What is Roundtable?
by Austin Brown
Youth empowerment, teen leadership, youth voice - three pillars of Camp Fire programing and three integral aspects of Roundtable, our council’s Youth Advisory Committee. Roundtable has been a part of our teen service and leadership programming for over 25 years, and though it has taken various forms, it has always served as an avenue for our teens to have a direct hand in a portion of the programs we offer.
Our current committee is comprised of 5 teens, selected from a batch of applicants in 8th through 11th grade. Conor, Quin, Madison, Abbi, and Aryan will spend the next five months assisting Camp Fire with insuring that all of our teen programs are relevant to today’s youth. Roundtable’s impact will be felt through their representation of the teens served across all programs, their assumption of a leadership role within the council, and by their championing the voice of the teens we serve.
Being a part of a Youth Advisory Committee like Roundtable is a unique opportunity for any teen, and one that will allow them to learn committee, event management, and leadership skills, while making a real impact both at Camp Fire and in the community. However, Roundtable is not unique to just our council - many Camp Fire councils across the country have their own versions, including the National Youth Advisory Cabinet (or YAC), which is comprised of teens from across the country, serving “as a strong voice for kids and teens nationwide—whether or not they’ve ever been a part of Camp Fire.”
This term, the Roundtable members have five main responsibilities:
- They served as teen ambassadors during our council’s MLK Day of Service project, welcoming volunteers, working alongside families, and leading reflection activities.
- They will attend a meeting of our council’s Board of Directors and attend a dinner afterwards with our current Board President, Cindy Green.
- They will identify, plan, and implement a fundraiser of their very own, with the proceeds raised going directly into the teen programs at our council.
- They will plan and host a “just for fun” teen event - because everyone deserves to let loose and have some FUN from time to time.
- They will share and celebrate their accomplishments at a First Friday event at the end of their term.
For some of the Roundtable members, this is their first leadership role with Camp Fire, and we are excited that they are taking the next step in their journey. As we look to the months ahead, we are eager to see all the ways that Conor, Quin, Madison, Abbi, and Aryan will champion the voice of today’s teens and light the fire within us all.