Bruce Irons, a Charlotte public school educator, was deeply committed to providing all children equal access to educational opportunities. He strongly believed that a quality education demanded learning experiences beyond the classroom walls, and included meaningful summertime enrichment activities. Bruce Irons Camp Fund (BICF) was established in 1988 by his friends and family members to honor his memory and to extend his work on behalf of children.
For the first 12 years, BICF provided camp scholarships for one to two fourth-grade students at Eastover Elementary School. In 2000, BICF broadened its reach by partnering with additional Charlotte-Mecklenburg elementary schools, and by developing a collaborative relationship with Communities in Schools (CIS).
Each year, BICF partners with CIS staff and classroom teachers at roughly eight to twelve elementary schools, all of which have a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students, to select new students to enter our five-year program. BICF participants are selected based on academic effort, good citizenship and leadership potential.
BICF organizes volunteers to mentor campers through the process of preparing for camp, including outfitting campers with trunks, clothes, boots, sleeping bags and other necessary gear, providing transportation to and from camp, and serving as an additional support system for campers and their families. Generally, mentors are paired with their student for the duration of time they remain in our program.
In 2018, BICF celebrated its 30th year of providing transformative summer camp experiences to underserved children in Charlotte.
In May of 2019, the Bruce Irons Camp Fund became Wayfinders — Helping opportunity find every child.