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Charlotte Nonprofit Camps Kids of Color

CHARLOTTE, NC – Keith Cradle finds peace in the great outdoors.

“I was a camp counselor in my teens after I left high school, and so you just pick up on all the great outdoor things you do with other kids,” he said.

What do you want to know

  • Keith Cradle grew up camping as a kid and worked as a camp counselor as a teenager
  • He launched his non-profit camping with Cradle in 2020 after receiving numerous calls from parents asking if he could take their children camping.
  • His goal is to help expose more kids of color to camping and provide them with free gear they can keep.

Cradle was 8 years old when he first tasted camping.

He learned to love this activity but also started noticing something.

“You definitely see a lot of families, but in particular you see white families, but you don’t see a lot of minorities, a lot of black people,” he said.

And that was something he wanted to change.

Two years ago, Cradle started getting calls from parents asking if he could take their kids camping.

“At first I was like no,” he said. “You don’t want to be responsible for the kids and things like that, but the call was getting stronger and stronger and you couldn’t ignore it.”

And this is how Camping avec Berceau was born.

Cradle’s nonprofit is a mentorship program that aims to introduce more black and brown kids to the outdoors.

Since its 2020 debut, Cradle has taken 25 kids camping across North Carolina and even brought friends like Alvin C. Jacobs Jr. to join the board and help with its mission.

“This nonprofit provides everything you need for camping,” Jacobs said. “All you have to do is show up. So my investment…I’m at $1,000 at this point. All a young man has to do is show up.

Showing up and learning to enjoy the outdoors is what Cradle hopes kids will take away from this experience.

“You never know what they’re going to get out of it, but when you realize they had an amazing time, I think that’s where you’re at,” he said.

Pack your gear, not your fear is Cradle’s motto.

And with more trips in the works, he’s making sure to hit that target on the kid at a time.

Cradle says he strives to provide materials to every child who participates so they never have to worry about paying for them.

To learn more about Cradle’s non-profit association, you can find more information here.