Camp Fire Boys & Girls

Camp Fire is a leadership organization for youth. Originally for girls, it is 45% boys. It promotes diversity and social awareness.

Camp Fire Mission Statement: "Camp Fire Boys and Girls builds caring, confident youth and future leaders."

Luther Gulick and his wife, Charlotte, started Camp Fire in 1910 in Vermont. It was named Camp Fire because Camp Fires were the ancient centers of society, and the Camp Fire Girls was to be an organization which would provide social interactions and learning for girls. The Camp Fire Girls was a program in which girls would participate in various activities, that would make them better members of society. The activities encouraged exploration of the outdoors, in addition to enhancing creativity, and strengthening community and family ties and building leadership skills. Camp Fire tries to be inclusive and diverse in its membership.

The organization was incorporated in Washington DC as a national organization in 1912. In 1918, Kansas City, Missouri became the national headquarters for Camp Fire and remains so today. In 1975 boys were admitted for the first time and now make up about 45% of the 630,000 members.

Camp Fire Programs:

In 1913 the Blue Bird program was developed to allow younger girls to join. In 1989 the program's name was changed to Starflight, and boys and girls are participants. In 1962 the "Junior Hi" program was started for twelve and thirteen year old girls. When boys were admitted the name was changed to "Discovery". The Adventure program was started in 1983 for boys and girls in third through fifth grades. Horizon is for ninth through twelfth graders. Camp Fire has a number of day and residence camps.

Professional training programs were developed in 1992 when a grant for two and a half million dollars from the DeWitt Wallace-Readers Digest Fund supported the Champions For Children fund. In 1996, Extending Our Reach, a program to reach kids in low income areas was started with another million dollar grant from the DeWitt Wallace- Readers Digest Fund.

Wohelo is the highest achievement honor in Camp Fire. In order to win this, the member must perform an involved advocacy task of his or her own creation that involves leadership, teaching, service and speaking out.

Camp Fire is constantly evolving to fit into the world it participates in. It is a revered and honored program that helps kids grow into leaders.

News Release - August 23, 2001


(Kansas City, Mo.) Camp Fire Boys and Girls, one of the nation's leading youth development organizations, today officially launched its new name, "Camp Fire USA," its new identity and a nationwide public awareness campaign.

The new brand identity follows three years of extensive, nationwide research and analysis. The research, conducted by Camp Fire and Landor Associates, international brand consultants and designers, helped reveal the tremendous equities of the brand and opportunities for growth.

"Camp Fire USA's new brand identity describes the essence of our organization . . . innovative, progressive and all-inclusive," said Stewart J. Smith, Camp Fire USA National CEO. "The new identity celebrates Camp Fire USA as a national movement and an excitingly different youth development organization."

The new logo was adopted to contemporize Camp Fire USA. The logo's "fluid flame" reflects the flexibility of Camp Fire USA programs, which can be customized to meet local needs and interests. The flame represents fire as the center of community. It is open on all sides to represent Camp Fire USA's commitment to inclusiveness. The red and blue colors symbolize citizenship and character.

Included in the new identity is the organization's first-ever themeline, "Today's kids. Tomorrow's leaders.", which personifies that Camp Fire USA leverages existing strengths of kids by transforming those strengths into abilities for the future. It also defines a positive contribution to the lives of youth and their families and communities.

To coincide with the introduction of the new identity, Camp Fire USA will launch a nationwide image awareness campaign. The public service campaign will include television, radio, magazine, newspaper and outdoor PSAs to tell America what Camp Fire USA is about: teaching children responsibility, tolerance, caring and independence within a diverse world. The public service campaign is sincere, using children as spokespeople and featuring common Camp Fire activities in typical settings. The rebranding effort will also be complemented by new uniform apparel, the launch of a new national Web site and new product packaging for the organization's annual Candy Sale.

Camp Fire USA serves boys and girls in a whole-family environment, whatever the family's structure. Camp Fire focuses on the development of the whole person using outcome-based, skill-building programs. Camp Fire continually evaluates its programs and their outcomes for youth.

Camp Fire USA is inclusive, welcoming children, youth and adults regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or other aspect of diversity. Its coeducational programs are delivered in schools, in after school settings, in day and resident camps, in churches and in community centers.

Camp Fire Girls was founded in 1910 by Charlotte and Luther Gulick, M.D., as the first nonsectarian organization for girls in the United States. In 1975, membership was expanded to include boys. Today, more than 46 percent of Camp Fire participants are male. Forty two million Americans are Camp Fire alumni.

Camp Fire USA is one of the nation's leading not-for-profit youth development organizations, serving over 650,000 participants annually. Camp Fire, with national headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, since 1977, provides all-inclusive, coeducational programs in hundreds of communities across the United States. Camp Fire USA's mission is to build caring, confident youth and future leaders. By design, Camp Fire's programs, including small group experiences, after school programs, camping and environmental education, child care and service learning, build confidence in younger children and provide hands-on, youth-driven leadership experiences for older youth. For more information, visit

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