The Sunshine Council developed the Advanced Camping Experts (ACES) program over 40 years ago. The ACES program teaches leadership, decision-making, teamwork, self-reliance skills using the out-of-doors as a medium. Council-held trainings, basic-to-advanced outdoor-living skills, community and council service hours, and various leadership roles prepare the teens to attend Primitive Camp. The “Red Shirt” is awarded at the successful completion of Primitive Camp. After three years of training this is one of the highest honors a Sunshine Council teen may earn. ACES is available to teens in 6-9th grade.
Every spring break, Camp Fire gives teens, 6-12th grade, the chance to make a difference in the world. ASB trips, usually last three to five days. They are full of fun, adventure, and tons of service. ASB is great way for teens to meet new people and be empowered to serve the world around themselves. Past trips have included building reef balls, removing invasive exotic plants, and hurricane recovery efforts.
The Sunshine Council’s Teen Program hosts an annual Haunted House at the Camp Fire Center in Lakeland. Designed to scare the socks off visitors, it is not recommended for children under ten years old. Teens interested in volunteering should contact the council. Planning and design starts as early as August.
CF66 is a locally developed, weeklong service-learning road trip for teens in 9-12th grade. Fourteen teens and three adults’ travel by van throughout Florida learning more about our wonderful state and giving back to the communities they visit. The trip is full of youth empowerment and leadership opportunities. Teen are responsible for themselves and their teammates, helping with activities such as budgeting their money for the week, meal planning, map reading, solving puzzles, and of course, exciting service projects.
This program is a rewarding and memorable experience that pushes teens to their limits. CF66 Service-Learning Road Trip has won the Colgate-Palmolive Youth for America Awards, the Disney Community Service Award, and the Outstanding Council Program Award from National Camp Fire. The Sunshine Council also received the honor of presenting CF66 at the National Youth Summit in Washington, DC and being recognized as a Daily Point of Light from the Points of Light Foundation.
Nature Quest is an environmental education based service-learning trip for rising 6-8 graders. Our team will travel by van to a designated area where they will camp. During the day, the team will explore the many facets of Florida wildlife and ecosystems, and learning about environmental advocacy, while giving back to the community they visit.
Whether as a great first step on the way to a more intensive CF66 trip or a fantastic opportunity to check-out the amazing things in their own backyard, Nature Quest will be an incredible experience. The trip is full of youth empowerment and leadership opportunities. Nature Quest Camp is available to youth entering 6th-8th grade.
Roundtable is a “Youth Advisory Committee” that assists Camp Fire by representing the teens across all programs, assuming a leadership role within the council, being the voice of the teens served, and insuring that teen programs are relevant. Roundtable is a unique opportunity to learn committee, event management, and leadership skills, while making a real impact both at Camp Fire and in the community. Thanks in part to funding from Disney and Youth Serve America, Camp Fire is excited to announce that Roundtable is returning for 2019!
Summer Challenge is a series of half and full day service-learning project offered throughout the summer. Projects range from working at a wildlife refuge to helping feed the homeless. Projects are educational and are a collaborative effort with other agencies throughout the state. Summer Challenge is for teens in 6-12th grade.
The VYC offers teens, 6-12th grade, the chance to gain real life leadership and teamwork skills while earning service hours for school by participating in various service learning activities and projects. Teens explore the needs of the community, make a plan to help fill that need, do the plan, complete the project, and reflect on their experience. Service projects may last from a couple of hours to a couple of months.
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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.