Cheri Hess is the poster child for Camp Fire. It’s that age-old “chicken or the egg” question: Was Camp Fire made for Cheri, or was Cheri made for Camp Fire? We don’t know the answer, but we do know for sure that Cheri’s contribution to Camp Fire Central Coast of California, and the children and families she works with, is beyond words. She has been part of Camp Fire in different councils and positions for more than 28 years, with 21 of those years spent here at our council. Her three daughters were involved in the many aspects of Camp Fire, from club members to Camp Counselor, to a WoHeLo recipient, and so much more, giving them experiences to build upon in their successful adult lives. Cheri has seen many changes with Camp Fire over the years, but the mission and her heart remains focused on helping youth find their spark and lighting the fire within.
Emily Starkie Zbin
Outdoor Education Director & Resident Camp Administrator
Emily has been involved with Camp Fire since she was eight years old. After attending Camp Natoma, Camp Tacanneko, and participating in club programs as a youth, Emily became a summer counselor and lifeguard at Camp Natoma while a student at UC San Diego. Since 2004, Emily has served in many roles at Camp Natoma, including Pool Director, Director of Programs, and Camp Director of Administration. Emily holds a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis on Children and Nature as well as Elementary and Science California teaching credentials.
Camp Natoma Director of Staff
Robbie has been part of the Camp Natoma staff since 2005. He has been a counselor, lifeguard, and CIT Director. Currently, Robbie supervises counseling staff and organizes all-camp activities. He is known for his outrageous ideas that keep campers and staff laughing while supporting campers at trying new things. Outside of camp, Robbie teaches AP Biology and Chemistry at Arroyo Grande High School. He holds a BS in Zoology from UC Santa Barbara.
Miranda has been involved with Camp Fire since 1996 where she has served as a counselor, resident archery instructor and director of programs while implementing the CIT (Counselor in Training) teen leadership program at Camp Natoma since 2002. She has been employed with San Luis Coastal Unified School District since 2003 where she works with children with special needs. (Miranda is pictured wearing her Natoma soapstone necklace which she is rarely seen without.)
Youth Development Specialist
Office Manager/Communications Director
An Administrative Professional for more than fifteen years, Rebecca was trained at VQ-7, U.S. Navy Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron, where she was stationed from 1998-2001. During her three year Temporary Active Reserve enlistment, she also experienced marriage and motherhood, attended Rose State College, and even took up a part time job in telemarketing. A lifetime learner, she enjoys studying communication, psychology, health & nutrition, and the Bible. Following her faith and family, her greatest joy is helping young people “find their spark” through her work with Camp Fire and the Community Club at Grover Beach Elementary School.
Daphne Boatright (Volunteer)
Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things. ~ Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal
Working with the alumni of Camp Fire has been a gracious gift. The memories they share are treasures that spark new life in the work of Camp Fire on the Central Coast today. Individuals of all ages have remembered the times stored away…perhaps 75 years ago…perhaps last year. Those memories are energizing! And, these memories are personal. It is the hope of the alumni group that we can help make connections so that every child and adult that comes along and learns about Camp Fire will indeed appreciate the strong foundation of an inclusive community. As the alumni coordinator Daphne works with other alumni to create these connections and promote the programs of Camp Fire on the Central Coast. Our heritage is strong and our memories are as diverse as the community we serve. Share your memories as a way of adding to the strong foundation.