Camp Fire Receives $1.25 Million from the New York Life Foundation to Help Students Thrive

Camp Fire Receives $1.25 Million from the New York Life Foundation to Help Middle School Students Across the Country to Thrive

Kansas City, Mo. – Camp Fire National Headquarters has received a generous $1,250,000 grant spread over three years from the New York Life Foundation that will help Camp Fire expand program opportunities to more than 31,000 middle school youth in nearly 60 councils nationwide. The grant will also help expand nationwide education of Camp Fire’s trained staff, who will ensure consistent, high-quality program delivery for years to come while improving measurement of program quality.

New York Life Foundation’s investment will help Camp Fire councils around the country expand middle school programming and improve data collection to better track youth success in Camp Fire programs. Additionally, local New York Life employees will volunteer to support a variety of Camp Fire’s high-priority initiatives and programs.

The improvement and expansion will provide Camp Fire’s committed staff with an even deeper understanding of Camp Fire’s program methodology, called Thrive{ology} – the science and practice of helping youth thrive socially and academically. Thrive{ology} is a research and evidence-based, measurable approach to youth development that positively impacts social and emotional learning. Camp Fire’s approach helps youth throughout the United States learn lifelong skills that improve leadership, build character, and develop goal management skills—all of which help youth immediately as well as in the future. Youth are able to learn and practice these skills while enjoying programming in Camp Fire’s Out-Of-School-Time, Camp and Environmental Education, and Teen Service and Leadership offerings.

Camp Fire’s Thrive{ology} framework incorporates key concepts for social and emotional learning into each program and has been shown through evidence-based evaluation to achieve positive results with students. Notably, 91% of council staff agreed it was clear how confidence, persistence, goal management, and mindset all contribute to youth thriving. Youth statistics show positive results with 82% of youth reporting that at Camp Fire, they learn they do not have to be “born with” talent in order to become good at something and 83% of youth feel that if they do not achieve their goal on the first try, Camp Fire has taught them not to give up.

“Over the last several years there has been more and more research that shows that personal characteristics such as persistence and confidence highly influence a child’s ability to learn and succeed academically,” says Marlyn Torres, Senior Program Officer, New York Life Foundation. “Camp Fire’s Thrive{ology} approach is unique because it has a singular focus on building social and emotional skills while participants have a caring adult (a trained Camp Fire staff member) guiding them through the program.”

“Camp Fire is honored to have the foundation continue to place such trust in Camp Fire’s Promise to youth,” says Cathy Tisdale, President and CEO of Camp Fire. “Our Promise says, ‘Young people want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, Lift their voice, and discover who they are. In Camp Fire, it begins now.’ We live our Promise to youth daily, and our results show the difference Camp Fire makes in the lives of youth everywhere as a result. The resources provided by the New York Life Foundation will strengthen Camp Fire’s capacity to fully realize our vision for the youth and families we serve.”

About Camp Fire
Camp Fire is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit youth development organizations, serving youth, teens, and families in communities across the United States. Camp Fire programs are research-based, delivered where youth and families are via out-of-school time, environmental and camp, and teen service and leadership programs. Because youth want to shape the world, Camp Fire’s focus is giving youth and teens the opportunity to find their sparks, lift their voice, and discover who they are. Camp Fire’s proven programs develop young peoples’ skills now so they can reach their full potential. For more information about Camp Fire, visit

About the New York Life Foundation
Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided $216 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program. To learn more, please visit


February 10, 2016

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