Dash Away 10K and Family Fun Day!

 

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Ready to run? Ready for some Christmas fun?

Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome to join us at our second annual 10K & Family Fun Day at Camp Fletcher! As the name suggests, this combo event will include a 10K, 5K and 1 Mile run on our USATF certified course (#AL15064JD) alongside a FREE family-fun, holiday themed event. There will be food trucks, kids games & activities (including bouncy houses, pictures with Santa, ornament making etc.), and a vendor area for any last minute Christmas gifts you need to pick up!

All Proceeds benefit Camp Fire Alabama & Camp Fletcher programs for children, youth, and families in our community!

For race registration and more info, visit us online or check out our Facebook event!

Camp Fletcher Education Garden & State Farm Neighborhood Assist

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Camp Fire Alabama has been selected as one of 200 finalists in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist® program! Our submission, along with the other finalists, is live at http://www.neighborhoodassist.com and anyone with a valid email address can logon and vote for our cause. The 40 causes that receive the most votes will be announced on Nov. 30 and a $25,000 grant will be awarded to the affiliated nonprofits to implement the solution.

The Camp Fletcher Education Garden will provide students and their families an opportunity to learn about the food they eat, while providing the community with a new source of fresh, local produce. Our organization strives to improve the lives and welfare of people in our community, and we can further that mission by rallying together and encouraging others to join us in support by voting.

To support Camp Fletcher Education Garden and vote, click here  to vote! The voting phase is open from Oct. 26-Nov.4 and anyone with a valid email address is eligible to vote up to 10 times per day.

State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative that lets communities determine where grant funding is awarded. The initiative utilizes the State Farm Youth Advisory Board to vet submissions for causes and empowers the community to vote for the final 40 grant winners. The program has been inspired by the incredible number of neighborhoods that are coming together to solve a problem or improve their community.

We are thrilled to make it to the top 200, but we need your help to win! Vote for Camp Fletcher Education Garden TODAY! 

Fall Programs & Events 2016

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Summer has ended, and we want to say a huge THANK YOU to each member of our camp family – you made this summer an unforgettable one! We’re so excited to bring you even more fun as the weather turns cold. We’ve got some great events coming up this fall, and we hope to see you soon at Camp Fletcher!

Our first event is also one of our most popular! Junk In Your Trunk, our community yard sale, is Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This event is always a hit, and we’re expecting a great turn out of eager sellers looking to unload all kinds of unique items. Have nothing to sell? Stop by and shop! Seller spots are $5 and seller set-up begins at 7:00 a.m. Admission is free to the public and the gates open at 8:00 a.m. You’ll definitely want to bring your friends and family to this HUGE sale!

Click here for more information & to reserve a seller spot today!

We’re also excited to be hosting an overnight retreat this fall for 1st – 6th graders! Join us October 15-16, 2016 for fun fall activities, outdoor living skills and s’more! Cost is $35 per camper if registered by October 7. Price increases to $40 on October 8. Space is limited & registration is required. To register, please complete, sign and submit a Health History Form to the Camp Fletcher office.

Click here for registration forms, packing lists and more!

Make plans to join us for our second annual holiday event  – Dash Away 10K –  on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Camp Fletcher! Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome to join us at our second annual 10K & Family Fun Day at Camp Fletcher! As the name suggests, this combo event will include a 10K, 5K and 1 Mile run on our USATF certified course (#AL15064JD) alongside a FREE family-fun, holiday themed event. There will be food trucks, kids games & activities (including bouncy houses, pictures with Santa, ornament making etc.), and a vendor area for any last minute Christmas gifts you need to pick up!

Race registration is NOW OPEN with an early bird saving of $10 on running spots until August 31st!

For more information about any of these exciting events, be sure to check out our website at http://www.campfire-al.org and ‘Like’ us on Facebook!

 

Fall Field Trips @ Camp Fletcher

Picture2Did you know that Camp Fletcher isn’t just a summer camp! The fun doesn’t end when school starts — in fact, it’s just beginning! Our outdoor education program provides public, private and home schools the opportunity to experience camp all year long. Using the outdoor education curriculum created specifically for Camp Fletcher, we encourage students to become ecologically literate, responsible citizens, in an experiential learning environment. The program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to promote the appreciation of our natural surroundings and the values of working together. Our aim is to teach students the concepts of sustainability and interdependency outside of the classroom walls.

Our program activities include creek ecology, archery, hiking, and low ropes course initiates, among many others. Content is completely customizable depending on your specific class needs. Additionally, our programs align with Alabama Course of Study Standards, and Camp Fletcher is accredited by the American Camp Association.

If you’re looking for something new and exciting this school year, look no further than Camp Fletcher’s Outdoor Education program! We’re now booking for fall field trips, so reserve your date before our calendar is full. For more information and an online reservation form, visit our website today!

VISTA Spotlight: Jade

Summer is always an exciting time at Camp Fletcher, but this summer has been especially exciting with the addition of two new VISTA members, Cynthia and Jade. Jade joined Camp Fletcher and Camp Fire Alabama in June as our Education Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA. She has some fantastic ideas for our garden education program, and we know she’s going to have a great time serving with us!

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Jade is 23 years old and was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from The University of Montevallo. We’re so excited about all of the passion and experience Jade brings to our VISTA team!

