In 1910, Camp Fire was founded. It was the first multicultural, multiracial, non-sectarian organization for girls, and it gave girls access to the same outdoor experiences to which boys already had access. In 1975, Camp Fire became a co-ed organization, opening up its life-changing programs to boys as well as girls. And in 1993, Camp Fire added sexual orientation to its official inclusion policy, ensuring its camps and programs were safe, welcoming spaces for LGBTQIA kids, staff and volunteers.
Camp Fire Wilani was founded in 1958 and is one of three regional “councils” in Oregon. The two others are Camp Fire Columbia in Greater Portland, and Camp Fire Central Oregon based in Bend. There are 56 Camp Fire councils in the United States delivering programs at 1,300 sites in 26 states. Camp Fire Wilani serves Lane, Marion, Benton, Polk, Douglas, Coos, Josephine, Jackson, Curry, and Lincoln counties.
Meet Our Staff!
Elissa Kobrin, Executive Director
Elissa was born in the Bronx, New York and has lived all over the United States. She spent many formative summers attending Camp Fire Wilani’s flagship program, Camp Wilani. The inclusive, positive environment at Camp Wilani led to Elissa’s love for the natural world and inspired her professional career. Elissa received her BA in Planning, Public Policy and Management with a minor in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Oregon (UO) in 2013. While attending UO, she participated in the Sustainable City Year Program and was one of eight students selected to participate in the Environmental Leadership Program. She was a trip leader for the UO Outdoor Program and spent her summers as an interpretive park ranger for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
In 2013, Elissa relocated to Bellingham, Washington where she earned her M.Ed. from Western Washington University. She spent a year-long graduate practicum at North Cascades Institute and served as a backcountry ranger for North Cascades National Park. Elissa has been certified in backcountry emergency medicine for 19 years and is currently a certified Wilderness First Responder, Lifeguard, and First Aid/CPR instructor.
After graduate school, Elissa served as a recreation and camp staff training consultant and team building facilitator. She also assisted new nonprofits in their formalization and expansion phases. She served as a regional director for the YMCA before returning to Eugene to take the helm of Camp Fire Wilani. Elissa loves hiking, yoga, excellent coffee, birds and moose. (She really loves moose.) She can often be found in parks or other outdoor areas naturalizing to strangers whether they are interested or not.
Ariella Dahlin, Outdoor School Coordinator
Ariella graduated with BS in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon. She is currently a student advisor in her department, and helps students make their way through the academic landscape.
She served as the Oregon Pollinator Protection Act and Sustainable Forestry Intern for Beyond Toxics where she researched studies on neonicotinoid effects on pollinators, birds, aquatic invertebrates, and soil and water quality. She also created literature and fact sheets for the general public and legislative members for the 2019 legislative session and promoted sustainable forestry tours and other events.
She was selected to participate in the Environmental Leadership Program at the University of Oregon wherein she developed and implemented classroom and place-based environmental education curriculum that included penology, forest ecology, traditional ecological knowledge, and humanities.
Kylie Mosbacher, Outdoor School Coordinator
Kylie is a graduate student in Environmental Humanities at the University of Oregon. She has extensive experience in environmental education program curriculum design and facilitation. She currently serves as a Graduate teaching Fellow for the Environmental Leadership Program at the University of Oregon. She attended Humboldt State University’s Environmental Studies Program, as a transplant from Wildlife Conservation Biology where she was introduced to not just the concepts of interdisciplinarity and intersectionality, but the beginning of an understanding of the economic, historical, racial, and cultural dynamics of the extinction crisis. She concluded her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at Humboldt State in 2016 and is now ready to explore the power and privilege dimensions of wildlife conservation as a paradigm, practice, and political space, in the hope that the discipline can include environmental and social justice among its core tenets.
Erik Matisek, Winter 2019 Graduate Development Intern
Erik Matisek is a current graduate student at the University of Oregon pursuing concurrent Master Degrees in Nonprofit Management & Business Administration. He is passionate about the benefits of nature and hopes to provide opportunities for youth to reduce their screen time and get outside. His favorite outdoor pursuits include backpacking, rock climbing and mountain biking. He and his partner love spending their free time exploring the desert and mountains in his ’86 Westfalia. Erik has nonprofit experience as a staff, volunteer and board member. Erik was indispensable helping us get ready for S’mores and Pours as an intern in Winter of 2019, and he will forever be part of our family!
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.