Founded in 1910, Camp Fire is a national inclusive youth development organization.
Our vision: A world where all young people thrive and have equitable opportunities for:
All young people find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are. See our research-based program framework that we call “The Camp Fire Journey”, founded on the pillars of Social Emotional Learning (SEL).
All young people find, build, and contribute to their community; they develop meaningful relationships with supportive adults and peers; they feel seen, heard, accepted, supported, and affirmed for who they are today, and who they will be in the future.
Engagement with Nature
All young people experience the power and awe of the outdoors; they learn to respect, love, and care for our world.
Camp Fire creates safe spaces where young people can have fun and be themselves.
We do this through a variety of powerful youth experiences and programs (i.e. camps, afterschool, in-school, and virtual), customized to meet the needs of youth, their families, and their local communities.
The common thread woven through all our programs is relationships.
This is how we support young people as they navigate the challenges of growing up in the world today and learn the life skills they need to thrive.
Camp Fire believes in the dignity and the intrinsic worth of every human being. We welcome, affirm, and support young people and adults of all abilities and disabilities, experiences, races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, religion and non-religion, citizenship and immigration status, and any other category people use to define themselves or others. We strive to create safe and inclusive environments that celebrate diversity and foster positive relationships.
"I saw some spark come back to my son, and I am a grateful mama."
My son had many difficulties in 3rd grade, and he was so defeated by the end of the school year. He wasn't excited about a new camp, but quickly changed his mind after the first day. He also won a Leadership Award, and for the kid that didn't win anything all school year, it was so very meaningful. I saw some spark come back to my son, and I am a grateful mama.
Camp Dakani parent, Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma, 2017
"I don’t get stuck because I can always come back to the growth mindset that I learned from Camp Fire..."
My time as a Camp Fire camp counselor is something I'm especially proud of. I learned to never give up, to always keep trying...what I learned from Camp Fire has helped me of live my life with forward momentum. I keep trying to learn new skill sets. I don’t get stuck because I can always come back to the growth mindset that I learned from Camp Fire, and from my elders.
Jakob D., College Senior; Camp Fire Alum, Former Counselor
"Camp Fire gave me the self-confidence to not limit myself and to be adventurous!"
I made life long friends through Camp Fire and so many memories were made. I was in contact with people from many different walks of life. I think that influenced me later when I moved from place to place in accepting different ways of life and opinions. When I moved to New York at age 15, I was able to be part of a Camp Fire group and it was a wonderful gift! I was with girls that had the same values and interests in a new community where I was an “outsider - but not for long; those were the girls that I remained friends with for many years. By earning beads in many different areas, I think it helped give me the self-confidence to not limit myself to just familiar things, and to be adventurous.
Teddi Wengert, Camp Fire Alum 1950-1959, Lake City, Florida
“Being a part of Teens on Fire has truly been life-changing for me..."
When I first started being a part of this organization, I was a shy girl. As the years passed, I felt more comfortable with myself; using my words, being more confident and constantly talking in front of people and making a difference in society everyday formed me into the person I always wanted to be. College is a struggle, especially if you don’t feel great about yourself, and having the leadership qualities I was provided with while partaking in Teens on Fire continues to make life a whole lot easier for me. I can’t be more thankful to be part of such an amazing organization with people who truly share the same values on making a difference in the world.
College student; "Teens on Fire" alum with Camp Fire New Jersey
"I got the tattoo to remind me to 'Light the fire within'..."
Before I came to Camp Sweyolakan (Camp Fire Inland Northwest), I didn't know what I wanted in life; but then I came here and saw what Camp Fire had to offer, its inclusion statement was something I really connected with because I don't see that a lot in many other places, and I realized that I really enjoyed working with kids. I changed my whole career path and now I'm a teacher, and am now doing something that makes me happy which helps youth develop into leaders, it's something I"m really passionate about! I got the tattoo to remind me to "Light the fire within"...I need to find what makes me happy in life, so when I pursue what I"m passionate about, I help others do the same!
Jessica Mather, Counselor-in-Training (CIT) at Camp Sweyolakan, Teacher, Student
"Caring adults in Camp Fire mentored me, believed in me, and encouraged me..."
As a young girl, I was shy - you might have called me a wallflower. Starting in first grade, I became a Camp Fire Blue Bird in Puyallup, WA, through the Camp Fire Orca council. After that, Camp Fire became huge part of my life and taught me the life skills and leadership skills that have opened up so many opportunities in my life and career. Caring adults in Camp Fire mentored me for more than a decade; they believed in me, encouraged me, and helped me blossom into a confident "wild flower" and leader. I am so grateful to Camp Fire for its transformative role in my life.
Debbie Espinosa, Branch Executive, Downtown Oakland YMCA, Camp Fire Alum
"Camp Fire lit a spark of curiosity, caring and commitment to the service of others that has continued to this day..."
I have fond memories of spending hours with my family building a kite for a Bluebird kite-flying contest, and the thrill of accomplishment when my giant box kite won for ‘highest flying kite.’ We loved the camaraderie of Camp Fire and the warmth and support of our peers and adult leaders. We were encouraged to identify and help plan events and activities to open our hearts and minds. Camp Fire lit a spark of curiosity, caring and commitment to the service of others that has continued to this day. Thank you, Camp Fire!
Melanie Herman, Executive Director, Nonprofit Risk Management Center; National Board of Trustees Member; Camp Fire Alum
"Camp Fire brings to life WoHeLo - working together to live a strong healthy life that we love!"
Camp Fire instilled in me special connection and bond to nature as well as other people! It brings to life WoHeLo - working together to live a strong healthy life that we love! I have lasting memories from being a Camp Fire member for 10 years and getting my Wohelo Award in 2005, and I want to continue this journey with my future family and as an alumni!
Tiffanee C., Camp Fire Alum
"Camp Fire accepted my daughters; they took part in the same activities as everybody else..."
I had four children, two sons, Bill and John, and twin daughters, Mary Lee and Jane. My daughters are blind and, from the start, I instilled in them a strength of purpose. When the twins were about eleven, the Camp Fire Girls accepted them as regular members. They joined with the understanding that they would be expected to take part in the same activities as everybody else. On overnight hikes, they would joke with their fellow campers, 'What do you mean you're afraid of the dark? There's nothing to it!'
Dr. Hester Turner, Camp Fire Alum, Former National Headquarters Executive Director 1966-1979
A purpose in life, less depression and anxiety, better social skills, higher school attendance…all of these benefits (and more!) when kids/teens have opportunity to nurture their Spark with adult support! See all the awesome benefits when you share your email! Enjoy:
Young people want to shape the world.
Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.