We are proud to share Camp Fire’s 2020-2021 People & Impact Report!
This is one of our eight organizational core values. The purpose of our annual People & Impact report is to show you what that means in action.
Though we’ve remained in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 school year was a year of re-connecting. It was exciting to welcome back young people in person at our programs.
Since COVID started, our focus has been safety. Our goal was to ensure we were prepared to meet the needs of our young people during this unique and challenging time and best support their health and well-being in every way. This meant investing in physical, mental, social, and emotional health, safety, and well-being through partnerships, funding, camp updates, and training as an organization.
When it came to physical health, we renovated bathrooms, paved walkways, and made other camp updates. When it came to child safety and abuse prevention, we continued to refine our national and local policies and procedures, working closely with youth protection experts at Praesidium, the national leader in abuse risk management. This continues to be a huge priority so we can meet the highest standards or have a clear path to get there.
And when it came to mental and emotional health, the toll and isolation of COVID-19 was immense; the U.S. Surgeon General just declared children’s mental health a national crisis, releasing a Youth Mental Health Advisory. To make sure we were ready for young people, we formed a new partnership with On Our Sleeves to offer mental health resources to our network. We also continued to expand education around the power of developmental relationships from The Search Institute. We focused program efforts around creating a safe space, the foundation for youth engagement and interaction, and measured for quality using Weikart Center’s Program Quality Assessment tool.
As we worked through our strategic plan that kicked off in early 2021, we also focused on equity. We addressed equity in both our professional development and in our programming, and we also worked on connecting social-emotional learning (SEL) to equity and explaining to our network why it matters for young people.
Lastly, we know that when a young person gets outside, magic happens. No matter how young people experience the outdoors — as something awesome and powerful to behold or something that catalyzes relationships with self or others, it is a place that everyone can access. It is a tool for positive youth development, and you can find the results and impact in these pages.
We all need connection. Despite COVID-19 and its barriers, Camp Fire was able to connect 68,546 youth and their families to the outdoors, to others, and to themselves, over the past year. We hope you enjoy this report and see the life-giving connections that make this work so important.