While Camp Fire Columbia believes that today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, we also believe that today’s youth are TODAY’s leaders. Our Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) offers up to 24 teens the chance to participate in a national leadership development and service-learning program, bringing young people from across Camp Fire’s programs directly into decision-making roles at the organization.
It isn’t enough to say that you value youth voice and contribution—you also have to walk the talk. The Youth Advisory Committee is one way that Camp Fire Columbia is providing young people with a unique opportunity to be drivers of their own ideas from conceptualization to implementation and reflection.
In previous years, the Youth Advisory Committees were able to participate in a weekend-long Leadership Retreats, where they co-led sessions on identity-building and youth empowerment. Experts in the field also trained them on specific leadership skills, investing in them as current and future change-makers in Oregon.
YAC has also attended Camp Fire’s annual gala, the Talent Show, as trusted representatives and spokespeople, empowered to share their own vision for a better world. Finally, YAC members have engaged with Camp Fire program leadership through a series of youth focus groups—the results of which will drive future program development.
Our next cohort will soon be built to further innovate Camp Fire’s programming even further.