Camp Founder Girls (CFG) was established in 1924 as the very first camp for Black girls in the country—right here in San Antonio. The camp's founder and director, Mattie Landry, had the vision for this unique camp after she attempted to start a local chapter of a national camp but was rejected because of the color of her skin. Throughout her 40+ years as CFG's leader, Ms. Landry focused on building strong character in her campers, developing leaders for the future, and giving the girls a safe space to be themselves while experiencing the challenge, joy, and beauty of the outdoors. CFG’s impact didn’t end with summer camp, throughout the school year the Founder Girls not only met regularly for classes but volunteered in the local eastside community. After Ms. Landry died, unfortunately, the camp ceased to exist and with it went a piece of San Antonio history.
After discovering the powerful history of Camp Founder Girls and grappling with the startling statistic that only 4% of summer campers identify as Black/African American, we knew we had to do something to even the playing field. Last year, under the guidance of Black Outside, Inc, an organization that seeks to provide transformative outdoor experiences to youth of color from across Central Texas, Camp Founder Girls relaunched with overwhelming support from our local community. We hosted a week-long camp with 29 girls, the majority of whom are from the Eastside of San Antonio. Our camp is unique because, along with providing traditional summer camp experiences (ex.camp fires, cabin talks, hiking), we also intentionally craft the programming and activities to affirm the identities of our campers in small and large ways. From chants and cheers from HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) to celebrating Juneteenth with fun craft projects, our camp built on the powerful history of Black people in the U.S Camp last year was such an incredible experience that we have decided to double in size in 2020, s
Funded by San Antonio, TX (January 2020)