A Day in My Job: Camp Smokey Edition

As an Outreach, Recruitment, and Workforce Diversity Resource Assistant, I am able to work with a group of high schoolers in a program called Generation Green. My first introduction to this program was as a chaperone for Camp Smokey.

Camp Smokey is an interagency fire prevention program sponsored by the Forest Service at the California State Fair. Members of the Generation Green Program helped staff the camp and provided outreach and education to the public about fire prevention and safety. Generation Green is a part of the Northern California Consortium which seeks to connect students in underserved communities to environmental education, nature, mentoring, job placement opportunities, and leadership opportunities. We are hoping to be able to take the Generation Green students on some trips this year and get them outside!

As a chaperone, my mornings consisted of helping out with professional development and leadership exercises. Myself and the other chaperones helped facilitate journaling assignments, presentations, icebreakers, and other activities. We also had some free time during lunch for bonding and a few impromptu karaoke sessions (as you can see below).

At noon each day, we would bus over to the State Fair to start Camp Smokey! There were five stations that the students would rotate through to teach the public about different topics including kitchen fire safety, the story of Smokey the Bear, good vs bad fires, how wildlife responds to fire, benefits of healthy ecosystem management, and fire escape plans. In addition, there was a puppet show every hour in which this information was reviewed through a “gameshow” format. And at the end of the show, during the Smokey song, Smokey the Bear himself would make a special appearance.

It was amazing to watch the students’ skills and confidence improve as the sessions went on. They became naturals at interacting with the public and really displayed qualities of leaders. To celebrate their hard work, we enjoyed a day at a waterpark together. Being a part of Camp Smokey was such a fun and unique experience, and I can’t wait to work more with these amazing kids!

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