As a sales executive, Earl B. Hunter Jr. traveled a lot, away from his wife and his two young children. That was until his son, Dillon, who was 7 at the time, confronted him.
“He said, ‘Dad, you keep telling me you’re going to take me to Mt. Rushmore, and yet you haven’t taken me. You always telling me to talk that talk and walk that walk. Well, I’m telling you to walk that walk,’” Earl told Rose Jenkins Lane for a report in Jacksonville, Fla.’s Daily News.
So, Earl told his son he’d pick him up on the last day of school and take him on the road. That summer, Earl brought Dillon on an epic tour of the U.S. He traveled to RV dealerships, convincing them to carry a unique product — Sylvan Sport pop-up campers.
He and Dillon slept in the camper. Dillon learned to swim. They went to Mt. Rushmore, the Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, California.
“Then, something significant happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” Earl says. “I saw something that I hadn’t seen before. This big motor home pulled up. It was burgundy, beautiful. I looked over, I said, ’That’s a Black family! It turned out to be the only Black family that we saw in 49 campgrounds, three months of traveling, 14,000 miles. And they were shocked when they saw us.”
In the campground, the two Black families talked for hours. Earl recounts that the woman they’d met challenged him: “You say you’re one of the only Black executives in the industry — why don’t get Black folks to go camping? Why don’t you do that?”
As a businessman, Earl saw an untapped market — to get more Black people to buy RVs and pop-up campers, tents and camping equipment.
In 2019 he founded a new company and gave it a bold name: Black Folks Camp Too. The company partners with the outdoor industry to market camping to Black people — and welcome them into the great outdoors.
This outreach includes the website BlackFolksCampToo.com, which offers information on how to camp, and Facebook and YouTube channels that show camping in a fresh light.