Camp Fire has actively engaged youth and teens in building essential skills for life for more than 100 years. We're proud of our heritage of cultivating community building, supporting academic readiness, and embracing diversity.
Camp Fire was founded in 1910 by Luther Gulick, M.D., and his wife, Charlotte Gulick. They created Camp Fire to guide young people on their journey to self-discovery. The Gulicks felt strongly that young people should have experiences so they could learn to care for themselves, their environment, and the people around them.
Camp Fire has been a leader and innovator from the very beginning. We're proud to have led the way on some important issues. For example:
- Camp Fire was America's first nonsectarian and multicultural organization for girls.
- In 1975, Camp Fire became a coeducational organization. Bringing boys and girls together, they learn to play and work alongside each other and appreciate their similarities and differences in positive ways. Today, our programs serve roughly equal numbers of boys and girls who learn together and work together.
- In 1988, Camp Fire formalized its long-standing focus on teen service and leadership. Teens in Action was created to seize the energy and ideas of teens to tackle real issues in their communities. Today, over 100,000 teens participate annually in community service projects that develop their skills and make real differences in their communities.
- In 1997, Camp Fire introduced Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®—a national initiative that has touched millions of youth. Each year, adults write letters to youth, celebrating each child's unique talents and pledging their encouragement and support. Absolutely Incredible Kid Day takes place annually on the third Thursday of March.
- In 2010, Camp Fire celebrated its 100th birthday. Camp Fire participants across the country lit a campfire at the same time to honor the legacy of our organization. Camp Fire continues to celebrate its birthday on March 17th every year.
- In 2012, Camp Fire became the first national youth development organization in the United States to implement the methodology for thriving developed by the Thrive Foundation for Youth (www.thrivefoundation.org). Currently, Camp Fire is working to implement the Thrive methodology across the entire program!
- In July of 2012, Camp Fire rebranded. The traditional Camp Fire flame became a more contemporary logo, and the official tagline became "Light the fire within"
If you'd like to learn more, visit our Wikipedia page.