Our Mission, Our Passion

Camp Fire Alaska’s heartbeat is our mission statement: “Every child will have the opportunity to discover the best in themselves and others in a fun, safe learning environment.” Our Statement of Inclusion further details that we mean every child — of every race, background, sexual orientation, gender-identity, cultural origin. Every child.

Embracing Diversity

Fulfilling this mission means embracing diversity, welcoming differences, and recognizing our similarities, strengths, and weaknesses. This dedication to inclusivity began decades ago, in 1975 when Camp Fire opened its services to youth of all genders. Since then, our drive for inclusivity has grown more resolute, evolving into the safe, empowering space it is today.

Inclusivity begins with recognition. While we are all human, our experiences, lives, and upbringings are unique. People are an amalgam of circumstances, experiences, and traits. Because of this, we are individualistic by nature. We often find commonality in our cultures, the color of our skin, our preferences, but it is our differences that make us unique. Inclusivity begins with that recognition: that our differences are what makes us who we are; and that diversity strengthens our interpersonal connections and empathy.

Identifying Community Needs

In 1975, Camp Fire Alaska began its School Age Program to support working families with childcare needs. Later, in 1978, we would expand our services to offer Camp Fire Alaska’s Community Centers Program, providing safe, nurturing after-school alternatives to economically challenged neighborhoods — at no cost to families.

In 1993, we began to make strides towards normalizing the acceptance of the LGBTQ community by adding sexual orientation to our Inclusion Policy. This update was applied to staff and children alike, allowing a safe space for all.

To help adults encourage and embolden the youths in their lives, Camp Fire founded Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®. This nationally recognized holiday is still celebrated, with millions of people using the celebration to write letters illustrating how Absolutely Incredible the kids in their life are. It encourages every adult to write a letter to the kids in their lives, showing support, encouragement, and recognition for their hard work.



Showing up and Showing Support

Starting in 2001, Camp Fire Alaska began the Champions for Children Breakfast Fundraiser. This inspiring event furthers our impact by

sharing stories of community needs with donors, whohelp provide resources. Additionally, it spreads awareness about the importance of our work. This fundraiser is an ongoing tradition and helps drive positive community change and advocacy.

In 2021, Camp Fire Alaska received the BEETLES grant from the Lawerence Hall of Science at Berkley University to participate in the Working Towards Racial Equity workshop series. This program is designed to foster equitable, inclusive, and culturally relevant work environments and organizational practices. Completing this two-year intensive program with other outdoor youth programming organizations across the country deepened the understanding of the historical impacts of racism on the environment, providing tools to address longstanding issues stemming from white supremacy.

Since 2023, Camp Fire Alaska has observed and participated in local Juneteenth celebrations, acknowledging its cultural significance. Later in the same year, we also renamed Camp Si-La-Meo to Camp Fireweed. This change was made in recognition of the harmful effects of cultural appropriation –– you can read more about Camp Fire National’s actions to combat cultural appropriation here, and you can view our Cultural Appropriation Acknowledgement Timeline here.

2023 is also the year Camp Fire Alaska began taking part in the Anchorage Pride Festival to show solidarity and support the LGBTQIA+ community, tabling the event. This year at our booth, we provided rock painting and a temporary tattoo station. These activities were chosen to allow passersby to partake in positive self-expression. Also, for the first time this year, Camp Fire Alaska began marching in the Anchorage Pride Parade.

You Belong Here

Camp Fire Alaska’s dedication has been paved by our multi-generational pursuit to serve the communities around us and fulfill our mission. At Camp Fire Alaska, “You Belong Here.” All peoples are welcomed, differences are celebrated, and we encourage one another to embrace our identities, strengths, and distinctions. We believe that the key to a bright, successful future lies in the development of our youth — and that their strongest assets are what make them unique. We are excited to continue our history of making strides towards inclusivity, diversity, equity, and equality for all!