For decades, outdoor activities throughout the country have been associated with whiteness, yet recent polls have shown an increased interest in camping among people of color. But despite an increase in diverse campers across the nation, subjecting yourself to spaces in which you may be the only melanated person in the room is still scary to some, and rightfully so. Outdoor spaces in America have a checkered past, riddled with segregation. In fact, our news cycle constantly reminds us of the ongoing unwelcoming and unsafe incidents that occur when Black folks attempt to enjoy the outdoors.
In an effort to change this, co-founders Jocelyn McCants, Shunte’ McClellan, and Cayela Wimberly White created Melanated Campout as an organization actively working to create inclusive outdoor spaces. The 3 friends wanted to challenge their friends to do something different, relaxing, and exciting. McCants and McClellan had firsthand experience, evolving from being skeptical campers to co-founders after experiencing unexpected serenity in the midst of nature. They are also promoting camping as a cost effective, accessible alternative to international travel.
Designed to be a comfortable introduction to the world of camping for adults, Melanated Campout is not your traditional camping experience. The event’s itinerary is packed with activities designed to connect you with nature from yoga, to guided fishing, to evening bonfires.
The team behind Melanated Campout has created a schedule that embraces curiosity about both RV and tent camping, safety guidelines, training for first-timers, and community building activities like empowerment classes, line dancing, field day activities, themed parties, and much more!
The next camping weekend takes place on Friday, August 19th to Sunday, August 21st, hundreds of diverse campers will be welcomed to Wrightsville, Georgia. For more information, visit melanatedcampout.com.