Black Folks Camp Too has entered into a partnership with The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism to encourage the Black community to use and explore state parks.
The partnership kicked off on Oct. 14 at Table Rock State Park with a “Tailgate Tour” led by Black Folks Camp Too Founder, Earl B. Hunter Jr. and South Carolina State University Head Football Coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough. On the five-day tour, Hunter, Pough and a number of other special guests spent time exploring and camping at South Carolina State Parks for the first time. Black Folks Camp Too also hosted open campfire conversations with other campers and RVers at both Table Rock and Sesquicentennial state parks.
“I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but I’ve never been camping,” said Coach Pough. “Since I’ve had some extra time this fall, I decided to join the Black Folks Camp Too effort. I’m proud to support Earl and his mission to start more conversations around the campfire.”
Hunter founded Black Folks Camp Too with the idea of blazing the trail to a more inclusive outdoors with a mission of removing fears, adding knowledge and inviting Black folks to camp and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle with “any and everybody.”
In addition to South Carolina’s tourism agency, Black Folks Camp Too has partnered with Bob Ledford Adventure Motorhomes in Greer, S.C., and Browns RV Superstore in McBee, S.C., on this tour. Other outdoor industry partnerships include Nemo Equipment, Backcountry, GSI Outdoors and Ben’s Insect & Tick Repellent.
While breaking down barriers is central to Black Folks Camp Too’s mission, the company is primarily a marketing organization with experience helping outdoor lifestyle brands increase their ROI – what Turner calls their Return On Inclusion.
“The more Black folks who experience camping and RVing, the more they will visit these beautiful South Carolina State Parks, buy tents, outdoor gear and the latest RVs,” Hunter stated. “If we can create open conversations around the campfire in the state of South Carolina, we can do it anywhere.”
A long-term goal of the South Carolina State Park Service has been to broaden its appeal to make sure the diverse visitation at state parks – especially for pursuits like camping and hiking – mirrors the population.
“State parks were entrusted to us by the people of South Carolina,” said SCPRT Director, Duane Parrish. “With the help and influence of Coach Pough and Black Folks Camp Too, we can remind South Carolinians that these treasures, and the invigorating recreational opportunities they provide, are here for everyone to explore.”