Once a year, something extraordinary happens at the SDFD Training Center—the Girls Empowerment Camp. Our ninth camp recently concluded, leaving an indelible impact on everyone involved. We kicked off with 100 campers, many shy and reserved. However, we witnessed their transformation into confident and empowered young individuals by the end of the weekend.

Girls Empowerment Camp is an exhausting two days. Campers complete firefighting drills, including a confidence course, climbing an aerial ladder, physical fitness drills, swinging axes, using chainsaws, and even bailing out of a window. This year, we added a rotation that taught campers to change a tire and check tire pressure and oil levels. Every camper went home with their own tire gauge.

Inclusivity and empowerment are the camp’s hallmarks, shattering stereotypes and fostering a community where strength knows no gender. This year, we were particularly moved to see many returning campers, including a former camper, now a probationary firefighter, working to inspire the next generation.

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Our heartfelt thanks extend to the nearly 120 San Diego firefighters, Cadets, volunteers, and firefighters from across California who work all year to make this experience possible. Their commitment reflects the spirit and camaraderie of the firefighting family.

Special recognition is due to our generous sponsors, whose support allows us to continue offering the program at no cost to participants.