Diverse NPS: Camp Founder Girls

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.

Camp Founder Girls Logo


Camp Founder Girls

Camp Founder Girls (Est. 1924)

Camp Founder Girls is a proud program of Black Outside, Inc. After encountering racial discrimination from local summer camp organizations, Mattie Landry launched (founded) her own camp for young Black girls: Camp Founder Girls. Its birth in 1924 made it America's first historically Black summer camp for girls. Renewed in 2019, Camp Founder Girls carries on the proud legacy of Founder Girls past by providing an immersive week-long overnight camp centered on bravery, confidence, creativity, and strength.
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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.

Camp Founder Girls Circle

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.



Camp Founder Girls Circle 2


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.


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.



Organizations like Camp Founder Girls and Black Outdoors, Inc. rely on private donations now more than ever to sustain the work that they do to increase access to the outdoors for everyone.  Consider joining us in making a contribution this month to Camp Founder Girls or another organization centered on diversity and inclusion in the outdoors.


Want to find more information about organizations like Camp Founder Girls?  To see a full overview of organizations we have supported, follow the link below. In this document, you can find information about what organizations like Camp Founder Outdoors and Black Outdoors, Inc., are doing and how you can donate to them directly.


We have also created a submission form if you know of an organization who’s doing the work to make the outdoors more diverse and inclusive. If you want to see them supported, please submit via the form below:
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