Camp Fire Minnesota begins search for new President & CEO

With much gratitude for Marnie Wells’ nearly 16 years of leadership, 2021 brings bright futures for Camp Fire youth with a new perspective. 

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January 1, 2021 –  Marnie K. Wells, Camp Fire Minnesota President & CEO, has shared that following her many years of leadership, she will step down in early May 2021.

April will mark Marnie’s 16 cumulative years with Camp Fire Minnesota – starting as VP of Programs, then over the past 13 years serving as President & CEO.


Fueled by Marnie’s unrelenting passion and drive to help youth discover their sparks and empower the next generation to value and steward nature, Camp Fire Minnesota is a transformed organization and poised for new growth as she departs.

Camp Fire Minnesota has seen substantial growth in youth served – an increase of 5,000 youth served annually in the past 5 years alone.

Marnie launched the first large-scale capital campaign for Tanadoona. With a vision for the full property, Marnie led the development of a master plan for capital investments at Tanadoona. This plan restores and adds new facilities as well as restores and invests in the land for hands-on, outdoor learning for young people.

Most recently, Phase 2 of the Capital Campaign successfully raised $5 million to add a new Community & Dining Center at Tanadoona, expanding access to outdoor learning year-round and doubling our capacity to serve youth. In a time when nature is so important for youth, Camp Fire Minnesota is positioned for growth as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Board of Directors has engaged an executive search firm, Ballinger | Leafblad. A search committee of Board members has been established and is co-chaired by Loren Heeringa and Kip Kirkpatrick.

If you have interest, referrals, or direct comments, we ask that you reach out to Marcia Ballinger directly at

The position profile will be available at


“We will miss Marnie’s passion and leadership. She knows how to leverage every opportunity to benefit Camp Fire and the youth we serve. It’s bittersweet to see her move on as we’re positioned to expand programs year-round at Tanadoona. We are grateful for her generous lead time which allows us ample time to identify a strong leader for Camp Fire’s next chapter.” – Loren Heeringa

“Marnie’s leadership and vision has established Camp Fire Minnesota as one of the strongest Camp Fire councils in the nation. She is humble, encouraging, and enables those around her to leverage their skills to help her achieve big goals. The team she has assembled is simply amazing and is the reason why Camp Fire Minnesota is so vibrant and strong – ultimately allowing them to enrich the lives of so many kids.” – Kip Kirkpatrick


On behalf of Camp Fire Minnesota Board of Directors and Minnesota Camp Fire Foundation Board of Trustees, thank you for your dedicated support of Camp Fire Minnesota and Tanadoona.


Marnie K. Wells, Camp Fire Minnesota, President & CEO

Loren Heeringa, Camp Fire Minnesota, Board Chair

Kip Kirkpatrick, Minnesota Camp Fire Foundation, Trustee Chair