If you are like us, you have probably asked a loved one to join you in camping and in the growing black outdoor movement and you were met with a "No, thank you."
The conversation was probably similar to the many we had with Cayela prior to actually joining her. Does this sound familiar?
"Hey, what do you ladies think about going on a camping trip?"
Jocelyn raised her eyes from the magazine in front of her and looked at me as though I was an alien. "Camping?"
"Camping as in going out to the woods and serving myself up on a platter as meat for some wild animal to eat?" Shunte’asked.
"Well, no, we'd just be going all together with a couple of other people to the woods and..." You see...I was trying to explain before being cut off.
"I ain't going," Jocelyn said abruptly dropping her eyes back to her magazine.
"Yeah, I ain't going either and besides, black people don't camp." Shunte’ said.
Cutting this long story of how I tried to convince them of the advantages of going camping and thoroughly failing, my friends refused to go camping with me.
This reluctance to camp is why many people believe in the myth that black people don't camp but I'm here to tell you that black folk camp too. Guess what? It's a lot of fun, which is why people of color should start camping more often. Why not enjoy the fresh air, back packing, tubing and conversions by the campfire? Join in the growing black camping movement.
If you're one of those who believe that black people don't camp, you need to dispel your belief because black people definitely camp. Look at previous 850+ black campers who have attended Campout on the past.
In fact, some people attribute the reasons why few black people camp to history when racial discrimination was a big thing in America, where blacks were banned from specific outdoor places like national parks or beaches by custom or law. These were the periods when African Americans had to be careful not to go near national parks because they were not so safe due to the Park service's history of discrimination.
Melanated Campout event in August is going to be a wonderful way for black people to connect with nature and participate in Self-Care. With a lot of fun camping activities and adventure planed, campers will be able to go home with many memorable tales to tell their friends and families. These stories will entail never ending fun and relief from stress that was had during the entire weekend.
This summer, you have the chance to meet new people and make new friends, network, participate in outdoor yoga, fishing, gather around fires to talk and tell stories, participate in water gun battle, attend parties (HBCU- Homecoming, old school hip hop). But more then that, for first time campers you have the opportunity to experience camping in safe space.
Our hope is that while this may be your first experience camping and become a committed member of the black outdoor movement; it won't be your last. We want this trip to give you a taste of the benefits of being outside and encourage you to use what you have learned to camp through out the year with your new camp cousin and also your family. One of the greatest legacies you can leave your family, is the love for the outdoors. To find a space in this world where you can connect with the outdoors, find peace, sit still with yourself and reflect on how wonderful things are or go camping with your family and make memories that last a lifetime are priceless. Memories that don't involve electronics (or at least a lot of them) but instead good clean fun.
In recent years, there has been an increase in new audiences enjoying camping. We invite you to join in the growing black outdoor movement.
Meet us at the largest Melanated Campout east of the Mississippi!
Black people don't camp!