EVERETT — Camp Fire Snohomish County is entering the final push in a $2.2 million fundraising campaign for projects that would help the nonprofit serve thousands more children and teens each year.
The organization has reached $1.5 million. It has received several large grants and donations to give the campaign a boost. Every staff member and board member with Camp Fire also has pledged to contribute, said Christa Pugh, capital campaign director. Donations still are being accepted.
“We are pleased and honored to have come so far already in the campaign with several extraordinary gifts,” CEO Jim Stephanson said in a written statement.
The fundraising is set to wrap up this fall. Some projects already are under way, and construction is expected to continue this summer. A celebration is being planned.
Camp Fire Snohomish County works with more than 7,500 children and teens each year. There are summer camps, outdoor education programs, and clubs and activities in schools or at low-income housing developments.
The goal is to serve 4,000 more young people after construction and remodeling.
About $1.3 million of the $2.2 million would go toward Camp Killoqua near Stanwood. A duplex and meeting rooms are to be added, along with garages and a storage building. For activities, additions include field archery, bouldering, an inflatable star dome and disc golf. Existing features such as the ropes course would be updated, and new bikes, golf carts, a bus and a van would be purchased.
Plans also include the installation of solar panels and other upgrades at the Camp Fire headquarters in Everett. Technology updates are being done at the office, too.
This is the third major capital campaign Camp Fire has run in the last 30 years.
Camp Fire started in Snohomish County in 1917. Killoqua was founded in 1941. In the 1970s, boys joined Camp Fire, which previously had been girls only.
Elizabeth Johnson, chairwoman of the board, said her daughter had issues with self-esteem when she was young, and Camp Fire taught her leadership.
“She was a follower,” Johnson said. “That all changed after several years attending Camp Killoqua one week each summer.”
Now, Johnson’s daughter is a freshman in college studying music education and performance. She is excelling, Johnson said.
While many people associate Camp Fire with Camp Killoqua, the organization also has launched a number of programs around the county, Pugh said.
One is Wise Kids in the Edmonds School District. The Elizabeth Ruth Wallace Living Trust recently awarded a $150,000 grant to that program. The money will go toward nine-week courses that teach elementary students about healthy lifestyles.
Kids are taught that the energy they take in through food should be balanced by the energy they expend through activities, Pugh said. It’s been part of the Edmonds School District since 2013, starting with about 1,800 students and growing to more than 2,400 this school year.
Camp Fire hopes to expand the program to other schools.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Help
To learn more about the fundraising campaign or to contribute, go to www.campfiresnoco.org or call Christa Pugh at 425-258-5437.