“Camp Fire is a safe and open place for kids to be kids and to experience nature,” says Andrea Koller, who volunteers for Camp Fire Minnesota. “Kids have a lot of negative influences they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis and having a good place like Camp Fire for them to go for a nature-filled experience is incredibly valuable.”
Andrea is a civil engineer at the planning and design consultation firm Kimley-Horn, based in St. Paul, Minnesota—and is also a Camp Fire Iowa alumna.
Camp Fire began playing a part in Andrea’s life when she was five years old in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She participated throughout her elementary school years in the Camp Fire group that met weekly at her neighborhood school and later volunteered with her family at the Camp Fire Camp near Walker, Iowa. “Camp Fire taught me a lot and gave me so many opportunities to connect with nature,” Andrea says. “We learned how to build a fire and also how to build our own camp stoves using empty tin cans from the cafeteria. One night we slept out under the stars and I had never done that before. I remember looking at the stars, talking with my friends and then suddenly waking up the next morning. It all taught me such an appreciation of nature.”