Camp Fire

Camp Fire

President and CEO

Client Overview

National youth development organization Camp Fire is seeking a new President and CEO. One of the oldest nonprofit organization’s in the U.S., Camp Fire was founded in 1910 “to guide young people on their journey to self-discovery.” The organization began as Camp Fire Girls in 1910 as the first multi-racial, multi-cultural and nonsectarian organization for girls but became co-educational in 1975. Today it serves all youth and continues its commitment to inclusion. Over the last 108 years, millions of youth and their families have benefited from the organization’s innovative programs and camps that help young people learn the life skills they need to succeed now and in the future. Today, with 53 councils in 24 states and DC, the organization serves nearly 185,000 youth between the ages of 5 and 17 and has increased youth served by 35% since 2014. Sterling Martin Associates has been retained to assist with this search.

Camp Fire’s National Headquarters are in Kansas City, MO. The organization has a staff of 26 and a revenue budget of approximately $2.4 million. Camp Fire’s 53 councils operate under a Charter Agreement that has been completely redesigned and will go into effect in early 2019. The combined revenue of all councils and the headquarters approaches the $50 million range, although it is important to note that the councils are independent 501 (c) (3) organizations. This position may work remotely with required travel to the Kansas City headquarters.

Camp Fire seeks a CEO who will be an innovator to oversee and implement a new strategy for headquarters/council collaboration. S/he will lead transformative change for Camp Fire, partnering closely with the National Board of Trustees in achieving key goals. The CEO will lead a strong headquarters team, serve as Camp Fire’s brand champion and partner closely with the Chief Development Officer.

For more information, please visit www.campfire.org.

President and CEO

The President and CEO will partner closely with the National Board of Trustees in achieving the organization’s goals. The national office and council leaders agree that the most effective strategy to secure more sustainable corporate and philanthropic support is through collaborative philanthropy-building. It will be essential for the CEO to lead the way in building credibility and trust in this initiative over time. The ideal Camp Fire President and CEO will provide leadership, strategic planning, resources management, relationship development and partnership development.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities


  • Create and share a compelling vision for making a difference in the lives of youth and the community.
  • Develop organizational support for the direction and priorities.
  • Provide leadership and direction to ensure the effective operation and delivery of programs within Camp Fire and community.
  • Use involvement, participation, distributed leadership and collaboration to make decisions as appropriate.
  • Delegate effectively to staff to accomplish goals of the organization.
  • Ensure an environment that facilitates the achievement of youth development outcomes.
  • Ensure that programs, services, and activities support youth development outcomes.
  • Ensure establishment of and compliance with policies and procedures.

Strategic Planning

  • Ensure and oversee that the Five-Year Business plan is instituted.
  • Ensure and oversee the identification and evaluation of opportunities for improvement and implements plans for improvements.
  • Oversee the development of financial development strategic plans and participate in cultivation and solicitation visits with development staff and board members.
  • Ensure the development of the organizational succession plan for key positions.
  • Continually think creatively to bring new or additional value to the community.
  • Anticipate potential partnering opportunities that could create impact on the organization.

Resource Management and Development

  • Participate in fundraising activities.
  • Ensure the annual budget is funded and organization has adequate cash flow.
  • Responsible for fiscal management, operating within an approved budget, ensuring maximum resource utilization, and maintaining the organization in a positive financial position.
  • Act proactively to find non-traditional forms of generating revenue.
  • Consistently recruit and retain talented people.
  • Effectively manage growth and long-term sustainability.
  • Ensure development, implementation and monitoring of the Camp Fire’s annual budget in collaboration with financial management staff.
  • Create effective strategies to differentiate Camp Fire from other non-profits.
  • Oversee effective strategies to deal with complex grant processes.
  • Ensure productive and effective staff performance, managing the performance of the leadership team.
  • Shape the culture and reward system to energize talent in support of the organization’s mission.
  • Ensure all necessary administrative and operational systems are in place to support effective operations.

Relationship and Partnership Development

  • Articulate Camp Fire’s impact to the community and show how it comes alive in key areas. Increase visibility of Camp Fire programs, services and activities and maintain good public relations.
  • Identify, recruit and develop effective board members. Maintain contact with Board of Trustees, Camp Fire staff, volunteers, and councils.
  • Ensure active participation by board members and support effective board roles and functioning.
  • Work with the Board as a partner and collaborator.
  • Develop a strong understanding of affiliate model optimization
  • Develop strategic alliances with community leaders and local officials. Develop collaborative partnerships with Camp Fire councils, funders, community organizations, families, and other youth serving organizations.
  • Build credibility and respect with diverse sets of people in the community continually finding new ways to engage them.
  • Oversee staff liaisons to Board committees to ensure they are provided with the information and support necessary to fulfill their objectives.
  • Translate growth objectives into real impact on youth.
  • Demonstrate diplomacy in dealing with multiple stakeholders.
  • Show confidence/excitement in knitting together diverse interests.

Requisite Qualifications, Characteristics, and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Masters’ Degree preferred.
  • A minimum of seven years’ senior executive experience in managing programs or operations in a nonprofit or for-profit organization, with at least three years in a leadership capacity.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of managing complex, disbursed organizations.
  • Demonstrated success at resource development activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize, direct, plan, and coordinate operations.
  • Demonstrated distributed leadership skills, including negotiation, problem solving, decision making, delegation.
  • A history of inventiveness and resourcefulness.
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Ability to support, empower, and delegate authority to highly-qualified staff.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the Board of Trustees, staff, councils, community groups, and other related agencies.
  • Ensure that Camp Fire’s values and beliefs are integral to the organization’s culture.
  • A commitment to youth to help them find their spark and support their desire to shape the world.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

To apply, please send a cover letter and current résumé (Microsoft Word® format preferred) to [email protected]. A well-written cover letter, outlining how your experience fits the requirements of the position, will be an important factor in considering your candidacy.

Camp Fire works to realize the dignity and worth of each individual and to eliminate human barriers based on all assumptions that prejudge individuals. Designed and implemented to reduce sexual, racial, religious, and cultural stereotypes and to foster positive intercultural relationships, in Camp Fire, everyone is welcome.


For more information, contact:

Sterling Martin Associates
1025 Connecticut Avenue | Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036

 David S. Martin | Managing Partner
[email protected]

 Tricia Bork Canavan | Senior Consultant
[email protected]

Katherine Carter | Senior Executive Recruiter
[email protected]