Yes, Black people go camping by: Alonzo Clark


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The N.C. A&T Recreation Center screened a new mini documentary for students on Feb. 28 in Proctor Hall.

“An American Ascent” tells the story of the first all-black team of mountaineers hiking North America’s highest peak known as Mount Denali in Alaska.

N.C. A&T is the first HBCU to allow NOLS to network to get more student involvement.

During the hike, the team survived on dehydrated food like beans, tuna, chicken, Ramen Noodles and soup packets.

Since water took a while to boil at the higher elevations, the team ate high caloric foods, such as Snickers candy bars.

Frequent rock slides faced by the team did not allow them to reach the top of the mountain peak.

However, they did not let this stop them from climbing 17,000 feet above ground level.

Rosemary Saal, one of the team members of #ExpeditionDenali, spoke with students during the Q&A about her experience as an outdoor adventuer.

“From a young age, I had a strong set of role models, and it made me feel more empowered as a human being thinking about how significant of an impact those women had on me.” Saal said.

Saal role models exposed her to rock climbing that sparked her interest in outdoor adventures. Saal’s passion for the outdoors began at the age of 12.

Saal’s training consisted of taking the National Outdoor Leadership

School (NOLS) training course in Canada, walking with heavy packs,
gym workouts, circuit training, high interval training and backpacks with tires attached behind her.

The 18-day journey was funded by donations, NOLS sponsors, North Face and REI stores.

Established in 1965, NOLS is known for teaching leadership development skills, wilderness advice and student expeditions in 14 international locations.

Erica Nelson, Senior Marketing Representative of NOLS, oversees the events and sponsorships held.

Nelson, Ron Griswell, and the campus recreation staff’s intent was to have this event end the celebration for Black History month.

“We’re trying to show this film and talk about more inclusion… but, I think that we can also be seen as
a white subject organization,” said Nelson.

“I think just owning it and addressing it and being able to move past it, so as I am starting to get
more involved to connect with other HBCUs if there is a hesitation because of historical context,” Nelson said.

Nelson believes people of color can start their outdoor adventuring by challenging the human body to be healthy and to be mentally tough for all situations.

After the moving screening, a pizza social was held where students had the opportunity to receive more information about what NOLS had to offer, REI stores job opportunities and a chance to speak with Saal.

Lauren Chadwick, freshman, biological engineering student enjoyed the film and felt inspired afterwards.

“I definitely learned that black people can do whatever they want to when it comes to outdoor things like skiing, camping, and hiking up a mountain. I definitely learned that I do have the capability to do that,” Chadwick said.Hiking 101

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