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Latino Outdoors Community Campout in Big Basin State Park

By: Latino Outdoors + Save to a List

A few months ago, Jennifer Adams (SF Bay Area Regional Coordinator) and some of the Latino Outdoors SF Bay Area volunteers; led a Community Campout at Big Basin Redwoods State Park located in the Santa Cruz mountains. For some of the participants, it was their first time going camping. The attendees consisted of families, couples, and a few individuals.  The weekend was full of playing boardgames, a hike, a visit from a local ranger, sitting around the campfire, eating pan dulce, making s’mores, learning the importance of “Leave No Trace” principles and lots of rain.

Thanks to the Bay Area Wilderness Training Program, Jennifer was able to secure sleeping bags, sleeping pads and tents for the participants. The first night consisted of learning how to set of tents, mingling, sitting around the campfire and watching the kids play games and eating some delicious Pan dulce brought by one of the families.

Some of the children playing board games. @Veronica Miranda

Pan dulce time! @Veronica Miranda

Getting cozy by the fire. @Veronica Miranda

On the second day of the campout there was some heavy rain in the morning. After breakfast, some of the participants headed over to a nearby shelter to relax and play games while everyone waited on the rain to ease up. The rain gave participants time to bond and get to know each each other. The group consisted of educators, biologists, mechanics, theater actors, students, photographers, mothers and fathers. We were enjoying the outdoors together and that’s the beauty of Latino Outdoors. We strive to create spaces where people can be comfortable with one another and be part of an outdoor culturally relevant community.

The children playing board games. @Raul Hernandez

SF Bay Area volunteer Olga Hernandez enjoying a game of cards with her daughters. @Raul Hernandez

Later in the day,  California State Parks ranger Scott Sipes came to speak to the group about the history of Big Basin, the Marbled Murrelet bird who nests in the park, activities and programs that Big Basin has over the summer, and answered all the questions that the kids asked.

California State Park Ranger Scott Sipes speaking to the group. @Raul Hernandez

The Ranger Scott Sipes answering all the kids questions, and boy did the have a lot! @Raul Hernandez

After the visit from the ranger, part of the group went on a hike to see the native species of plants and trees and nearby waterfall.

SF Bay Area Volunteers Olga Hernandez & Elisa Gallegos examining a map of Big Basin trails. @Veronica Miranda

The group on the trail.@ Raul Hernandez

On the trail. @Raul Hernandez

SF Bay Area volunteer Olga Hernandez leading the group. @Raul Hernandez

Group photo with the waterfall. @Raul Hernandez

Headed back to camp for lunch.@Veronica Miranda

After the hike, it was time to relax, for the adults at least. The children were filled with energy, they built forts, played tag and most off all got a chance to explore the beauty of Big Basin. The children were able to build friendships with one another. While watching the kids play, I am humbled by the fact that Latino Outdoors was able to provide the group with a camping experience with the help of California State Parks and the San Francisco Foundation Grant. With the help of other organizations we work together to provide safe spaces to local communities so they can get to know their local open spaces and gain knowledge of what to bring in the outdoors and how to pack it out and “Leave no Trace.”

Children picking teams for a game of tag. @Veronica Miranda

Building a fort. @Veronica Miranda

The kids trying to come up with ideas on how to get the adults to bring the S’mores out for the 50th time. @Veronica Miranda

After dinner, Jennifer Adams (SF Bay Area Regional Coordinator)  spoke about the importance of having as little garbage as possible that way we have little impact on the natural ecosystem. She went on to mention the importance of respecting the area and the native wild animals who live in Big Basin.

Reusable water basin. @Veronica Miranda

Washing station. @Veronica Miranda

After dinner it was time for S’mores and conversations. People were code switching, speaking in English and Spanish, laughing, having a good time. I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Angelica & Karla Marroquin; Karla has been on a few of Latino Outdoors’ outings and her mother, Angelica joins when she is able. I asked them how their experience was camping with Latino Outdoors; Karla stated “very welcoming & comfortable” she felt she was taking “baby steps” into camping. Angelica felt “comfortable being around people she could resonate with.”

S’mores! @Veronica Miranda

As the conversations decreased and people went into their tents to call it a night all I could think of is this is how you build community. By bringing people from all walks of life together to have conversations and experiences, we were just fortunate to be able to do it outdoors.

Until next time….

~Veronica Miranda; Social Media Coordinator/ San Francisco Bay Area North Program Coordinator


The Big Basin Campout was a success! Thank you to the following sponsors and donors for your generosity! Alite, Back to the Roots, Bay Area Wilderness Training, California State Parks, Nalgene, SeaToSummit, and The San Francisco Foundation.

Photos courtesy of Raul Hernandez and Veronica Miranda

A huge thank you to Jennifer Adams (SF Bay Area Regional Coordinator), for her continuous guidance, and hard work! Thank you to all the SF Bay Area volunteers, Ana Maria Coca, Carlos Miranda, Elisa Gallegos, Olga Calderon, Raul Hernandez and Veronica Miranda

Jennifer Adams (pictured center with backpack), welcomes everyone to the campout and goes over important information and itinerary for the weekend. @Veronica Miranda

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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