At a difficult time in life, Emma Schmidtzinsky joined a Camp Fire group that welcomed her with open hearts and gave her a sense of belonging. She’d just moved to a new town, not long after her dad died.
“I was an emotional mess,” Emma wrote in her application to serve on Camp Fire’s National Youth Advisory Committee. “Camp Fire offered me a place where no one was going to pity me for my personal life but were going to just love me for being me.”
Emma remains a member of the same Camp Fire group today. And over the years, she’s seized one opportunity after another to develop her self- confidence. She’s stepped up as a young leader.
At age 12, she served on a youth cabinet with Camp Fire’s Central Puget Sound Council. She traveled to Kansas City the following year for Camp Fire’s National Leadership Conference.
She’s volunteered at our summer day camps, Special Family Camp and teen service days. She’s served as a counselor-in-training at Camp Sealth, where she’ll move up to a LEAD (Lead, Engage, Act, and Discover) junior staff position this summer.
The National Youth Advisory Committee recently accepted Emma as Camp Fire Central Puget Sound’s representative. She applied a year early.
“I’m still technically 15, but I promised myself that I could work just as hard and give just as much as any 16 year-old could,” she says.
Emma and other committee members from all over the country meet via video conference every other week. They talk about ways they can shape Camp Fire’s future while honoring traditions that have been building tomorrow’s leaders today for more than a century.
“I want to help make Camp Fire the kind of organization that my great-great grandchildren can enjoy.”
Thank You, Emma!
Emma will be speaking at the 24th Annual Leadership Breakfast on May 25th, 2017!