BRIEF HISTORY OF CAMP FIRE
Camp Fire Girls was founded in 1910 by Luther Gulick, MD, and his wife Charlotte Gulick and became America’s first nonsectarian and multicultural organization for girls. In 1975, Camp Fire became a coeducational organization. Boys and girls learn to play and work alongside each other and appreciate their similarities and differences in positive ways. Current programs serve roughly equal numbers of boys and girls. Today the national organization is simply known as Camp Fire.
Camp Fire Wilani was chartered in 1958 as a council of the national organization known as Camp Fire Girls. In our 57 year history we have grown to include 10 counties in southwestern Oregon as part of our service area and acquired Camp Wilani in Veneta as our summer camp facility. Founded to help youth thrive – our heritage of cultivating community building, supporting academic readiness and embracing diversity sets us apart. Camp Fire has been a leader and innovator in youth development from the very beginning.
Camp Fire’s promise is:
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.
Camp Wilani is the outdoor education and camping program of Wilani Council. In operation since the 1960’s Camp Wilani welcomes youngsters from all over the state of Oregon.
The name Wilani was submitted by members of the Howard Elementary School Camp Fire club in Eugene as the name of the campsite. Wilani was a combination of the names Willamette and Lane for the Willamette River which flows through Eugene and Lane, the name of the county in which Eugene lies. It means to “assemble outdoors between the mountains”.
- A totem pole provides the focus for gatherings at opening and closing activities at Day Camp and an assembly place for Resident Camp.
- The lagoon is a pool of water known as Hani Lake. The waters of Walker Creek fill the lagoon proving wildlife habitat and canoeing opportunities for all campers.
- The zip line, a camper challenge by choice activity, sends youngsters sailing over the lagoon and looking down on campers paddling canoes below.
- The swimming pool, a great cooling off place on a warm day.
- The Archery range is always a popular activity at camp.
- Rustic cabins and yurts provide sleeping areas for campers. Each one comes with a counselor and friends of similar age.
- Singing is a must at Camp Wilani. Day Campers sing at opening and closing and while traveling on the bus. Resident campers sing around the campfire at the close of each day.
- Arts & Crafts and games of all kinds round out everyone’s camp experience.
Summer at Wilani is a wonderful thing!
What to do at our all Day Camps:
- Camp Skills: Learn to safely build a fire and leave no trace.
Do cook outs over a campfire
- Hike through the woods.
- Sing silly songs that make you smile.
- Swim in our swimming pool.
- Canoe on Hani Lagoon.
- Arts & Crafts that let the imagination soar.
- Explore nature
- Pocket Knives – 3rd grade and up.
- Zip Line
- Low elements challenge course.
What to do at Resident Camp:
- Archery: Instructors offer practice time with bow & arrow.
- Bear Claw Project: Visit the tipis for Native American fun.
Swimming: Pool fun, night swims, & polar bear splashes.
- Canoeing: Paddle on Hani Lagoon.
- Creek Walks: Explore Wilson Creek.
- Hiking & Biking: Travel our rustic site.
- Cook outs & Campfires: Often close each day.
- Craft Yard: Fun activities on an artistic side.
- Zip Line: Zip high over the Hani Lagoon.
- Low elements challenge course.