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Celebrating Almost 
60 Years in Central Texas

Since its inception in 1966, Camp Fire Central Texas (affiliate of Camp Fire USA) has grown significantly.

Over the last eight years, more than 10,000 children, youth, and families participated in our programs including Afterschool, Summer Camp, Family Nature Clubs, and Outdoor Clubs.

Camp Fire delivers evidence-based, hands-on programming that builds healthy, resilient, responsible youth through active learning, outdoor experiences, service to the community, and by engaging families.


Our hope is for local youth to be connected to, committed to, and capable of preserving the natural environment. Camp Fire helps children feel at home in an outdoor setting, grow to be confident and caring leaders and achieve their fullest potential as lifelong learners and positive influences in their homes, schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

Camp Fire History

Camp Fire was founded in 1910 as the first, non-sectarian organization for girls by Charlotte Gulick, and her husband Luther Gulick, M.D.  Dr. Gulick chose the name “Camp Fire” because campfires are the origin of the first communities and domestic life. Once people learn to make and control fire, they could develop and nurture a sense of community.  Camp Fire has since expanded to include boys, and opens its doors to all children, youth, and families.  Continuing to thrive 100 years later, Camp Fire adapts to the ever-changing needs of local communities.

Camp Fire opened the Central Texas council in Austin, Texas in 1966, offering a variety of programs to the greater Austin community that draw off a long tradition of inclusiveness, creativity and youth development. Camp Fire is a leading figure in advocacy for youth and the importance of out-of-school-time learning. Our council is one of the founding partners of the Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin, a member of the statewide Texas Children in Nature Collaborative, and a member of the Central Texas Afterschool Network.

Inclusiveness Position

Camp Fire works to realize the dignity and worth of each individual and to eliminate human barriers based on all assumptions which prejudge individuals.  Our program standards are designed and implemented to reduce sex-role, racial, and cultural stereotypes and to foster positive intercultural relationships.  In Camp Fire, everyone is welcome.

Thrive Methodology

Woven into every Camp Fire experience is our proven framework for thriving. We call it Thrive{ology}. It’s a research-based, measurable approach to youth development. Created in partnership with the Thrive Foundation for Youth, our approach enables youth to achieve their full potential through four components:

     Identify Sparks: Identifying children’s passions in life and grow spark champions

     Growth: Adopting a growth mindset, the belief that you can learn new skills all the time

     Goals: Building goal management skills

     Reflect: Creating the opportunity to reflect on activities and outcomes


Equipped with these skills, and with the support of trained, caring adults, Camp Fire participants are more likely to:

 Stay in school

 Demonstrate social competence

 Lead a healthy lifestyle

 Be environmentally conscious

 Have a sense of purpose

 Achieve their full potential


Camp Fire’s trained, caring adult leaders play a vital role in building developmental relationships that are critical to a thriving mindset. Youth need people in their lives who challenge growth, provide support, share power and expand possibilities. By providing this support and challenge, Camp Fire’s leaders serve a foundational role in building youth’s ability to thrive.

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