What are your key message points?
What is Camp Fire?
How many participants does Camp Fire have?
Who can join?
What age groups are represented?
Why haven't I heard of Camp Fire?
How many Camp Fire Councils are there?
Why should children be involved with Camp Fire?
What communities are served by Camp Fire?
Why do your club members wear uniforms?
How does Camp Fire differ from the Scouting Programs?
How is Camp Fire different from Boys and Girls Clubs?
When did boys join and why is this a positive action?
How many boys are active in the organization?
Why did you change your name to Camp Fire?
Why did you get a new name and logo?
What is Camp Fire's highest youth achievement and honor?
Q: What are your key message points?
A: Camp Fire programs offer rich development opportunities for children and families. Camp Fire youth develop leadership skills while contributing to their families and communities. Children and families engage in all-inclusive, co-educational programs that build service and leadership skills and strengthen communities.
Q: What is Camp Fire?
Camp Fire is one of the nation’s leading youth development organizations. Founded in 1910, the organization serves both boys and girls in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Many of our over 650,000 members participate in traditional club or small group program activities while hundreds and thousands of others are served by our camping and in-school programs. Our mission: Camp Fire USA builds caring, confident youth and future leaders.
Q: How many participants does Camp Fire have?
A: Camp Fire First Texas serves over 12,000 particpants annually.
Camp Fire serves over 650,000 national participants annually.
Q: Who can join?
A: In Camp Fire, everyone is welcome, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, ability or other aspect of diversity. We are inclusive and open to every person in each community we serve. We work to realize the dignity and worth of each individual and to eliminate human barriers based on all assumptions which prejudge individuals. In addition, our program standards are designed and implemented to reduce sex-role, racial and cultural stereotypes and to foster positive intercultural relationships.
Q: What age groups are represented?
A: Camp Fire USA provides services for children and youth from age six weeks to 21. However, the majority of the boys and girls who participate in Camp Fire programs are between five and 18 years old.
Q: Why haven't I heard of Camp Fire?
A: Camp Fire isn’t in all 50 states yet, so not everyone has heard of us. However, we’ve launched a new national marketing effort and are concentrating on expansion all across the country so we can serve boys, girls and families in every community.
We offer many programs through schools, places of worship and community centers. Often the children and parents who benefit from Camp Fire programs are not even aware of who provides the service. However, because our councils are autonomous, we are more flexible to meet the unique needs of the different communities we serve across the United States.
Q: How many Camp Fire Councils are there?
A: There are currently 120 Camp Fire councils in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
Q: Why should children be involved with Camp Fire?
A: In Camp Fire, we encourage every child to discover his or her talents and abilities in a safe and secure environment. We think it’s important that kids satisfy their need to belong. Camp Fire allows youth to be part of a group that helps them make friends, interact with adult role models and become concerned citizens in their communities. This is taught through fun, co-educational activities, such as camps, small groups and child care, as well as programs such as A Gift of Giving, which teaches children the value of volunteering and service-learning.
Q: What communities are served by Camp Fire?
A: Camp Fire works with children in virtually all communities. You can usually find Camp Fire in community centers, places of worship, schools, apartment complexes and other community-based centers in the urban, suburban and rural areas where we have a presence. Camp Fire also provides positive programming for current and former gang members, teen parents and public-housing residents.
Q: Why do your club members wear uniforms?
A: A uniform creates a sense of belonging, and children love to feel that they are a part of something important. They know they belong. At the same time, it’s important for the public to recognize what a Camp Fire member looks like. A unified Camp Fire “look,” which is the same across the country, visually promotes the entire Camp Fire program to the public. When children clean their neighborhood park or sing songs to residents at a nursing home, it’s important for observers to see the official “look” of Camp Fire and members who are proud to be a part of Camp Fire.
Q: How does Camp Fire differ from the Scouting Programs?
- One important difference is that Camp Fire is co-educational—we serve both boys and girls in all programs. Parents who like to consolidate activities for their sons and daughters find Camp Fire valuable. On another level, Camp Fire’s relatively small size and autonomous council structure allow for more custom programs for the local communities. If increasing high school drop-out rates is a problem in one community and availability of school-age child care is a problem in another, then Camp Fire councils have the ability to concentrate on those problems, with assistance from the national system.
- With respect to Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire differs in that we are inclusive, welcoming youth and adults regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or other aspect of diversity.
- We also differ in the processes we use to develop children and youth. Camp Fire youth are encouraged to participate in group and individual projects, developing their social interaction skills, as well as their abilities to rely on themselves. We generally work with smaller numbers of children and youth, providing us opportunities to build special, supportive relationships with the girls and boys we serve.
- We work to involve the entire family in the development of each youth member. From take home family activities to the Community Family Club program, Camp Fire serves the entire family, whatever form the family takes today.
- Camp Fire considers other youth groups, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to be our allies, not our competitors. The competition is violence, gangs, drugs, HIV/AIDS, truancy and a host of other problems. Whether a child participates in our program or another, the bottom line is that he or she get involved somehow.
Q: How is Camp Fire different from Boys and Girls Clubs?
A: Camp Fire bolsters the self-image of children and youth through developmentally appropriate leadership and social skill-building programs. These programs build upon the individual’s leadership through age-specific activities. Camp Fire creates opportunities for children and youth to develop personal and group competency skills.
Boys and Girls Clubs are more activity-based. Often, programs center on sports, games, crafts and similar activities. While including such activities, Camp Fire USA programs are based more upon development of youth as individuals to become self-reliant, caring members of their families, their schools, their communities and their nation based on our mission to build caring, confident youth and future leaders. Camp Fire relies on co-educational curricula to reach the children and youth, therefore providing support and opportunities as they move from dependence to independence to interdependence.
Q: When did boys join and why is this a positive action?
A: Boys were invited to Camp Fire Girls Horizon Conferences in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but official membership was not offered to boys until 1975, when the organization became co-educational.
Camp Fire brings boys and girls together through one organization, where they learn to play together, work together and appreciate their similarities and differences in positive ways. They understand that people from either gender can be their teachers, coworkers, supervisors, confidantes, coaches and friends. For families, Camp Fire’s co-ed programs allow parents to consolidate schedules for both their daughters and their sons.
Q: How many boys are active in the organization?
A: Participation among boys has reached 46 percent in Camp Fire, or roughly 299,000.
Q: What is Camp Fire's highest youth achievement and honor?
A: The Wohelo Medallion is Camp Fire’s highest achievement and honor. The Medallion is named for Camp Fire’s watchword “Wohelo,” which stands for work, health and love. Recipients typically spend two years completing projects that foster leadership, teaching, service and advocacy. In 1996, the Wohelo Medallion was renamed the Wohelo Award. Each year, approximately 200 Camp Fire youth throughout the nation receive the prestigious Wohelo Award.