Camp Spark! to introduce young ladies to emergency services careers


By Katherine Ridenhour

Special to The PREVIEW

A very special event for teenage girls is coming soon to our community June 12 through June 14.

A group of highly motivated women and men from our local emergency services are hosting a two-and-a-half day overnight camp in Pagosa Springs, Camp Spark!, to introduce girls aged 15 to 19 to a possible challenging career in the emergency services.

Camp Spark!, a collaboration between Pagosa Fire Protection District, Bayfield and Ignacio Fire Department, Upper San Juan Health District Emergency Medical Services, Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, Pagosa Fire Auxiliary and local businesses will increase the participants’ confidence and will empower them to consider a career path that is still labeled as nontraditional jobs for women.

Nationally, women firefighters in full-paid departments make up less than 4 percent of the workforce, whereas women EMTs (emergency medical technicians) average 30 percent and women in law enforcement average nearly 14 percent.

Camp Spark! will be an exciting way to learn about fitness, nutrition, teamwork, communication skills and leadership, all qualities necessary in any profession, but certainly essential in the fire service. Participants will have plenty of hands-on activities related to emergency services during the day and fun social activities in the evening.

The number of campers is limited to 15 and the dates are June 12 through 14. The girls will be staying at Riverside Campground under the supervision of amazing women role models. If you know a teenage girl interested in participating, please contact Sylvia Thompson at 903-7771 as soon as possible.

The deadline to send an application is May 29. Applications can be found at

Camp Spark! is a great way to challenge teens mentally and physically and ultimately will help the girls reach new levels of confidence, self-esteem, strength, teamwork and initiative.

Plus, the Camp Spark! $25 enrollment fee will be waived for the first seven participants who send their complete application package before May 29 to Camp Spark!, 191 N. Pagosa Blvd., Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.