Camp Fire: Light the Fire Within

camp el tesoroThis year marks the the centennial celebration of Camp Fire First Texas, a local nonprofit that has served the DFW area for 100 years by providing programs for boys and girls including everything from camping to school readiness. It began as an organization for young women (Camp Fire Girls) offering them an outlet for exploration of ideas and creative play built around family and community life. Through the years, Camp Fire has expanded its reach to boys and girls and families.

Its mission, “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. Light the fire within. “

Dad&Me2007 506webI was first introduced to Camp Fire by my husband, when he was asked to serve on the board. My first understanding was that it was a non-profit organization that ran a camping facility just West of Fort Worth in Granbury. I thought, “How great. A place for kids and families to experience the outdoors.” How naive I was. This is just a small part of what Camp Fire offers. As I have been able to learn more about all the opportunities Camp Fire offers, I have been so moved by the stories of the campers, the experiences of the staff, and the passion of those that support it.

One of the camps offered at its facility, El Tesoro, is the El Tesoro de la Vida Camp.  This is a camp specifically designed for children ages 6-17 who are dealing with loss. As adults, loss of a loved one can be overwhelming and finding the skills to cope with it can be difficult, but a child’s understanding and ability to cope is even more challenging. I think the most thoughtful thing about this camp is that it is still 90% camping fun and only 10% activities structured to help with the grieving process (they of course have certified counselors).  One of the most common and resonating things I have heard from campers of El Tesoro de la Vida and what they walk away with most is “I am not alone.” Simply having the chance to be with other youth (even having fun with them), who have experienced similar tragedy, is healing. Camp Fire’s El Tesoro offers many other camps (including family camps) that I encourage you to check out. Camp El Tesoro is a magical place. We took our little ones out there for the first time last year and just from the get go of crossing the fun long suspension bridge their eyes widened. They got SO excited at the nature and wonder around them!

child drawingCamp Fire also share its love of the outdoors by teaming up with local schools to create programs that enhance the learning experience the children are receiving inside the classroom. Education is of an utmost importance to Camp Fire and a reason for many of its other programs. The Child Development Center, accepts children ages 6 weeks to Pre-K, and the After School Program is offered at a multitude of campuses in Fort Worth ISD, Aledo ISD, and private schools.

The care of youth does not stop at a young age. Step Up is a program for at-risk high school students to keep them engaged in their studies through small groups, field trips, home visits, and mentoring. Of the students that have participated in Step Up for the four years of high school, 100 percent have graduated. What a success rate!

Daffodil Small ImageTHIS WEEKEND, Camp Fire is encouraging you to come Dig in the Dirt and Plant Daffodils!
{Details courtesy of Alex Tomlinson of Global Prairie}

Although fall has officially arrived, it’s not too late to do some planting with the kids! On November 1 and 2, Camp Fire First Texas will partner with Streams and Valleys and host Project Daffodil, a family-friendly community event calling for volunteers to plant 25,000 daffodil bulbs on the banks of the Trinity River! If you’re looking for a great way to spend a fall Saturday or Sunday outdoors with the kids, look no further!

Volunteers will plant bulbs from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, between the 7th Street bridge and the Pier 1 building at 100 Pier 1 Place.

The event is totally free and is a great way to get your kids involved in the community – not to mention they’ll love digging in the dirt with Mom and Dad! Once planted, the daffodils will re-bloom annually for up to 70 years, so your family will be able to see the effect the project had on the community for years to come. Just imagine what the banks of the Trinity River will look like when the daffodils bloom in the spring! Online registration is encouraged through the link provided HERE.

Has your family had the chance to experience Camp Fire? Please tell us about your experience!

Emily S
Emily S is one of the original founders of FWMB. She started the blog in the Spring of 2013 with fellow mom, Carly, and then took on sole ownership in 2014. With the arrival of her third in 2015, she decided to take a step back and pass on the torch to Emily Y. She is thrilled to still remain involved with Fort Worth Moms Blog as she is passionate about being a mom, and her community. She has a strong passion for giving back to the Fort Worth community and has been active in the Fort Worth Junior League since 2007. She is always amazed at what great things can be accomplished when people come together, especially a group of women. (Photo courtesy of: Beyond the Blue Studios).

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