Girls' fire camps: Discrimination, or key to increasing female firefighters?

Fire camps teach teenage girls the fire service is a valid career option and can bolster a diverse workforce

On Feb. 23, 2018, the San Diego city attorney announced that a long-planned two-day Girls’ Empowerment Camp, intended to educate teenaged girls about work in the fire service, had been canceled. The reason for the cancelation was a letter from an attorney to the city, complaining that his client’s son had been refused consideration for participation in the camp.

It is unclear whether the boy had actually tried to enroll in the camp, or whether he did so in a timely way (two days after the announcement of the camp dates, the organizers already had a waiting list for applicants.)

On March 1, the San Diego mayor’s office announced that the camp would in fact occur at some unspecified later date.

Whether this camp was legal under San Diego statute is a question for the lawyers. But it is worth talking about why such camps exist and where their potential value lies.

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