Over the past year, one of the biggest lessons we have learned is the value and importance of connection and relationships. It made us think, “beyond the services we provide and occasional requests for financial support- how are we connecting with all of you?” We started to dream about how we could take the very thing we do in program, helping young people find their spark, and bring it to our entire network. Ta-da! The Sparkfinder newsletter was born. We surveyed you to discover what you would want out of a monthly newsletter and we heard: fun activities, resources on how to raise caring and confident children, and ways to connect, volunteer, and get involved.

In the Sparkfinder each month you will find a compelling article that unpacks the theory behind what we do at Camp Fire. Also, you’ll find an activity of the month to do with incredible youth in your life, recommendations for justice themed books for youth and adults, as well as events, updates, and important opportunities for connection. To start us off, we wanted to share what one of our amazing partners, the Search Institute, instilled in us — the importance of Developmental Relationships framework and how it can be applied both in and out of the classroom.

Developmental Relationships significantly impact students’ self-confidence, academic success, and relationships with their mentors, friends, and families. Youth in our Teen Programs who experienced strong developmental relationships through Camp Fire Teen Programming were 17x more likely to score high on social awareness! And that’s not the only staggering statistic. We asked ourselves how we could use this framework to positively impact relationships with family, friends, and peers, and here we are! What better way than sharing knowledge and tools to help build a stronger, more meaningful relationship with our Camp Fire community.

Over the next few months, we will share more about each of the pillars of Developmental Relationships:

  • Expressing Care
  • Challenging Growth
  • Providing Support
  • Sharing Power
  • Expanding Possibilities

We can’t wait to connect and grow together!