What made you decide to serve as a VISTA with Camp Fletcher?
I decided serve as a VISTA with Camp Fletcher for two reasons. First, I want to have experience in the education field and, secondly, Camp Fletcher matches with my goals for a future career in school counseling.

What previous experiences do you have that you feel will equip you for your position?
A majority of my work and volunteer experience has been in youth service. During college, I worked as a teacher’s aide at Child Study Center, a senior camp counselor at YMCA Camp Cosby and mentored for two years with Blueprints College Access Initiative.

What are your goals for your year of service? What do you hope to accomplish?
My number one goal for my year of service is to make sure every garden exploration lesson plan is up to course standards and is fun! Also, I want every day to be a day of learning, not just for kids, but every adult — as well as myself.

What aspect of your position are you most excited about?
I am most excited about interacting with kids, but I am so excited about doing a job I love. With this mindset I know I can give more than 100% to achieve success for everyone involved in the garden education program at Camp Fletcher.

What aspect of your position do you feel will be the most challenging?
This job is a new adventure, the most challenging aspect of this job is to make a curriculum that everyone will like and find successful.

We know Jade is going to do a great job, and we can’t wait to share the garden education program she’s designing with you next spring! For more information about Camp Fletcher’s garden and the VISTA project, visit us online!

 

Backyard Campfires

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Now that the weather is getting cooler and our fall events are over, we’re really starting to miss summer camp and all the activity it brings to Camp Fletcher! If you’re starting to miss summer camp, too, then we’ve got something just for you. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be posting some awesome ways to bring Camp Fletcher home. The temperature is lower and the days are shorter, but we’ve got some really creative ways to celebrate the spirit of Camp Fletcher all year long!

Campfires at Camp Fletcher are one of the best parts about our summer sessions, but fall is the perfect time to have your own camp fire at home! We know the cooler weather may have you missing camp, so we’re excited about the first post in our new series, designed to help you enjoy all the things you love about camp during the off season! Summer will be here before you know it, and we’re so excited about everything we have planned for Spring and Summer 2016. If you just can’t wait, though, we’ve got the best tips for having your own campfire at home!

Cool November evenings are the perfect time for your family to enjoy a campfire at home! When building a camp fire at home, be sure to follow these safety tips from Smokey Bear!

Building Your Campfire:
1. Gather tinder, kindling and larger pieces of wood (fuel).
2. Loosely pile a few handfuls of tinder in the center of the fire ring/pit.
3. Add kindling
4. Ignite the tinder with a match or lighter
5. Wait until the match is cold, and discard it in the fire
6. Add more tinder as the fire grows
7. Blow lightly at the base of the fire
8. Add kindling and firewood to keep the fire going
9. Keep the fire small and under control

Maintaining Your Campfire:
As you’re enjoying your campfire, remember these safety tips:
1. Once you have a strong fire going, add larger pieces of dry wood to keep it burning steadily
2. Keep your fire to a manageable size
3. Make sure children and pets are supervised when near the fire
4. Never leave your campfire unattended
5. Never cut live trees or branches from live trees

Extinguishing Your Campfire:
When you’re ready to put out your fire and call it a night, follow these guidelines:
1. Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible
2. Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones
3. Pour until hissing sound stops
4. Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel
5. Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers
6. Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch
7. If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: do NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

A camp fire in your backyard is the perfect place to roast marshmallows and make s’mores, sing songs and even tell some scary stories! When it’s time to go inside, though, be sure you extinguish your fire properly. You should never walk away from anything that can start back up. Fires need to be drowned in water, stirred, drowned some more and before walking away you should be able to feel that it is cold to the touch. This is especially important for us at camp. Also, never run around or horseplay around the fire, children and animals should always be supervised and an adult should ALWAYS make sure that the fire is out!

Camp fires at home can be a lot of fun, but you always want to be safe! Be sure to pick a good area far enough away from your house and free of any debris. You also want to be aware of weather conditions: when humidity is low and wind is high, there is an increased danger of forest fires. 

We can’t wait to have everyone back at Camp Fletcher for more campfires, fun, memories and more. Until then, however, we hope you’ll enjoy a campfire at home with your family!

Fall Gardening at Camp Fletcher

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October was a busy month for all of us at Camp Fletcher! We had a great time at all of our Fall Events, and we even managed to plant our fall garden. With the addition of our new VISTA members, Danelle and Chele, we’ve really been able to get to work and the fall garden is looking great!

This is our very first fall garden, and we learn something new each time we plant! Our summer garden yielded corn, squash, tomatoes and more, and we are thrilled to try our hand at some fall vegetables. Our plants this time include carrots, garlic, strawberries, kale, cabbage, collards, and three varieties of lettuce. We also added a fence around the garden and a bench with planters. We couldn’t have done it without the help from Camp Fire Alabama employees spending time in the garden last week!

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Many of the plants came from The University of Montevallo’s Organic Plant Sale. Everything is in the ground and growing, and we’re excited to see what we’re able to harvest in the coming months.

If you would like more information about Camp Fletcher’s Education Garden, click here. We’re always looking for volunteers with green thumbs to help out, so feel free to contact us today if you’d like to get involved!