Great Outdoors

Update on Secular Scouting Groups


A few days ago, I posted about how I’d like to find a secular scouting group for Anneka – one that doesn’t center its activities around selling cookies (I’m looking at you, Girl Scouts of America – just in case I’m not being blatant enough) nor push a religious agenda.

Camp Fire was my first choice, but it doesn’t have a council in Arizona. I wrote to Camp Fire to see what the odds were of that changing in the near future. Here’s the reply I received:

Hello Justin,
Thank you for your interest in Camp Fire. Participants do need to be affiliated with a local council and, unfortunately, there no longer is a council in Arizona. Establishing a Camp Fire council is quite an undertaking when you consider that it is a nonprofit business requiring state registered Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, a volunteer board of directors, and staff to operate the council and administer programs. In today’s economy and given the plethora of activity options for young people, operating a nonprofit youth organization can be challenging.

My only other suggestion, when the time comes, would be to contact your local United Way or chamber of commerce to see if there are other organizations near you that offer opportunities similar to Camp Fire for your daughter to participate in. I’m sorry—I wish I could be of more assistance.

As an employee for a charity set up as a federation, I understand. I get it completely.

My only question is … what kind of atmosphere has Arizona and its politics created? A completely benign, beneficial and respected children’s organization doesn’t operate here. I wonder why. I could speculate quite a bit about backward political ideas and economic policies. But who really knows?

It was nice of Camp Fire to at least point me in a few directions that might help me find the right secular scouting group for Anneka. We’ll see how that goes. (As a complete aside, Camp Fire sure could use a branding overhaul, from the Comic Sans-ish font to the mishmash of colors. Wow, I think I’ve been hanging around too many graphic designers!) This blog post also gave me a few ideas, and it was also reassuring to see that other parents have the same thoughts we do.

A quick question: If you or your kids participated in Camp Fire, what did you think of it?



I need your advice and thoughts - pitch in!