NY Times Article mentions Camping in Color

Check out this fascinating article in the NY Times Travel section (Traveling While Black) written by Farai Chideya. We are honored to be included in this piece.


Camping History in America for African Americans 1930-1950

NPS Photo
 Many people have asked us "Why don't Blacks Camp" Apparently we have been, for a long time.
Check out this article about Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
Bus Tour (ca 1950) NPS Website

These are excerpts from a NPS Newsletter written by Reed Engle, Cultural Resource Specialist
from Resource Management Newsletter, January 1996
 On November 30, 1932 Arno B. Cammerer, then Deputy Director, National Park Service, added a hand-written note to Director Albright on a typed memorandum about the development of concession facilities in the proposed park: "Provision for colored guests." Three years before Shenandoah was officially established, the groundwork for an official policy of "separate, but equal" accommodations was being established. 

As these plans were being formulated, Harold L. Ickes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior, wrote in his diary:
... my stand on the Negro question is well known. I have been in the advance of every other member of the Cabinet, and the Negroes recognize this.... It begins to look as if real justice and opportunity for the Negro at long last might begin to come to him at the hands of the Democratic party, which Negroes have scorned... until they swung over to Roosevelt in large numbers in 1932....

Notice the Arrow, designating where African Americans could Camp.

As you can see from this article and these photos, African  American's have a history with  recreational camping.
So there no reason why more of us can't experience the outdoors.

 Photos from National Park Service website


The History of the Hands

The Hands of Jery B. Taylor

There are so many things in life that challenge us daily.  Camping is perceived as a challenge and it's really not.
I am disappointed that more of us don't do it. I have been unable to write to you for a while because life has challenged me but like life ... Camping is worth it!! 
We're back in the Low Country islands of the Gullah Geechee People (St. Helena S.C).  and this time we are joined by our family. Whom we haven't been camping with for many years. Our first night was a long one! Filled with laughter and joy which lasted into the wee hours of the morning. I am always amazed at the level of relaxation I'm able to achieve while camping. I am generally a bit hyper and tend to keep moving until it's time for me to sleep, but in the woods my body slows down and I find that I can become still and take in all the beauty of my surroundings.
We also enjoyed our visits to Barefoot Farm to purchase our fruits and vegetables and take in the wisdom of the elders.  I was picking out tomatoes, zucchini and peppers for our outdoor dinner that evening when I remarked how hot it was. The elder woman then said, "how lucky we are to feel the heat and still have our mind"... She went on to add that there are those who don't even know it's hot and don't have presence of mind. I think I shall never complain again!
Here in the South Carolina islands there is much to see and do. First the beauty of palm trees and live oaks with their Spanish moss blowing in the warm tropical breeze. With the ocean warm and inviting.  
The sand dunes are filled with loggerhead turtle nests, and are preparing for there journey to the sea.
Long stretches of soft sand, perfect for romantic walks or morning runs if your so inclined. 
And there is the rich Gullah history here and the basket weavers who still use their talent that was passed down to them from the ancestors. We were quite fortunate to have met the talented and noteworthy Jery B. Taylor who's works are featured at the Penn Center Museum
Jery B. Taylor
Her hands hold such historical value one wonders if they have been insured. St. Helena Island is one place everyone of us should visit, and making it a camping excursion is the way to go in my book. So unplug and let your body and soul take in all that these beautiful islands have to offer.


Low Country Camping Trip

This sign is from the Penn Center in St. Helena, South Carolina.
We are camping down the road from this historic site and an important piece of African American history. This site is on the National Historic register.
Here is a description from the Beaufort S.C visitor bureau.
"With its abundant farms and shrimp docks, St. Helena Island, just 5 miles east of Beaufort, offers visitors a glimpse into rural Low-country life past and present. St. Helena is home to the Penn Center, one of the first schools for the children of freed slaves the location of a small rural cottage, where Martin Luther King, Jr. drafted his famous “I have a dream speech”.

After visiting the Penn Center we were moved and felt inspired by the culture of the Gullah/Geechee people.
There are 15 historic buildings and structures on the Penn Center Campus, and over 50 acres of beautiful live oak trees leading to a expansive salt marsh
Salt Marsh behind the Penn Ctr.

Penn Center St. Helena S.C.
This area is a must see, for all people not just African Americans, so much culture, art and history.
Designated by Congress in 2006, the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. Which includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia.


