Camp Fire Wilani | Resident Camp, Day Camp, Outdoor School Provider, Teen Leadership, Service Learning, Club Programs

About Us

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 culturally competent caring adult mentors who cultivate curiosity, foster compassion, encourage connection, and build self-confidence in young people through profoundly inclusive summer camp, outdoor school, adventure, service learning and leadership programs that examine these experiences through culturally responsive lenses.


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. Our work is focused on making outdoor experiences accessible and appealing to BIPoC, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ youth.

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.

Meet Our Team!

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 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 Baker, Office Manager,

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:


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:


Drelin is from Gary, Indiana, and has had the opportunity to live across the United States. He attended the University of Southern Indiana and received a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Individual Studies with a minor in Psychology in 2020. He then earned his Master of Science in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Mississippi State University in 2022. 

He moved to Eugene, Oregon in August 2022 to work at the University of Oregon. He began working at Camp Fire Wilani in January 2023 as our Director of Inclusion. During his time in the role, he has worked to create an inclusive and safe environment for the students and campers to explore the outdoors and learn more about themselves. In addition to this, he has created a workplace culture that allows staff to be themselves while also having the opportunity to impact youth and program participants.

In his spare time, he enjoys road-tripping, rollerblading, concerts, and spending time with his friends and family. 
Contact Drelin:

Our Promise

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.

Light the fire within