Kenneth D. Miles, CFRE
Ken came to Camp Fire Central Coast as the Executive Director in January 2013. He has many nonprofit experiences including the American Red Cross in San Diego, CA, the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Home in Virginia and the Family Care Network, Inc. in San Luis Obispo, CA. Ken’s nonprofit experiences include providing youth services, donor and fund development, event management, volunteerism, community relations, strategic planning, marketing and business development within the nonprofits sector. Ken is a nonprofit specialist certified through CFRE, International. After working many years with at-risk and foster youth, Ken is excited to provide youth prevention programming and youth development for the children and families on the Central Coast of California.
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
Jazmin was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. Her family moved to Santa Maria in 2002 when her parents became ministers of a local church. Jazmin has been involved in church groups and activities since childhood. In addition to her work with Camp Fire, she currently leads a dance group, plays the piano in her worship team, and is the Children’s Ministry Director in her church. After earning an AA in Early Childhood Studies, Jazmin worked in the ASES after school program as Activity Program Leader. She is mother to three lively boys. Jazmin is very passionate about working with the youth of her community and enjoys leading Teens In Action programs in the Santa Maria area.
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.
Terri is the owner of Evergreen Business Services and has been doing the bookkeeping for Camp Fire for over 20 years. She graduated from Pepperdine University and began her business a few years later when her children were in school. Camp Fire Central Coast of California was one of her early clients and she has enjoyed the many years of working with the organization and its staff.
Andy Starkie (Volunteer)
Camp Natoma Facilities
Andy Starkie was born and raised in San Luis Obispo and now lives in Morro Bay. He has a long history with Camp Natoma. His parents, Alice and Alf Starkie, worked there in the 60s and 70s and Andy was often there at camp from a young age. His love and commitment to the operations of the rustic summer camp is admirable. Starting in April or May of each year, most of Andy’s weekends are spent preparing the infrastructure of Camp Natoma to be ready for the kids during the summer months. Andy and his family are key supporters of Camp Natoma, shepherding countless projects along the way. In 2014, Andy was instrumental in the acquisition of the Camp Natoma Bus (pictured,) personally involved in every detail, from the purchase to the maintenance, choosing a driver, and giving it the “Natoma-green” face-lift.
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.