Camps prep for campers’ mental health needs

Camp is back: Throughout the country, 33 Camp Fire councils will be hosting day camps and summer activities this year. Twenty-six councils are welcoming kids back to resident (sleep-away) camps, too—a big change from 2020, when the pandemic kept all but three resident camps programs from operating.  This is very good news. Because kids need […]

Mental health is a key part of thriving

This February, we’re going to be focusing on youth mental health awareness. At Camp Fire, we help kids learn the tools they need to thrive: how to identify their sparks, develop a growth mindset, manage their goals and take time to reflect. Unfortunately, many young people are learning these life lessons in the context of […]

The Power of Praise

Our partners at On Our Sleeves are experts on youth mental health, so we asked them what advice they have for adults who want to encourage young people for Absolutely Incredible Kid Day® on March 21st. Whitney Raglin Bignall, PhD, Associate Clinical Director, The On Our Sleeves Movement For Children’s Mental Health and Pediatric Psychologist, […]

#KidDay: An invitation to connection

Every third Thursday in March, Camp Fire celebrates Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®, a holiday dedicated to encouraging the amazing young people in our lives. Since we founded it in 1997*, millions of people have marked #KidDay with messages to their favorite younger folks, telling them why they matter.   It’s our annual invitation to intentional connection. […]

Supporting young people through the holidays: 20 ways to help this season

The holidays: when both cheer and stress levels reach epic highs. Many young people are already struggling with mental health issues, and the season creates extra challenges. Gatherings can highlight family tensions, sleep and routines get disrupted, and normal sources of support (like school counselors and Camp Fire programming) aren’t as available.  Child development experts […]

Part 2: Green School Yards, Joy, Equity & Access 

This post is authored by Catherine Hubbard, Manager, Outdoor and Nature Programming | Camp Fire National Headquarters. Note: If you didn’t catch Part 1: What is a Green School Yard, be sure to check it out. We know that recess is meant to provide a physical and mental break in the day. However, when outdoor […]

National Art Experience

An Exploration of water All living beings need water. As humans, we cannot thrive when water is contaminated or is in hazardously low supply. Access to clean and healthy water is currently at the forefront of national and international conversations on health, equity, and environmental conservation. For many people, water is recreational. People enjoy swimming, […]

Part 1: What in the World is a “Green Schoolyard”? 

This post is authored by Catherine Hubbard, Manager, Outdoor and Nature Programming | Camp Fire National Headquarters. Green schoolyards go by many names: Living School Yards, Forest Classrooms, Outdoor Learning Labs…But regardless of what we choose to call them, green schoolyards are part of a growing, national push to transform concrete-covered playgrounds into living, growing […]

Camp Fire’s approach to trauma: What it means to be trauma-informed

You’ve heard us say it many times: Growing up is hard. That’s the why behind everything we do. But when we say hard…just how hard are we talking?   Right now, really hard. Like, clinically hard. We’re in a youth mental health crisis, and one of the underlying causes is trauma.    What is trauma?   […]

Jack Dorsey’s #startsmall Invests $1 Million into Inclusive Youth Development Organization Camp Fire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (JULY 20, 2023)– Jack Dorsey, Block Head, Chairman, and co-founder of Block, Inc., donates $1 million of unrestricted funding through his philanthropic initiative #startsmall to support inclusive national youth development nonprofit Camp Fire and its long-standing mission: connecting young people to the outdoors, to others, and to themselves.  #startsmall specifically focuses on […]