In the summer of 2015, led by a core team of women in the Charlotte Fire Department, CFD started a new free camp for high school girls. Twenty-seven girls participated in the inaugural program, living in air-conditioned tents on the grounds of the Fire Training Academy for three nights and four days.
The goal of Camp Ignite was to "ignite" new interests and goals in these young women, while introducing them to the fire service as a possible career. During their "deployment," the campers trained alongside professional female firefighters as they safely learned skills, including rappelling, search and rescue techniques, running fire hoses, climbing ladders – and more.
More importantly, the campers – who started off as quiet, unsure strangers – grew quickly into a close-knit team. In just a few short days, they built self-confidence and developed respect, teamwork and leadership skills. The girls broke down social and personal barriers and smashed stereotypes. Many said repeatedly, "I never thought I could do this," or, "I can't believe I just… (climbed up that ladder, rappelled out of that building, ran that entire road course)."
The Camp Ignite committee is planning this year's program now, which includes a few more young women and an additional day and night.
Registration for 2018
Who: Girls, grades 9-12
When: June 19-23, 2018
Where: Charlotte Police/Fire Training Academy
1770 Shopton Road
Charlotte, NC 28217
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For more information please contact:
Division Chief Paula McDaniel