Pine Needle Express – Week 3

Here it is – the latest issue of the Pine Needle Express! This issue has everything you need to know for week three, plus extra information about the blog, the 2015 Nonprofit Awards, pictures from last week and more! You can download the Pine Needle Express Issue 4 or view it below!

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2015 Nonprofit Awards

Yesterday, the Birmingham Business Journal announced the nominations for the 2015 Nonprofit Awards. These awards honor top nonprofits in Birmingham, as well as the businesses that support them. We are so excited to announce that Camp Fire Alabama has been nominated!

Camp Fletcher is owned and operated by Camp Fire Alabama, and we are so proud to be part of the work this organization is doing in Birmingham. Camp Fire Alabama also works with students in Birmingham City, Bessemer City, Jefferson County, and Shelby County School Systems to provide students with valuable in-school programming including mentoring, character development, self-reliance and career prep. Camp Fire’s in-school programs provide experiences which equip youth with the support and knowledge they need to succeed, now and in their future; knowledge that will keep them safe, give them opportunity, and improve their community. In 2014, approximately 11,500 children, youth, and families were involved in Camp Fire Alabama programs & activities including volunteer-led clubs, camp & outdoor education, and in-school programs.

The finalists for the 2015 Nonprofit Awards will be recognized at a special event on June 25 at the Harbert Center. Our staff and board members are excited to attend this event, and we are honored to be recognized along with all the other outstanding organizations serving Birmingham. For more information about the 2015 Nonprofit Awards Nominations, you can read this article from the Birmingham Business Journal.

Counselor Spotlight: Meet Edie & Mary!

Today we have two more counselor spotlights for you! With just a few counselors left to feature, we’re so excited to introduce Edie & Mary. These awesome counselors are both joining summer staff at Camp Fletcher for the first time this year!

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Edie is 20 years old and from Atlanta, Georgia. She is an Econ major at UAB, and this is her first summer at Camp Fletcher!

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I was so excited to work somewhere so beautiful with so many wonderful campers and staff! How could I turn that down?

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
I am a big sister with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, I have worked with kids through the UAB Honor’s Program, and I have experience babysitting and watching Sunday School groups.

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I am so excited to help my campers have the best camp experience possible and to help them discover their independence and love of nature!


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Mary is 19 years old and from Bessemer, Alabama. She currently attends Jacksonville State University, where she majors in Hospitality and Culinary Management. This is her first summer as a counselor at Camp Fletcher!

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I chose Camp Fletcher because I love to work with children. I also wanted to experience new things, like developing my outdoor skills!

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
Last year, at my previous job, there was a camper who was so upset, and no one could calm her down but me. I calmed her down by just treating her like a person.

What are you mot excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I am most excited about meeting new people and learning new skills!

Week One Round-Up

Our first week of summer programming at Camp Fletcher was awesome! It was so exciting to say hello to familiar faces, welcome new campers and kick off a great summer. Our campers got to swim, explore the woods, play games and more. We know our counselors had a great time, too!

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Our theme for week one was Homecoming, and each day our campers were encouraged to dress up! On Tuesday our campers wore tie-dye, Wednesday they wore wacky and mismatched clothes, and on Thursday they showed their Camp Fletcher spirit. On Friday, we held the color wars, where each tribe dressed in a different color and competed in games in order to show their tribe spirit. Pueblo 1 was the winner of the color wars! They had the most participation and showed a lot of enthusiasm and tribe unity! On Friday, we held a Homecoming Dance during pick-up, and each tribe had a representative in our Homecoming Court. Our King and Queen were selected out of the Iroquois tribe, and it was so much fun to see such a great group of kids get crowned! We’re so proud of our tribe representatives Kayden F, Stephen T, Jacob S, Nalin R and Ashley G, as well as our our King, Hayden A, and our Queen, Anna M!

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Week one was awesome, and we know this summer is going to be full of great memories, friendships and brand new experiences! Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@camp_fletcher) to see daily updates from camp. We’ll also be posting all the pictures from the first week of camp over on our Facebook page. If you have any questions about this week’s menu, theme, canoe schedule or more, be sure to check out the newest issue of the Pine Needle Express!

Counselor Spotlight: Welcome Back Callie & Nicole!

Today we are bringing you two new counselor spotlights to finish off our first week at camp! It’s been an amazing first week, and we’re so excited about everything this summer has in store for us. We’ve just got a few counselor spotlights left, and today we are introducing you to two seasoned Camp Fletcher counselors!

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This is Callie. Callie is 20 years old and from Vinemont, Alabama. She currently attends the University of West Alabama, where she is about to enter her fourth year as an Elementary Education major. Callie is returning to Camp Fletcher for her third summer as a counselor!

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I chose Camp Fletcher after a friend recommended camp for a new experience. I also wanted to expand my skill set and not only have a fun summer, but get to know myself a little better.

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
I grew up in Girl Scouts from age 5 all the way until I received my Gold Award as a freshman in college. I have spend a lot of time teaching, mentoring and just spending time with children. I also work as a librarian to our students at UWA’s campus school, teaching them daily.

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I am most excited to be able to see the campers not only grow into more well-rounded individuals, but also enjoy their summer. Oh – and s’mores!


nicole Nicole is 21 years old and from Birmingham, Alabama. She attends Alabama A&M University, where she majors in Nutrition. Nicole plans to be a diabetes educator. We are so happy to have her back for her second year as a Camp Fletcher counselor!

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I chose Camp Fletcher because I love kids. I have the experience of having eight brothers and sister. I have five brothers, three sisters and one niece, and I am the 3rd oldest!

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
I am very patient and detail oriented. I work with the Navajo tribe (grades 1-3), and you have to have those skills when you’re working with young children.

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I am excited about the staff coming together and actually being a team. I am excited about the campers this year because we will have a surplus amount of kids! I know we will be ready!

10 questions to ask on the way home from camp

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Whether your child attends day camp or resident camp, they’re going to do a lot in their time at Camp Fletcher! However, it’s not uncommon to be met with answers like “yeah,” “nope,” and “nothing” when you ask your camper about their day! You know your kid is going to have a really busy day when they come to camp, and we want to make sure that they’re able to communicate what they’re experiencing. Talking to your kids about what they like about camp and how they’re fitting in is key to them bringing their camp experiences home and sharing with their family! We know our campers have some great stories to tell, and we want them to be able to tell you just how much they love Camp Fletcher. If you’re not sure what to ask your kid about their time at camp, here are ten open ended questions that might help!

  1. What was your favorite activity at camp today?
  2. What did you do that you had never done before?
  3. Did you meet new people today? What were they like?
  4. Who is your best friend at camp?
  5. Can you teach me a song from camp?
  6. Can you tell me about WoHeLo?
  7. Who is your favorite counselor?
  8. Is there anything about camp that you don’t like, or that makes you anxious?
  9. What are you looking forward to doing at camp that you haven’t done yet?
  10. Do you have any goals for the summer? Is there something you want to achieve that you haven’t been able to do yet?