Camp to ignite interest in firefighting for young women

Charlotte Fire offers free Camp to inspire young women.

Girls join firefighter camp

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Some very fortunate young women are on “deployment” tonight with the Charlotte Fire Department.

“Camp Ignite” is in full swing on the Charlotte Fire and Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department training grounds. The camp gives young women, grades 9-12, a taste of the skills needed to be a firefighter.

“It’s great to get these young girls interested. And showing them what is involved in firefighting. A lot of these girls have no idea of all that’s involved and the great things that we do,” said Becky Brown, who retired after 34 years as a firefighter.

The girls get a chance to spend five days and four nights challenging themselves, making new friends, and getting a chance to test their limits, with various challenges.

“Over the course of the days we do all types of icebreakers, team-building and leadership exercises. So, they learn a little more about themselves. They learn how to trust other people. They learn how to work with other people,” said Vanessa Roy, who’s a firefighter and has been part of Camp Ignite since it started in 2015.

We saw lots of smiles while the young women relied on each other crossing over a rope bridge high above the ground. While the harnesses assure their safety, you could see how much they relied on their partners in the exercise.

Campers sleep in an air conditioned tent. They spend most of their waking hours challenging themselves in different organized programs.

The number one goal of the camp is to introduce girls to the fire service.

“We don't have that many females in the fire service. I don't think it's their inability to do the job at all! I think it's their lack of knowledge of being introduced to that career path,” Brown told us.

Their experience closes out with a graduation ceremony for campers and their families. The camp is always free and fills up quickly every year.

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