So many exciting feelings as we transition into spring. The weather here is shaping up; we’re back to traveling again, and we’re ready to share a new organization with the Diverse NPS crew. This month we’re featuring Camp Founder Girls, America’s First Historically Black Summer Camp For Girls.
Below, you’ll find information about Camp Founder Girls and how you can support their work and get involved in their mission. We hope you find inspiration in their incredible efforts to share the outdoors with young women.
ABOUT THIS MONTH'S ORGANIZATION:
During the month of April, we’ll be sharing the work of an outdoor organization, Camp Founder Girls part of Black Outside, Inc., in our community effort to showcase organizations who are working to create more inclusive outdoor spaces.
After experiencing racial discrimination from local camp organizations, Camp Founder Girls, founder Mattie Landry launched her own summer camp in 1924 in the San Antonio, Texas area. Camp Founder Girls became America’s First Historically Black Summer Camp for girls. Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s the camp grew, purchasing land and introducing generations of girls to the outdoors, recreation, and the joy that can be found in nature. In 1968 the organization closed operations shortly after Mattie Landry’s retirement.
In 2019, Camp Founder Girls was officially re-launched under the Black Outside, Inc umbrella of programming. A new generation of girls from the San Antonio area can now share in the legacy of the summer camp and begin a bright future of better equality in outdoor spaces.
Follow + Share:
You can support Camp Founder Girls by following them on social media and sharing the movement on your social media platforms. By recognizing the need for equal access for everyone in the outdoors, sharing about the movement or making a donation, you are demonstrating your commitment to social justice and more inclusive public lands.
ABOUT DIVERSE NPS
Undoubtedly, our lands should be enjoyed by all of us, but when we look into who is getting access to our lands, we see alarmingly disproportionate statistics that highlight a gap between race and park visitations. When we examine the reasons why these gaps are present—access, education, resources, discrimination and prejudice—we understand that systemic racism in our country is the major contributor to these disappointing disproportions.
In the National Park System, for example, Black Americans make up about 7 percent of visitors, while they are 13 percent of the U.S. population. Moreover, 78 percent of visitors are White.
The end of the Jim Crow era in 1968, showcases that Black American generations have only recently gained the freedom and liberty to move around this country. Still today, minorities face prejudice and discrimination within our outdoor spaces and, often, cannot safely and comfortably enjoy outdoor recreation.
AS PARK ENTHUSIASTS AND ADVOCATES OF SPENDING TIME IN NATURE, WE ARE COMMITTED TO ADDRESSING RACISM WITHIN OUR INDUSTRY.
To do so, we are taking action to use our platforms to contribute to the progress that is much needed within the outdoor space and community.
As a part of this community, Park Chasers will join with others in highlighting organizations that are dedicated to bridging the race gap in the outdoor space by connecting opportunities and experiences to people of color.
Each month, we are featuring and focusing on one organization, with the intent to showcase their hard work, raise awareness and support them through funding and donations. We’ll share monthly articles and social media posts along with links for how you can donate.