The Edmond Sun

September 27, 2013

Camp Fire, Thrive Foundation for Youth partner to spark change in youth

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
Special to The Sun

EDMOND — For more than a century, Camp Fire has been innovative with its focus on guiding young people to discover their full potential. Today, Camp Fire remains at the forefront of innovation as it announces its implementation of the Step-It-Up-2-Thrive methodology in local Oklahoma City middle and high school Camp Fire programs.

Camp Fire is the first youth-serving national organization of size to implement Step-It-Up-2-Thrive’s cutting-edge, research-based techniques across its full programming. When immersed in the Thrive methodology, young people learn strategies to discover a greater purpose to their lives that can be shared with the world — a more meaningful impact is made by developing the whole person.

Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City was selected through a competitive application process to be one of several pilot councils nationwide to implement the Step-It-Up-2-Thrive theory of change. Camp Fire plans to implement the program into 100 percent of its councils so that all Camp Fire youth have ability to thrive.

Camp Fire partners with the Thrive Foundation for Youth in a common belief that every child, regardless of financial background, sexual orientation, religion, sex or race has inherent strengths that should be found, shaped and shared with the world. Camp Fire program will use the foundation’s research-based lessons — Step-It-Up-2-Thrive — to assist youth in finding their inner motivational passions that catalyze personal growth.

In addition to the support from the Thrive Foundation for Youth, Camp Fire received funding support from the New York Life Foundation to implement the methodology system wide.

“We’re proud that Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma is implementing the Thrive Foundation for Youth’s cutting-edge, research-based methodology into programming and training,” said Herb Gilkey, CEO. “We share a common belief that every child should have the opportunity to thrive. As we help young people grasp a fuller view of their development, we strengthen Camp Fire’s promise to help young people discover who they are and become actively engaged in contributing and connecting to the world around them.”

The Camp Fire locations that will be participating in the Step-It-Up-2-Thrive pilot program are: Birmingham, Ala.; Anchorage, Alaska; Arroyo Grande, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif.; Madera, Calif.; San Diego; Santa Ana, Calif.; Lakeland, Fla.; Atlanta; Des Moines, Iowa; Salem, Ma.; West Grand Rapids, Mich.; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Trenton, N.J. Findlay, Ohio; Oklahoma City Tulsa; Portland, Ore.; Amarillo, Texas; Austin, Texas; Fort Worth; Wichita Falls, Texas; Seattle; Spokane, Wash.; Everett, Wash.; Tacoma, Wash.; Wenatchee, Wash.

About Camp Fire

Camp Fire is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit youth development organizations, serving youth, teens and families in communities across the United States. Camp Fire programs are research-based, delivered where youth and families are via out-of-school time, environmental and camp, and teen service and leadership programs. Because youth want to shape the world, Camp Fire’s focus is giving youth and teens the opportunity to find their sparks, lift their voice and discover who they are. Camp Fire programs are proven to develop young peoples’ skills now so they can reach their full potential. For more information about Camp Fire, visit