Fire Keepers

Are you between the ages of 13-17?

Do you have a passion for the outdoors?

Do you enjoy helping younger kids?

Our unique Fire Keeper program might be for you!

Program Overview

The White Pine Fire Keeper program is a one-of-a-kind opportunity in Indianapolis. It allows for teens to work alongside our instructors as helpers and mentors to the class. Responsibilities are customized to the Fire Keeper’s interest and include leadership roles in mentoring youth, facilitating guilds, leading stories and circles as well as clean up chores.

Why Teens as Teachers?

When teens teach younger kids while caring adults help to guide, something magical happens.

Both the teens and the kids show positive results including acceptance and respect for diversity, increased academic achievement, development of collaboration/conflict resolution skills, a reduction in drug and alcohol abuse among participating teens, and increased empathy for teachers (

But that’s not all! Our successful Fire Keeper program is led by our passionate, committed, highly-trained instructors, providing a backbone for all involved. This helps for learning social and emotional skills, time for group processing after every class, and positive interdependence where teens and younger youth learn together and depend on one another. Our Fire Keeper program has also proven to be a positive teen peer support network where deep friendships have formed over years’ time.

So who benefits from our Fire Keeper program?

  1. The Community. It helps create an ethos of cooperation, caring, and mutual respect
  2. The Kids. They learn and grow, watching positive role models
  3. The Teens. They are challenged, are successful, and contribute positively and significantly to their communities

How to get involved

Participants must be 13 years or older and have a passion for the outdoors. The minimum commitment is 10 hours a week for one school year. After you have been a Fire Keeper for three years, you have the opportunity to be hired onto our White Pine staff as a paid mentor. This is an amazing leadership quest that isn’t available at any other nature/forest school in Indianapolis!

All potential Fire Keepers must complete the summer training camp. Check out our Summer Camps here.

Please contact Matt Shull or Larkin Cooper, our Fire Keeper Directors, at for any additional questions.