(248) 382-8382 | 9750 Milford Rd. Holly, MI 48442

ferndale parade

 

 

 

Camp Fire Southeast Michigan Council (SEM) has been strengthening families and communities for over 100 years through engaging youth and their families in the club model and using curriculum that specifically targets the areas of Diversity, Teamwork, Environmental Consciousness and Leadership. In this day of diminishing family engagement and hard economic times, Camp Fire has opportunities for families to participate in low-cost or free community activities, learn valuable life skills, build lasting friendships, and have fun.

Our Promise

Young people want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.  In Camp Fire, it begins now. Light the fire within

Service Area

Southeastern Michigan Counties: Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties
Ohio: Lucas and Wood-Perrysburg Counties

Council History

Camp Fire FoundersWhen Luther and Charlotte Gulick founded Camp Fire Girls in 1910, they desired it to be an organization without barriers to race, religion, ethnic origin, or economic status so that, like Boy Scouts, girls could have opportunities to have fun outdoors, learn crafts, develop their interests, and serve their communities and beyond. Detroit’s Camp Fire movement began then too, with one of the first groups starting in Delray, an area on Detroit’s southwest side populated largely by immigrants. Camp Fire was instrumental in helping those girls and their families adjust to life in America.

Before child labor laws, girls as young as 12 years old would leave school to work at jobs in factories, department stores and theaters in the city, far away from their families. These girls lived in rooms at the YWCA or boarding houses and had few opportunities for chaperoned entertainment or educational activities. Socially conscious women of the era began to organize Camp Fire clubs to enrich the lives of those young working girls. In the early years the national organization authorized individual group charters for clubs in various churches and community centers until the Detroit Council of Camp Fire Girls was officially chartered in 1922.

Since the beginning, Camp Fire members participated in all kinds of activities including camping, boating, swimming and other sports and games; service projects such as Christmas caroling to raise funds, sewing hospital garments, and selling war bonds; and planning large ceremonials to recognize their achievements.Camp Fire Girls Kelloggs

Over the decades Camp Fire in Detroit grew and expanded into suburbs throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties. The baby boom that followed WWII resulted in growth for Camp Fire that was unmatched, reaching 10,000 members in the 1960s

In 1976, the National Camp Fire Congress passed New Day welcoming boys into Camp Fire and we became the first coeducational youth development program in the country.  Meanwhile, the women who had traditionally filled roles as leaders were joining the workforce, membership was declining 1930981_91476260719_64_nand the council sought new ways to reach children and teens by staffing programs in schools, day care centers and institutions for at-risk teens.

In the 1990s the Detroit council began to absorb other nearby councils until we became one large regional council serving eight counties in southeast Michigan and two in Ohio.

Today our organization embraces all youth and their families, regardless of ethnicity, race, creed, gender, social status, disability or sexual orientation, and provides opportunities for them to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.

In Camp Fire, it began then, and continues now.