Bayne daughters carry on Camp Fire tradition

The Bayne girls of Monticello carry on a couple family traditions, but one of those is earning the coveted Camp Fire WoHeLo Medallion. Seated in front are Kellie Bayne, who earned her WoHeLo in 2012; Kaitlin Bayne, who earned her WoHeLo in 2014; and Kacie Bayne, who earned WoHeLo Sunday evening, April 29. The girls are the daughters of Michele and Joe Bayne. (Photos by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Tradition runs deep in many families. That certainly is the case for the Bayne family of Monticello.

     The Bayne girls (Kellie, Kaitlin and Kacie) recently completed a family tradition in which all three of Joe and Michele Bayne’s daughters earned the coveted Camp Fire WoHeLo Medallion.

     Kellie earned her WoHeLo in 2012; Kaitlin in 2014. Kacie just earned her WoHeLo on Sunday, April 29 during the annual Camp Fire Ceremony. All three girls dedicated 11 years to Camp Fire, spending their last years devoted to their WoHeLo efforts.

     Kacie said it takes about three years to get to this level, with three different projects: getting to know your community, getting to know your self, and start planning for the future. The girls also have to put in 60 hours of community service and talk to three different organizations within their community to get a feel for how a non-profit works.

     “This is a proud accomplishment,” said Michelle of having all three girls get to this level. She said when girls enter their teen years, they become more involved in other things that it’s hard for some to finish Camp Fire.

     “It was well worth the time and effort they put into it,” she said.

     Michele was also involved in Camp Fire herself when she was growing up, and was a group leader for five years when Kaitlin was in Camp Fire.

     With Kellie starting the Camp Fire trend, both Kaitlin and Kacie said they joined because the older sister(s) were involved.

     “My older sister was in it, so I wanted to be in it, too,” said Kaitlin.

     “Our family became pretty involved when Mom became Kaitlin’s leader,” said Kacie. She said growing up around Camp Fire, she always knew she would be involved as well.

     All three girls said they enjoyed the socialization aspect of the group, which Michele said is a plus.

     “They all got the opportunity to do different things and events,” she said. The Bayne girls attended Sacred Heart School, and Camp Fire gave them the chance to socialize with kids from the public school before the grades came together.

     Kacie said getting to camp out was a treat because the family didn’t really do that other than pitching a tent inside the house. “I always looked forward to those,” she said of camping outdoors.

     Kellie agreed, saying spending time outdoors provided some highlights from her years in Camp Fire. “I learned so much about canoeing, arts and crafts, fishing, and archery. I learned some outdoor skills such as starting a fire from scratch and building a tent.”

     Kacie said going through Camp Fire with her core group made it more fun, but working toward her WoHeLo was definitely a highlight. “That taught me the most about independence, socializing, and professional skills,” she said.

     Overall, Kaitlin said she enjoyed making Camp Fire memories with her mom as her leader. “I enjoyed sharing the experience with my mom.”

     Taking the lead in the Bayne family, Kellie said as a youngster, she saw the older girls on stage every spring receiving their WoHeLo. That kept her going. “I knew I wanted to be up on that stage just like the ‘big girls,’” she said. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could work hard and earn an award that most people don’t know about, but is a very high honor.”

     Both Kaitlin and Kacie said it’s an honor to receive the WoHeLo, to invite their parents on stage, and thank everyone for the support over the years.

     “Seeing my sisters go through it I told myself, ‘I’m going to do that some day,’” said Kacie. “And now I can say we all did it.”

     Kaitlin said it’s not something a lot of young women can say they’ve achieved. “It’s really a unique experience that not a lot of people go through. The satisfaction and feeling of achievement when you are done it totally worth it.”

     Kacie said she looks at this honor as a step closer to adulthood. “This is a big accomplishment. Next it’ll be graduation and onward. This is a milestone.”

     Aside from this achievement, the Bayne girls were also a part of another family tradition: the Monticello Fire Department junior firefighter program. Kacie is still a junior firefighter. Their father, Joe, serves on the department.

     Taking on leadership roles like this has surely taught them all about responsibility.

     “Camp Fire taught all three of us to work hard for what we want and to never give up,” said Kellie. “Having parents who supported us in everything we did or anything we have been a part of is a huge help and nice pat on the back.”

     Kaitlin sees it as accomplishing the same goal with three different experiences.

     “It’s cool that something like this connects us together,” said Kacie. Throughout her project, her older sisters would send her text messages to see how she was doing and how her project was coming along. She said it helped having their Camp Fire books to look through for guidance.

     Camp Fire for the Bayne family was truly a family experience. Michele attended the mother-daughter suppers and breakfasts with her daughters throughout the years.

     “All three were in Camp Fire at the same time for a few years,” she said of balancing three groups.

     Dad, Joe, also accompanied his girls with the father-daughter dinners.

     Kacie and Kellie said being in Camp Fire helped to improve their public speaking and professional skills.

     “As I got older, Camp Fire helped me when it came to people skills and interviewing people I didn’t know,” said Kellie. “It also helped me to be more creative and to think outside the box.”

     Kacie said it’s allowed her to expand her social skills, especially when it came to interviewing non-profit leaders.

     “It taught them all about giving back to their community,” recalled Michele. Kacie added that volunteering to her isn’t so much a job “because I like to help out.” She said it’s something you just do in a small town. “Volunteering can be a lot of fun!”

     Kaitlin said being able to state the fact that you’ve been involved in any organization for more than 10 years is a plus. “It shows dedication. It makes me stand out more, and shows that I am hardworking and dedicated to anything I set my mind to.”

     Kacie is a sophomore at Monticello High School. She’s not sure about her plans after high school, but has aspirations in engineering and music. Kaitlin is finishing her sophomore year at UNI, majoring in graphic design. Kellie will graduate from Kirkwood in May through the Medical Assisting Program.

     “This is such a great award to receive and we've learned so much through Camp Fire,” said Kellie. “I hope we can inspire others to get all the way through Camp Fire and receive their WoHeLo as well.”



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