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Charlotte Fire welcomes back high school campers for Camp Ignite

Camp Ignite is a FREE hands-on resident camp that focuses on the development of teamwork, self-confidence, and leadership skills in young women.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dana Matthews goes to Stewart W. Cramer High School, but this week she is getting one step closer to her dream career of firefighting through the Charlotte Fire Department Camp Ignite.

 "Men think women can't do a man's job but if you show them you can do their job you can do anything," Matthews said.

Camp Ignite is a place that's training high school girls on how to be firefighters and igniting confidence in them they didn't think possible.

For an entire week, the girls live together and train together.

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Vanessa Roy with Charlotte Fire said the girls learn search and rescue techniques, hose-line advancement, rappelling, ladders and more.

 "So they are going to be on the hose line, they are going to be marching forward and backward, spraying water and trying to control and hose line that's kind of the fun obstacle," Roy said.

The girls are following in the footsteps of current firefighters. No matter how high that journey takes them.

Some girls are new to the camp. Others have been back before.

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Roy said a few have even gone on to become firefighters. 

This is is the camp's first time at full capacity since the pandemic.

"It's really just an overall experience to get them out of their comfort zone," Roy said.

Contact Ruby Durham at rdurham@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

For Camp Ignite updates:

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