About Camp Fire Wilani
Camp Fire Wilani is a progressive youth development organization that serves youth and families with profoundly inclusive Summer Camp, Outdoor School, Adventure, and Service Learning Programs. We have served our 10-county region since 1958: from Salem to the California border and the Oregon Coast to the Cascade Mountains.
Camp Fire Wilani hires and trains caring adult mentors who cultivate curiosity, foster compassion, encourage connection, and build self-confidence in young people through inclusive summer camp, outdoor school, adventure, service learning and leadership programs.
Youth will leave our programs and enter with world with healthy curiosity, compassion for all, connection to the natural world and their community, and the self-confidence to pursue their dreams.
Our purpose is to build great qualities in youth. We strive to make sure every child feels loved, valued, and empowered to effect change in their world.
It is also our purpose to build great qualities into our staff with internationally recognized trainings and presenters, a supportive environment, competitive pay, and opportunities to grow with the organization.
We serve youth at our historic location in Veneta, Oregon – tucked into the Coast Range foothills. Our administrative office is in Springfield, Oregon.
Although we are working toward it, we are currently unable to accommodate summer campers who require as personal service worker or one-on-one inclusion specialist. However, we are actively working with other camps as a part of the three-year program to help us be more inclusive to kids of all needs. PSWs and inclusion specialists are welcome during outdoor school programs as arranged by their school district.
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 20 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.
Contact Elissa: ekobrin@wilanicouncil,.org
Tanja grew up in Colorado and was lucky enough to spend her summers camping and backpacking throughout the Rockies. She moved to Oregon in 2006 and has been exploring the Cascades ever since. She feels most at home when she is out in nature and is excited be a part of Camp Fire Wilani to ensure the next generation has the same opportunity to connect with nature at a young age.
Tanja’s work experience ranges from caring for 8 African Elephants at the Kansas City Zoo, to running hospitality programs at 5 Olympic Games, to building high efficiency stoves in the highlands of Guatemala. With over 15 years of business operations, office management and accounting experience, she is ready to support all the team members and participants at Camp Fire Wilani.
In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, hiking with her dogs, friends & family, playing volleyball, home improvement projects, gardening, reading nonfiction, & experimenting with healthy recipes.
Contact Tanja: email@example.com
Drelin Julkes was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, and raised in Gary, Indiana. He moved to Oregon in July 2022 and worked at the University of Oregon as Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life before transitioning to the role of Director of Inclusion at Camp Fire Wilani.
Drelin has traveled to and lived in multiple states and countries before moving to Oregon. He has visited roughly half of the states in the country thus far, climbed a waterfall in Jamaica, and has been to Chicago more times than you can count (his hometown is 30 minutes away, lol). He has an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Mississippi State University and a B.P.S. from the University of Southern Indiana, where he was involved in supporting students in their transition to higher education and created opportunities for students to grow and learn personal and professional skills.
In his spare time, he enjoys rollerblading, playing tennis, exploring the beautiful landscapes that the West Coast and Oregon have to offer, and spending time with friends and family.
Contact Drelin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Milla Ly was born and raised in Santa Clara, California. She moved to Oregon in late 2020 to continue her academic journey at the University of Oregon. She had first become a Human Physiology major and shortly transitioned into a Business Administrative and Marketing major when finding her true passion.
When Milla was younger, she had a great passion for videography and video editing. She has always loved learning new skills and techniques to further her knowledge. On Instagram, she gained over 9,000 followers showcasing her talent for video editing. She now focuses more on filming and editing memories to document for others to see. She is studying marketing in hopes to combine her hobbies and passions with a future career.
Milla has grown up with a younger sister who shared many of the same hobbies as her and they always had fun exploring new things together. Some of her favorite hobbies are snowboarding, video editing, and DJing. She also has a third-degree black belt in martial arts and played soccer for several years. As a kid, she was a very active person and enjoyed sharing all her various outdoor activities with friends and family.
