Can you believe that Smokey Bear is turning 75? The lovable bear has been helping educate children and adults on preventing wildfires since 1944. We wanted to take a quick look back at his life and work and celebrate all he has done! He’s even made some appearances at our very own Camp Wa-Ri-Ki events!
Smokey Bear’s History
Smokey Bear first appeared back in 1944 as part of a campaign created by the U.S. Forest Service. Did you know that this campaign is actually the longest running public service announcement in U.S. history? We all know his current campaign slogan, but back when the campaign first started, Smokey Bear had something else to say! His original motto was “Smokey Says – Care Will Prevent 9 out of 10 Forest Fires.”
That slogan only lasted a few years. By 1947, it had changed to something much more familiar: “Remember… Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.” That slogan stayed in place for over 50 years! In 2001, a slight change was made to the slogan, and that slogan is still in place today: “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.”
Smokey Bear Today
Today, Smokey Bear is still doing his part to help protect against wildfires. A major problem in the U.S., there is still a major need for Smokey and his campaigns to help spread awareness and education about the danger of wildfires. In fact, to help celebrate Smokey’s 75th birthday, a major campaign has been released that is helping raise awareness about wildfires. Check out this video, featuring a famous celebrity’s voice:
Today, you can follow along with Smokey Bear on social media or at his website, smokeybear.com! There is plenty of useful information there that can help educate you and your children about wildfires and how YOU really can do a lot to prevent them!
Smokey Bear at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki
We love when Smokey Bear comes to visit us at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki! Showing up at special events, he is always a welcome addition to the camp, and the kids love him! And hey, if we’re being honest, so do the adults!
Camp Wa-Ri-Ki is pleased to support the U.S. Forest Service through the Smokey Bear program and provide this beloved character for our Camp Kids’ visits. We need your help to continue and grow our programs. One way you can help is by participating in our day of giving on September 19th via GiveMore24! Anything you give will help us continue to provide an outdoor experience that offers optimal development of at-risk youth and our communities through recreational, educational, and leadership opportunities.
In particular, if you give to our campaign on September 19th between the hours of 9 am, and 10 am, we have a greater chance of winning. How so? Well, a $1,000 prize will get awarded to whoever gets the most donors throughout the hour! Thank you in advance to all who participate in our day of giving!