Camp Fire's Family Club Builds Partnerships
For over 90 years, Camp Fire USA has helped build caring and confident youths and future leaders through its K-12 programs, its partnership with schools, and its deliberate and effective involvement of parents and families in programming for youth.
The newest addition to Camp Fire's collection of family-oriented programming is the Community Family Club, which creates collaborations with communities and schools and facilitates family togetherness.
Designed by Camp Fire after two years of research about consumers, including parents, teachers and community members, the program draws upon the support of all involved to provide developmental programming for all family members during non-school hours.
"Community Family Club involves the entire family-regardless of the form the family takes in today's society," says Stewart Smith, national chief executive officer for Camp Fire USA. "It offers a unique opportunity for parents to find a community support group for raising their children. Most important, it is outcome-based and tracks the progressive learning experiences and developmental assets acquired by both youths and adults."
This innovative program is designed to be delivered in four primary venues: schools, churches, corporations and childcare settings. Families in the club meet at least once a month to participate in developmentally appropriate activities with their children. Older youths have an opportunity to take on leadership roles as well.
At a school-based site, families partner with classroom teachers and counselors to provide fun club activities that enhance the skills being taught in the school curriculum. This allows parents and community mentors to become involved as partners with the school in children's learning.
"Once you experience the family club, you're hooked," says Irma Flores-Brothers, principal of Richard J. Wilson Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas. Flores-Brothers found the Community Family Club to be a great way to increase family involvement in school activity. "Partnership is essential …. We all have to care, to be involved, and to show children that there are people to help them achieve," she adds. Community Family Club is an example of what can happen when schools, families and community-based organizations work together for the benefit of children and youths.
Community Family Clubs are currently being piloted in seven states. Systemwide testing of the program is scheduled for late fall, with full implementation of the program in 41 states and the District of Columbia by summer of 2002.
For more information, call 1-800-669-6884 or visit www.campfireusa.org.
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Last updated—January 9, 2002 (pjh)