Stay tuned for more of this historic area.
The Camping Consultants


How to clean and scale a panfish

This is a post that we did last fall after fishing season ended for many. We feel that this article certainly applies more at this time of year. We've been asked again and again about this topic. So back by popular demand.

This video shows you just how easy it is to scale and clean a panfish.
Panfish taste great, their light and sweet. Their usually the first fish you or your children may catch.
Just use a small hook and a worm and your ready. check out the link for pictures of different types of panfish. So get the frying pan ready.

The Camping Consultants


Choosing a Tent

When purchasing your tent we suggest poles that are shock corded for quick and easy set up. Shock corded poles have a stretchable cord inside or in some cases aluminum poles with chain, keeping all the pieces to each pole together. There are basically three types of family tents. A cabin style that you can stand up in, these are great when changing clothes or when you have children. These also can come with dividers to make separate rooms. Dome styles are also good, lightweight, but have way less headroom with sloping walls. And some of the newer tents can have screen rooms attached and awnings, I even seen some that look like a log cabin. Choose wisely, purchase the best quality that you can afford. A quality tent will last for years. It may be best to borrow or rent first to see which type suits you.  
If your a first time camper and you have purchased a new tent or borrowed one. There are a few things you should do before you go.  
Open and set up your tent to confirm that all the parts are intact. 
Familiarize yourself with the set up, this way you'll know what your doing when you reach your campsite, this is especially true if you may arrive after dusk. If your lantern is new, set that up as well to confirm that it too is in working order.
View our video on lanterns and read last seasons article on what to bring and how to shop at home. Remember, the more prepared you are the more fun you'll have when you get there.
The Camping Consultants

Myths about Black folks and the sun

I recently read an article that I want to share. As an African American who uses sunscreen regularly,  I often get strange looks from other African Americans when they see me slather on the lotion. I've even listened to snickering and comments like (is she trying to get a tan)? And my favorite, black folks don't need that stuff. But having experienced the itching and peeling for myself I'm not about to forgo the products, not to mention the control of just how dark I get each summer. I'm brown sort of a caramel color and with sunscreen and a lot of sun exposure I'll turn a nice tropical tone. Without it I'll just get darker but that's when the skin burns.  Science has confirmed that we can also get skin cancer and have a far shorter survival rate than Caucasians. So protect your children and yourself. Enjoy time outdoors but don't forget the sunscreen because the ultra violet rays won't forget you. Be safe not sorry.

Here are the recommendations from American Medical Associations annual meeting.

Skin Cancer Prevention in Communities of Color

The five-year survival rate from melanoma is lower in African Americans (58.8 percent) than Caucasians (84.8 percent), and the incidence of melanoma among Hispanics over the past 15 years has risen to rates comparable among whites. Hispanics and African Americans are screened less frequently for skin cancer and mistakenly believe that their chance for developing skin cancer is lower compared to Caucasians. Today, the AMA passed policy to support and encourage efforts to increase awareness of skin cancer risks, skin cancer screening, and sun-protective behaviors in communities of color.
“All patients regardless of race or ethnicity should use the same sun protection measures including sunscreen of at least SPF 15, avoid the sun during peak hours and regular exams,” said AMA Board Member Peter W. Carmel, M.D.  “However, African Americans and Hispanics are much less likely to practice these behaviors, and the AMA supports efforts to increase awareness.”


A camper Transformation


Hello campers, We haven't posted in awhile been a little under the weather, 
But all is well now.
The picture above is what can happen to a camper when water can sneak in. So make sure that you check all seams, cracks, and any place water can get in. Be sure to use the proper sealants for the type of roof that you have, some sealants that are good for the roof may not be good for plastic skylights etc.
This is a Toyota mini motor home that belongs to my neighbors.


When they got this camper I couldn't wait to work on it.
I first rip out all the damaged and rotted wood, sealed the roof, let it dry out thoroughly.
And replaced the synthetic wood with oak plywood.

Now every time I go to my neighbors they have done some other modifications. They are addicted. 
If they come outside one day and the camper is gone, We didn't take it.
Happy camping.

The Camping Consultants


Cabin Fever

Happy Valentines Day!

Who would have thought that they would be trucking in snow for the Olympics, and we have snow all over the states.
Here in the southeastern part of the country we seldom see snow.
This phenomenon around the country has been amazing to watch.
Hawaii is the only state to escape the precipitation. Anticipating the beginning of camping season and cabin fever, created the perfect mix for some fun in the snow. This how we spent our Saturday, making snowmen with neighbors. Who knows when this will happen again.