Camp Fire River Bend | Camp Tannadoonah

Inclusion at Camp Fire

We offer programs where every young person can be their whole self and connect with others and nature in a safe, affirming environment. We take pride in our long-standing commitment to inclusivity and diversity, no matter the ability, background, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, non-religion, citizenship and immigration status, or any other category people use to define themselves or others.

We were the first multiracial, multicultural, and nonsectarian organization for girls in America when we began in 1910. Today, we strive to continue in that spirit and welcome everyone to Camp Fire.

Camp Fire’s Statement of Inclusion: Camp Fire believes in the dignity and the intrinsic worth of every human being. We welcome, affirm, and support young people and adults of all abilities and disabilities, experiences, races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, religion and non-religion, citizenship and immigration status, and any other category people use to define themselves or others. We strive to create safe and inclusive environments that celebrate diversity and foster positive relationships.

What does inclusion look like at Camp?

At Camp Fire River Bend and Camp Tannadoonah, inclusion is one of our core values, and we strive to live that value every day. We believe that each young person should have the opportunity to engage in the outdoors freely and safely. To do that, it’s our responsibility to create a space where they can be their full, authentic selves and be accepted for who they are.

Creating a welcoming and affirming environment requires intentionality and continuous learning, and un-learning. We won’t always get it right, but we are committed to showing-up with courage, engaging in thoughtful discussions, and taking action to create equitable and welcoming outdoor experiences.

As we invest in our property and continue to expand programs, creating a welcoming and inclusive experience is a top priority.

Financial Access

We believe every young person should have access to the outdoors. Thanks to the support of generous community partners, camp families, and other supporters, we try to make our outdoor programs accessible to all families, even if camp poses a financial barrier. We are focused on the following:

  • Full and partial scholarships are available.
  • All staff receive diversity, equity, and inclusion training that addresses income differences, equipping staff with strategies to create welcoming environments for campers from all backgrounds.

Racial Equity

We recognize that outdoor spaces, including camps, are not always safe and welcoming places to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). You can read more about that history here. Here are some ways we’re working towards racial diversity, inclusion, and equity:

  • Staff receive diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings that address race and ethnicity during our 2-week staff training.
  • We aim to hire a diverse staff, both locally and internationally. We also know we have space to grow in this area and are working to make improvements to our hiring, outreach, and retention process.
  • We acknowledge that we have a history of cultural appropriation. We are working alongside the national Camp Fire office to acknowledge our history and begin repairing the harm caused to Indigenous communities. Find out more about this work here. 

Gender and Sexuality

We welcome and affirm LGBTQ+ campers and staff. While our program is focused on young people finding their spark in the outdoors, our staff are trained to navigate age-appropriate conversations and questions as they arise. Here are some of the practical ways we support LGBTQ+ campers:

  • Campers have the opportunity to share their pronouns in their introductions and during icebreakers. Pronouns are how we refer to each other when we don’t use a name – examples include: she/her, they/them, he/him, etc.
  • Many of our staff display their pronouns on their name tags, and we encourage others to respect those pronouns.
  • We house trans and non-binary campers and staff in accordance with their gender identity and preference.

Ability, Mental Health, and Neurodiversity

We aim to provide support and eliminate barriers that may impact a camper’s ability to fully participate. We do require that campers are able to consistently stay with their group, follow our behavior guidelines, and use the restroom, shower, and dress themselves without help from our staff. If you have questions about accommodations, please reach out to us at

Here are some things we do to support campers of varying abilities and neurotypes:

  • Our summer camp staff receive additional training in Youth Mental Health First Aid during our two-week staff training.
  • During the summer, we have a Mental, Emotional, and Social Health (MESH) consultant on call. This consultant is a licensed clinical psychologist who advises us on policy, and helps us address specific issues when they arise.
  • Our leadership team will reach out to families as needed to create support plans, as well as support any camper who encounters challenges during camp.
  • Our staff cannot offer all-day 1:1 support to campers. However, campers are welcome to come with a Personal Care Assistant. We will help that person feel at home at camp as a volunteer member of our staff.
  • Our Dining Hall porch offers sensory-safe seating during meals. Campers may also choose to wear noise-reducing head phones during loud activities or meals.
  • We offer campers the opportunity to take a break from their group and rest in a quiet environment, supervised by staff.

Dietary Restrictions and Medical Needs

Our health and kitchen staff aim to support each camper’s medical and dietary needs. Here are some things we offer:

  • We can accommodate meals for campers with the following dietary restrictions: vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, pork-free, and dairy/lactose-free. Please reach out prior to camp to discuss options.
  • If we cannot accommodate your camper’s specific dietary needs during overnight camp, we can accommodate campers who bring their own meals to camp. We can send families a meal schedule ahead of time so that they can send meals that are close to the planned menu, if desired.
  • Our health staff distribute medication to campers throughout their time at camp. All medications, including prescriptions, vitamins, supplements, or over the counter medications must be turned in to the Health Officer during check in. Campers may not keep their medications in the cabin, except for rescue inhalers or epi-pens. Our health office has a refrigerator specifically for refrigerated medications.
  • Camp staff are trained in administering emergency medication.

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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