Camp Fire River Bend | Camp Tannadoonah

Why Choose Camp Fire?

What is Camp Fire?

why camp fire Camp Fire was founded in 1910 by Dr. Luther Gulick and his wife Charlotte Gulick, as the first nonsectarian, multicultural organization for girls in America. Camp Fire was originally developed as a counterpart to Boy Scouts. In 1975, Camp Fire opened its doors to boys, and today Camp Fire is open to ALL youth of any race, creed, religion, gender, national origin, economic status, and sexual orientation.

Camp Fire has a rich history of working with youth, and we have not strayed from the ideals set forth by our founders. We continue to believe that every youth should be given the opportunities and tools to discover who they are, become a strong leader, and contribute to their community. We know that this happens in myriad ways depending on the child. Some learn through school year programming, while other learn through hands-on strategic planning and implementation, and still others learn through their relationship with their environment. No matter how youth learn to raise their voice and shape their world, Camp Fire is there.

Our PromiseOur local council, Camp Fire River Bend, was founded in 1920. We offer three programs locally: summer camp at Camp Tannadoonah, a Traditional Club program, and a new Camp Fire After School program. Our vision for all of our programs is to provide fun and positive environments, and foster a sense of belonging. Our positive role models and programs encourage family involvement, service to others, and promote the development of social skills for building strong youth leaders.

How Does Camp Fire Help Youth Thrive?

Every Camp Fire program employs our proven methodology for helping youth thrive. We call it Thrive{ology}. It’s a proven methodology to help youth find their sparks and discover who they are.  This approach encourages youth to build positive, sustained relationships and learn life skills that include self-reflection and goal management, while practicing these skills in valued home, school, and community activities. Our trained, caring, adult leaders then nurture that discovery, giving youth the tools they need to become leaders in their communities, schools, or peer groups today. LEARN MORE

Tannadoonah Parents' Podcast

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Everyone is Welcome at Camp

We are inclusive. And that’s not just talk. We live that philosophy by welcoming youth regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or any other identification of diversity. Camp Fire is committed to coeducation, and providing opportunities for youth and their families to grow, together. In Camp Fire, everyone is welcome.

Young people want to change the world. Let’s show them how to begin!


Our Partners

We are proud to partner with a select group of distinguished organizations that share our values and purpose – to encourage all youth to discover their unique interests, develop their self-confidence, and prepare them to be leaders now. The organizations below represent a commitment to our youth and ensuring they find their unique talents and abilities to become their best selves.


United Way United WayCommunity Foundation of St Joseph County


Mishawaka Res Kohl's Cares


Our Promise

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