Contact Milla: email@example.com
Marco has a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and another in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin. He has had the pleasure of working with kids in the outdoors across five states at various Outdoor Education facilities and Summer Camps connecting what he’s learned from his degrees about the outside world to experiential education. It’s not all about learning though, as he’s spent countless hours wandering about and taking in numerous parks (state and national), the mountains and jungles of Guatemala, and the cliffs of Ireland.
Marco was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, but has been able to experience living all over the country. He fell into his love of outdoor adventure after working his first summer camp in Texas and has been pursuing work in the field ever since. He first landed in Oregon in the fall of 2022 and has enjoyed every minute of it. He is excited to be a part of the Camp Fire Wilani team and to contribute what he’s learned over the years.
In his spare time, he enjoys board games, rock climbing, cooking up a tasty meal, having fun with friends, and going on new adventures.
Contact Marco: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cameron was born in Corvallis, Oregon, and raised in Albany, Keizer, and Beaverton.He is a History Major at the University of Oregon. Cameron has spent every summer he can remember at summer camp, transitioning from camper to counselor to program staff. He’s worked at summer camps across Oregon, hosted the Governor’s Campout, and been honored at a Minor League baseball game. He has an enormous passion for songs (though he sings only poorly), games (he never wins), arts & crafts (he’s actually pretty good at macaroni art), and all the activities that make summer camp great. When he’s not thinking about summer camp, Cameron likes to play Dungeons & Dragons and spend quality time with his cat.
Contact Cameron: email@example.com
Lillia is a born and bred Michigander where she spent all her developmental years attending, and working at a summer day camp called Five Pines Ministries. She received a bachelor’s degree in K-12 Special Education with a focus in Autism Spectrum Disorders and a minor in 6-12 English from Eastern Michigan University. During two of her summers in college, she worked at a year-round camp that services children and adults with disabilities called The Fowler Center for Outdoor Learning. Over the summer of 2020, she moved to Vashon, Washington to serve as an Assistant Camp Director at Camp Sealth. Upon graduating, she got a full-time job back at The Fowler Center, serving as the Program Director. While in this role, Lillia coordinated all summer camp programming, ran the weekend respite programs, coordinated volunteers, hosted group events, and also ran the Travel Adventure Program where she planned and led accessible vacations around the USA for her campers.
Lillia’s love for working with others, being outside, and being the silliest version of herself (including dedicating too strongly to the theme, dancing like she has any rhythm at all [she doesn’t], and singing camp songs at the top of her lungs) has led her to find a home in the camping industry and she is excited to grow as a person and camp administrator through her time with Camp Wilani.
Lillia spends her free time reading, puzzling, cooking, making new friends (she strongly believes that every stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet), and hanging out with her cat, Albert (and by hanging out, she means carrying him around in a baby björn, dressing him up in ugly sweaters, or making him wear funky hats).
Contact Lillia: firstname.lastname@example.org
Born and raised in Oregon, Tiffany grew up rafting, backpacking, and hiking in the mountains and rivers of the Pacific Northwest. She spent many summers at outdoor camp where she met lifelong friends and made rich memories. With that, she developed an appreciation for the natural world; spending time in the outdoors brought a sense of peace and fulfillment to her life that was not found in other arenas. Tiffany was also an avid reader and writer and being outdoors helped her get in touch with other aspects of herself.
In college, Tiffany majored in International Relations and developed an interest in travel and languages. What began as a year-long job in South America turned into several years as Tiffany found professional and social fulfillment in Ecuador. The cultures of the Andes and the Spanish language were fascinating to her, and she quickly felt a love for the country of Ecuador. In her time abroad, Tiffany taught high school and mentored English language teachers. After she returned to Oregon, she formalized her studies by obtaining a Masters of Arts in Education with an emphasis on language policy, history of education, and the interplay between identity constructs and the K-12 public education. Tiffany cares deeply and passionately about diversity, equity and inclusion for all students.
In her spare time, she gardens, practices yoga, spends time with her partner and son, and tries to get her dog into shape. She still enjoys traveling, maintaining her Spanish language skills, and drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee.
Contact Tiffany: email@example.com
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.