Black Folks Camp Too Visit Crowders Mountain State Park

Updated: Feb 10


About the Group

Black Folks Camp Too is an outdoor lifestyle executive educational group whose mission is to increase diversity in the outdoor industry by making it easier, more interesting and more fun for black folks to go camping while also removing the fears.


At the heart of the group is a belief that once black folks become more active campers and begin enjoying the outdoor lifestyle - it will break down barriers creating a more inclusive community and strengthen relationships.



The Founder

Earl B. Hunter, Jr is an experienced business leader and is widely recognized for his ebullient personality, hard work ethic and non-traditional approach to building relationships.


Mr. Hunter was first introduced to camping while serving as Vice President of Sales for Sylvansport, one of the world’s most innovative outdoor industry companies. Shortly after this, he took an epic road trip across USA and Canada with his son Dillon traveling for 3 months, visiting 49 campgrounds in 20 states/provinces. On this trip they encountered precisely ONE other black family camping. That disparity and the desire to share the camping experience and outdoor lifestyle with other black folks drove Earl to found Black Folks Camp Too.


In creating Black Folks Camp Too, Earl began sharing stories of his camping adventures to his network of friends, family and followers — quickly becoming a top influencer for black folks looking to give camping a try.


KOA Campgrounds was so inspired by the Hunters’ trip, they invited Mr. Hunter and his son to the KOA headquarters in Billings, MT and wrote an article called A BUCKET LIST FATHER- SON ROAD TRIP which was posted on the KOA website. Mr. Hunter was also featured in a recent Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) article as an outdoor leader who is “Shaking Up the RV Industry” — highlighting Mr. Hunter’s ideas for expanding marketing efforts to be more inclusive of the African-American community.



BFCT Visit Crowders Mountain State Park

Thinking that our destination’s outdoor brand could enjoy growth through greater consumer diversity, we reached out for BFCT’s help. In spring 2020, the Travel & Tourism team hosted Earl on a site visit so he could see first-hand what our potential guests would experience during a weekend camping experience at Crowders Mountain State Park and other nearby natural attractions. Shortly after our visit, we reached an agreement to host a BFCT event in September 2020 and immediately started planning.


In the run-up to the event, BFCT marketing staff returned to Gaston County to create a promotional invitation video which featured a hike to the overlook with Glen George, Superintendent Crowders Mountain, paddling with Greg Nance, Catawba Riverkeeper Watershed Protection Specialist, mountain biking with Huston Sheppard, Gaston County Cyclists and Caleb Hayes, Marketing & Creative Director, Crowders Camps.


The Black Folks Camp Too weekend camping event agenda in September 2020 at Crowders Mountain State Park included hiking, a picnic lunch, education and paddling on Saturday afternoon followed that evening with grilling out and wrapping up the day with an open and honest “fireside chat” before turning in for the night. On Sunday, BFCT wrapped up the event after breakfast with the traditional announcement of all participant’s “trail names”, nicknames given to them by Earl often inspired by his time spent with them in the outdoors.


No endorsement carries weight like that of a satisfied client. After his time with us, Earl Hunter, Jr. said “Gaston County, NC has some amazing places. None of these places may be more unforgettable and amazing than Crowders Mountain State Park!” He added: “The lake, the trails, and the views… words do not do it justice! What makes it even better, being invited! Black Folks Camp Too invites you to join them around the campfire and take a look for yourself at the wonders of Gaston County, NC!”


The team behind Black Folks Camp Too are outdoor industry influencers among the black community and veterans in sales, marketing and branding. Our department found Black Folks Camp Too to be an invaluable resource through their digital platform guiding and supporting black families beginning — or upgrading — their time spent in the great outdoors. In addition to unique content offering tips, stories and tutorials about camping and outdoor adventure, they also provide gear reviews, campground reviews, RV reviews and much more.



The Campfire Logo

The campfire in the logo "The Unity Blaze" represents a portal for amazing conversations. Your race, gender, or age does not matter. We ALL have something to say!


Help us teach these amazing life lessons, and promote diversity and inclusion by getting to know Black Folks Camp Too. blackfolkscamptoo.com.


This story was published in Gaston Lifestyles Magazine February 2021.

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