Camp Fire Expands Efforts to Support Underserved Youth


December 10, 2018

Kansas City, Mo. – National youth development organization Camp Fire has announced plans to expand overnight/resident camp among three cohorts of underserved youth: 1) young people from economically underserved backgrounds, 2) young people who identify as LGBTQ+, and 3) young people with disabilities.

This new initiative, titled CAMPER: Camp Accessibility, Meaningful Participation, and Equal Representation, will launch in May 2019. The initiative will be rolled out to targeted Camp Fire councils and 10 of their summer camps in Minnesota, Iowa, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington state.

Camp Fire Alaska

Through CAMPER, Camp Fire will design practices that overcome barriers to inclusion, increase overnight camping accessibility for underserved young people, and create opportunities that ensure meaningful participation for all youth.

“We have a deep commitment to reach these underserved youth, many of whom have never experienced overnight camp with their peers,” said Cathy Tisdale, Camp Fire National Headquarters president and CEO. “Camp Fire is committed to the principle that all youth deserve access to the benefits of quality overnight camp programs, regardless of any aspect of diversity. We’re excited to see how we can integrate what we learn from this work into our future programming to benefit these three target populations nationwide who aren’t typically getting the attention they deserve.”

The CAMPER initiative is made possible through a three-year grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

About Camp Fire

Camp Fire has been an innovative leader in youth development since 1910. Its proven programs give kids the life skills they need now so they can succeed and thrive. Last year, Camp Fire’s 53 councils served more than 184,000 youth and families across 1,341 program sites, in 25 states and in D.C. All Camp Fire programs are based on cutting-edge research and founded on the pillars of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), delivered through Out-of-School-Time (OST) programs, environmental education and camp, and teen service and leadership development. Because youth shape the world, Camp Fire’s focus is on giving youth and teens the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.


For more information, please contact:

Erin Risner, Director of Marketing & Communications, Camp Fire National Headquarters



December 10, 2018

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