The steady beat of the drum, the thrice answered Wo – He – Lo Call, voices joining in the Processional “We come, we come to our council fire…”


We come, we come to our council fire

With measured tread and slow

To light the fire of our desire

To light the fire of Wohelo

Wohelo Wohelo

The little twinkling stars on high

Are whispering nature’s lore

While all about us the soft winds sigh

and Great Wokanda watches o’er

Wohelo Wohelo

It’s amazing how the sounds and songs of camp can so easily transport you back in time and place. You can smell the smoke of the campfire and repeat the words like you just learned them yesterday.

And it’s not just the emotional songs. Last week on the drive home from work my two-year old son and I were listening to Pandora Toddler radio. Up popped “The Princess Pat” and I sang along with joy and enthusiasm. The part that surprised me was my unconscious addition of the hand-motions (not the greatest idea during rush hour traffic). In that moment, I began to think about the indelible mark that Camp El Tesoro has made on me.

You see, I’m a third-generation Camp Fire kid. My mom and grandmother went before me, as both club members and El Tesoro campers – I was destined to spend my summers at a beautiful camp in Granbury. Little did I know what an important part of my life those rolling acres along the Brazos River would become.

I attended a week-long Overnight Camp for the first time the summer before fifth grade. You know – those incredible awkward years when you are just starting to figure out who you are. It was an amazing summer. I returned to El Tesoro every summer after for a two-week session. They seemed like the longest weeks of the year and yet they went by too fast. We walked the tree shaded trails, splashed our paddles in the ripples of the river, made life-long friendships and lifted our voices in song. The songs I now sing to my toddler,


Yes, magic is what I found at El Tesoro. Tucked somewhere between the fun, the adventures, the counselors and the native landscape, I found the magic
of camp. A place where there is freedom to be yourself, to leave behind the “real” world and the carefully crafted image of yourself. So many alumni and today’s campers acknowledge this specialness, how the weight of the world falls away as you cross the wooden boards of the swinging bridge.

In the summers before my junior and senior high school years, I joined the Counselor-in-Training program and I was lucky enough to earn my red counselor tie. But more than the friendship rocks, daisy chains and friendship bracelets that I gathered over the years, I gained a self-confidence and ability to roll with the punches that serve me well today.

Camp – especially El Tesoro – is one of the best opportunities you can offer your children to find the magic in this world. I can’t wait to introduce my son to joys of wading in Fall Creek, the dust of the riding arena, the sunsets at Mt. Loma and for him to learn the words to the songs that narrate my life.

“Give a cheer for El Tesoro, hey! Let the echoes ring. So come along and join us, for we are never blue, Be a member of our happy laughing crew, you too!”

Sara Mitchell is the brand manager at Camp Fire First Texas. She is responsible for graphic design, social media, digital communications and the production of Camp Fire materials. Sara enjoys seeing children participate in and learn to love the same programs she was involved in as a child. She is a 3rd generation El Tesoro camper and participated in Camp Fire youth programs as a child. Sara also earned her WoHeLo Medallion – Camp Fire’s highest youth honor. Sara is an active member of the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and the Waxahachie Rebekah Lodge, a fraternal service organization.