Camp Fire’s Values Deepen as We Grow

When Camp Fire began in 1910, its values were simply “work, health, love.” As we’ve grown and expanded—and as humans continue to better understand ourselves and how we can help each other thrive—our organizational values have deepened. As part of our efforts to refocus on Camp Fire’s why (growing up is hard!), and to wholeheartedly commit to our mission (we connect young people to the outdoors, to others, and to themselves), we also refreshed our values. 

Our values help guide us. They are anchor points along the way as we work toward a world where all young people thrive and have equitable opportunities for self-discovery, community connection and engagement with nature

Here’s how we live out our mission and vision:  

Camp Fire works to create safe and inclusive environments, so everyone feels welcome. This means committing to equity, diversity, and access (including breaking down structural barriers to accessing our programs), and addressing the impacts of racism, privilege, white supremacy, bias, and anything else that holds us all back from an equitable and just world. 

Learn more about inclusivity: 

Camp Fire learns from and respects our planet. Spending time in nature has proven health and mental health benefits, which is one of the many reasons why we get young people outdoors, no matter where they may be. Nature-based learning is a powerful tool for youth development, and nature can be experienced by anyone, anywhere (even bringing a leaf, or rock, or plant inside). We aren’t just consumers of nature – we conserve, protect and steward our natural resources. 

Learn more about getting outdoors: 

Camp Fire develops supportive cross-generational relationships. Supportive, trained adults are key to our work. We offer guidance and support during each young person’s dynamic journey to become who they want to be. Developmental relationships are the roots that give young people the chance to grow. 

Learn more about prioritizing relationships:

Camp Fire believes one of the best ways to honor the power of young people is to share power with them through meaningful participation and decision-making—in our programs and organizational direction. We respect, honor, seek, amplify, center, and prioritize youth voice; we empower youth; we entrust them with responsibility and authority; we encourage young people to find their spark and lift their voice. 

Learn more about empowering young people:

Camp Fire helps young people (and adults!) know themselves. Self-discovery is an adventure. We invest heavily in training and professional development for the adults who serve our youth, because all young people deserve to be supported by skilled, capable, knowledgeable, supportive adult mentors, and because like the youth we serve, we are on a learning journey as well. Staff, board, volunteers, youth—we are all a community that is growing towards thriving, together

Learn more about learning: 

Camp Fire encourages young people to advocate, organize, and work for change in their communities and beyond. This has been a core value since we were founded in 1910; As an organization and as individuals, we can make an impact now. 

Learn more about taking action: 

Camp Fire has continually adapted and evolved since 1910 to respond to what young people need to thrive. Each local council has the autonomy and flexibility to customize its programming to best support youth, families, and the local communities they serve; because they are the ones best positioned to listen, learn, adapt, and respond to those needs. 

Learn more about responsivity: 

We seek out the newest research, practice every-day innovation, and meticulously measure results—all to help young people thrive in a complex world. We know Camp Fire changes individual lives, families, and communities, so we work to show that data and tell those stories. 

Learn more about making an impact: 

April 4, 2022

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