Monday, August 8, 2016

What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

I don’t know if teachers still make students write essays about their summertime activities, but if they do, there are some young women who will have quite an interesting tale to share.

Fire departments across the country host summer camps for teenage girls, during which they learn what it takes to be a firefighter. They don bunker gear, climb ladders, handle charged hose lines, practice search techniques, learn to use extrication tools, and even do some live fire training. The camps also employ exercises such as rope courses and obstacle courses designed to help young women build confidence and learn to work as part of a team. All the while, participants are exposed to a career field they may already be interested in or they never thought possible.

Camp Ignite 2016 via Twitter

Each camp is a little different. Age ranges and camp duration vary slightly. Some are free, some are not, some are sleep-away, and some are day camps. If you are interested in learning more about fire camps, here are three links to get you started:

Summer Heat Fire Camp for Young Women – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Camp Fully Involved – Concord, New Hampshire

Camp Blaze – Bellvue, Washington

Another resource is the National Volunteer Fire Council, which offers a list of fire camps and junior firefighter academies for both boys and girls: http://juniors.nvfc.org/resources/resources-for-juniors/20-junior-firefighter-camps

Fire camps are a great way for young people to experience a day in the life of a firefighter and decide if it’s a career path that’s right for them. Not all campers go on to firefighting careers, but the lessons they learn serve them well no matter where life takes them.