First Annual African American Females Weekend at Camp Colman

Last updated: October 31, 2018, at 3:31 p.m. PT

Originally published: October 31, 2018, at 3:21 p.m. PT

The past fall, African American Females Weekend launched its first annual event at Camp Colman. Stemming from a similar family camp, African American Males Weekend at Camp Orkila, the event was geared towards women and girls of all ages to relax, have fun and explore nature in a safe, inclusive space amongst community.

DarNesha Weary, a Membership Engagement Director with the Y who attended with her daughter and other youth from the Dale Turner Family YMCA, was most impacted by the interactions she had with young girls as she watched them experience the transition from,

“…being a little black girl used to being the only one in the room to being with everyone that looks like you and has the little nuisances that are a part of your experience.” DarNesha laughs as she remembers one child’s exclamation, “Everyone wraps their hair!”

DarNesha explains that experiencing the outdoors isn’t always at the forefront of the minds of African American families even when it is accessible, which hasn’t historically been the case. But regardless of where a family is in their comfortability with the outdoors or a resident camp such as Camp Colman, her advice could not be any clearer…

“Go for it. Even though it may be your first time…your daughter needs to go and experience this with other kids that look like them.” 

If you’re interested in volunteering as a mentor or chaperone for the next African American Males or Females Weekend, please contacting YMCA Camping & Outdoor Leadership.