"We’ve had AmeriCorps members for the past 15 years," says Renee Meek, executive director of Camp Fire Green Country. "Becoming our own AmeriCorps program allows us capacity for new growth."
AmeriCorps is a national service program through which members commit their time to address needs within their community. Members commit to at least one year of service during which they receive a basic living allowance.
By becoming its own AmeriCorps program site Sept. 1, Camp Fire was able to bring on 10 additional part-time AmeriCorps members to be club leaders and one full-time staff member. The organization now has 16 part-time and 2 full-time AmeriCorps members.
Meek says the expansion, funded by both AmeriCorps and Camp Fire, will allow Camp Fire to serve 300 more kids per year, a 30 percent increase, in its after-school and youth leadership programs. It also expects to see growth in its camp and outdoor programs. "Camp Fire provides youth the social emotional and life skills they need to be successful today," Meek says. "We know if they are successful in their classrooms, in their peer relationships, in their current activities, we are putting them on the path to a successful future."