History

Camp Fire Sunshine Central Florida can trace our roots in the greater Lakeland area back to 1918.  We’re proud of our heritage of cultivating community building, supporting academic readiness, and embracing diversity.

Camp Fire (formerly Camp Fire Girls) was founded in 1910 by Luther Gulick, M.D., and his wife, Charlotte Gulick. They created Camp Fire to guide young people on their journey to self-discovery. The Gulicks felt strongly that young people should have experiences so they could learn to care for themselves, their environment, and the people around them. Camp Fire was America’s first nonsectarian and multicultural organization for girls.

In 1975, Camp Fire became a coeducational organization. Bringing boys and girls together, they learn to play and work alongside each other and appreciate their similarities and differences in positive ways. Today, locally and nationally Camp Fire programs serve roughly equal numbers of boys and girls who learn together and work together.

Today, as always in our history, we honor our mission. Our purpose. Our impact. And it all comes down to this: Igniting the Spark in young people. This is what we believe. This is what we know.