contact with, to influence or have a strong effect on. Synonyms: Impression, mark, imprint, repercussion, result.
What does it mean to truly have an impact? At Camp Fire we take that question seriously. We want to know that we’re spending our time, energy and money on activities that make a real difference in young people’s lives.
Since 2015, Camp Fire National has been tracking trend and impact data (with the help of Hatchuel Tabernick & Associates) that measures whether Camp Fire kids are thriving. That’s our how purpose for being, right? Helping young people find their spark, lift their voice and discover who they are!
We want to make sure we’re fulfilling our promise. So we ask a LOT of questions and comb through the answers for…more answers. Here’s what our latest research tells us about Camp Fire's impact nationwide:
- Camp Fire is growing. Over the past three years, we’ve increased the number of people we serve by 22 percent. At last full count (September 2018), we are reaching 187,117 youth and families! We have 12 percent more program sites (currently 1,271) and 13 percent more volunteers.
- Camp Fire is inclusive. Our demographics closely mirror the ethnicity demographics of the United States. Fifty-seven percent of the young people we serve identify as female, 42 percent identify as male, and 1 percent identify as non-binary or transgender. Twelve percent of Camp Fire-ers have disabilities while 7 percent were English Language Learners. Read more about Camp Fire’s long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity, and our current work to reach more LGBTQ+ youth, youth with disabilities, and economically underserved youth.
- Camp Fire is collaborative. Our councils work with 766 different partner organizations. Current significant partnerships include work with the NewYork Life Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, The Hearst Foundations, Search Institute and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Read about our recent collaboration with The Hearst Foundations to expand our youth-led initiatives.
- Camp Fire delivers quality programming. We partner with the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality to test how well our programs are working. In 121 assessments, our programs earned high scores for providing safe, supportive and interactive environments. Go deeper on how Camp fire measures program quality.
- Camp Fire works. We know it from the numbers, not just the stories you share with us. Using Social Emotional Learning indicators of thriving, we measured the impact Camp Fire programs had on young people (6th to 12th grade) over the spring and summer of 2018. Youth showed growth in all areas, including conflict resolution, life skills, confidence, empathy, purpose and inclusiveness. Camp Fire participants are learning real-life skills that not only help them be their best selves now, but also set them up for success in all areas of life later on.