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.
We believe in the intrinsic value, dignity, and worth of every person. That is what drives us in our work as a youth-serving organization, and that is the lens from which we make all of our decisions.
The past few years we have been discussing Camp Fire’s history and use of native culture with the lens of cultural appropriation and talking more about diversity, equity and inclusion. But like many, this year was a catalyst to get our priorities in order.
Baldridge said we are amidst multiple pandemics: not just coronavirus, but also systemic racial and economic injustice, and state violence. And although it felt new to many of us after George Floyd’s murder, waking up in horror for the first time, anti-black racism was and is not new, family separation was/is not new, economic injustice was/is not new. And the global health pandemic has disproportionately impacted our Black, Native American, and Latine communities. And we can’t separate these realities from our work and the world in which we operate. Our young people are in it.
Camp Fire youth have spoken up and made it clear that they want us to acknowledge and address these realities, these multiple pandemics. Young people are asking us for brave leadership.
We spent 2020 reflecting, listening, learning, and moving into action. Read the letter below to see the actions we have taken in the past year and how we are continuing to be in the work as we enter 2021.
In 2019, we began efforts to create greater access to 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 work is made possible through a three-year grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies. As part of the grant, Camp Fire National Headquarters hired Ben Matthews as our program consultant for diversity and inclusion.
You can also meet Ben and learn more about the CAMPER grant by watching this recording of our June 24, 2020 Fireside Chat.
If you have exchanged emails with Camp Fire National Headquarters staff, you may have noticed that we have our personal pronouns in our email signatures. If you are not sure why they are there, or the importance of pronouns, check out this page to learn more!
Like you, we’ve watched the attacks on the Capitol unfold in shock. We watched as our Senators and Representatives hid in terror as armed rioters breached the House and Senate floors. We saw confederate flags, anti-Semitic language, and other deeply…
Artist: Nikkolas Smith Our hearts and minds are heavy with grief and anger from the multiple incidents of brutality and racism we have witnessed over the past several weeks. We must stand with our Black youth, families, and staff in sadness, compassion, and anger for the…
We know you agree: young people are amazing. We believe they shape the world (no matter their age) and it’s our job to be with them on a journey to self-discovery and lift their voice. How do we do that?…
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.