Once known as “Camp Fire Girls”, the Camp Fire organization (founded in 1910) became inclusive to all genders and gender identifications in 1975. 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.
Erik Matisek, 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. He is very excited to learn from and help support the fundraising and development at Camp Fire Wilani.
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.