Editor's note: The recap below is courtesy of Sonya and Necota Staples of Staples InTents, a Trail Trust partner dedicated to increasing diversity in the outdoors.
Our mission at Staples InTents is to increase diversity in the outdoors by inspiring others to become more comfortable, confident, and curious about outdoor adventure. Our signature event is The Gathering, where we host a diverse group of people from all corners of the country for a weekend of adventure.
Recognizing the barriers that exist for Black and Brown people to get outside, we launched The Gathering in October 2021, in Crawfordville, GA. Although now full-time adventurers and outdoor experts, we recall when we began camping, just six years ago, having to learn about the outdoors on our own. As we adventured more, we gained a greater appreciation for nature and grew closer. Although we always had a great time together, we rarely had the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with friends. So with The Gathering, the focus is on community. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to show up outdoors however they prefer?in a tent, vehicle, RV, hammock, or maybe even enjoy a cabin.
The first 2022 installment of The Gathering took place at CampV in Vancorum, CO, located in the southwest desert of Colorado from August 18-22. Every person who attended took an unexpected journey. They saw places they had never seen, acquired knowledge and skills they will cherish forever, and gained a community they didn't know they needed. Simply put, the weekend was magical (if we say so ourselves).
Throughout the weekend, workshops were led by outdoor experts, Philip Henderson, Zelzin Aketzalli, Scott Brady, Dani Reyes-Acosta, and several others. Attendees adventured out for group hikes and trail rides, and in the evenings enjoyed nightly happy hours, movie night, bonfires, and DJ Brock. To relax and get grounded in nature, there was the option of attending tea ceremonies, creating landscape watercolors, and unwinding by the lake. Then for those looking to develop their technical skills, there were marshaling, self-recovery, and winching courses. Regardless of the experience each person was seeking, they were able to find it during The Gathering Vancorum.
For those who missed The Gathering Vancorum, we invite you to North Carolina for The Gathering Hendersonville, October 14-16, 2022. This fall's event is set to be the largest Gathering yet. We'll have another beautiful location, the same level of engaging workshops, and create amazing memories for everyone in attendance. The Gathering Hendersonville will have a-whole-nother vibe, set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, during peak leaf season?on 120 acres of property, adorned with hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and a beautiful waterfall. To top off the evenings, we'll enjoy bonfires, DJ, and a live band.
Find out more about The Gathering Hendersonville on the Staples InTents website, where you can also follow along on our journey.
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