CANFIELD Camp Fire USA to mark its 96th anniversary

The organization's centennial celebration is in 2010.
CANFIELD -- Camp Fire USA, a nonprofit organization that "builds caring, confident youth and future leaders," celebrates its 96th anniversary Friday.
Barbara A. Smith, CEO of Camp Fire USA Northeast Ohio Council, said that Absolutely Incredible Kid Day, which falls Thursday, was included in the anniversary preparations. On Absolutely Incredible Kids Day, adults write positive letters to kids.
On Thursday, the directors of Camp Fire USA from Ohio will gather in Columbus. The governor's wife, Hope Taft, will be there to help kick off the anniversary celebration.
Smith said some clubs will give cake to people who have helped during the year. An example would be a school librarian who has helped Camp Fire youths in their studies, Smith said.
No specific events will take place Friday.
Preparing for centennial
Camp Fire USA is gearing up and counting down to its 100th anniversary in 2010.
For the centennial celebration, the organization is trying to find people who were involved in Camp Fire and are now leaders in their communities.
Smith said they are also promoting alumni and "looking for alumni and memories" because the organization here on Leffingwell Road is trying to create a book. "We envision having parties for the 100th year," Smith said.
Smith said Camp Fire USA, which she described as an "all inclusive" organization, has three important goals.
The first is "to give every child a positive experience with Camp Fire," she said. The second is "to introduce youths to service learning," and the third is "strengthening the family."
The organization benefits the community in several ways. "Service projects help to address community needs," said Smith. She said it also may help future generations because kids will be concerned about others.
Smith said Camp Fire USA began in 1910 as a family camp in Maine for older girls. In 1975, it became coed. She said around 2000, the Community Family Club started, where families get together to do activities.
The organization's content also has changed over the years. Smith said Camp Fire USA went from teaching camping and homemaker skills to putting on programs in schools and preschools.
To get involved in Camp Fire USA, call (330) 533-4121. "We are always looking for volunteers," Smith said.

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