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Camp Fire USA builds caring, confident youth and future leaders by providing inclusive programs that meet the needs of children, teens, and families, without regard to race, religion, socio-economic status, ability, sexual orientation, or other aspect of diversity.
The Metropolitan Chicago Council is one of 120 local councils of Camp Fire USA, one of America's premier non-profit youth development organizations. The hallmark of the Camp Fire program is its flexibility and commitment to meeting youth and family development needs. Five essential elements drive every program we offer: - We are youth centered - We encourage the participation of entire families in fun and outcome-rich activities - We are welcoming and inclusive - We build youth and adult partnerships - We provide service to others Founded as Camp Fire Girls in 1910 by Charlotte and Luther Gulick, Camp Fire was the first nonsectarian, inter-racial organization for girls in the United States. Chicago's own Jane Addams was instrumental in the organization of Camp Fire as she participated at a national level in several early advisory boards. Membership was expanded to include boys in 1975, and now more than 40% of the youth involved are boys. In 2001, we became Camp Fire USA to reflect the national appeal of our programs and to recognize the wide range of ages we serve. Camp Fire USA Metropolitan Chicago Council was founded in 1912 to help children grow up in healthy, age-appropriate ways in the urban, suburban, and rural environments of Cook, Lake, and McHenry Counties in Illinois and northern Lake County in Indiana. Today our council serves over 4,000 children each year in schools, parks, community centers, religious institutions, and other sites.