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Football coach Buddy Pough joins effort to attract more African Americans to great outdoors
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Football coach Buddy Pough joins effort to attract more African Americans to great outdoors

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COLUMBIA – South Carolina State University Head Football Coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough is wrapping up a Tailgate Tour of South Carolina state parks this weekend at Sesquicentennial to launch a marketing initiative designed to draw more African Americans to the great outdoors. The collaboration between the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism and the marketing company Black Folks Camp Too, will share resources to speak specifically to this audience about enjoying state parks.

“I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but I’ve never been camping,” said Pough. “My time at Table Rock State Park with Black Folks Camp Too was wonderful and I’m looking forward to a few nights RVing here in Sesqui. I’m proud to support Earl and his mission to start more conversations around the campfire.”

The Tailgate Tour began Wednesday at Table Rock State Park. Pough went camping for the first time at a state park, hosted campfire conversations, did some fishing and went hiking. At Sesqui, he also participated in bike riding and paddle boating.

A long-term goal of the South Carolina State Park Service has been to broaden its appeal to make sure the diverse visitation at state parks – especially for pursuits like camping and hiking -- mirrors the population.

“State parks were entrusted to us by the people of South Carolina,” said SCPRT Director Duane Parrish. “With the help and influence of Coach Pough and Black Folks Camp Too, we can remind South Carolinians that these treasures, and the invigorating recreational opportunities they provide, are here for everyone to explore.”

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Under the agreement, Black Folks Camp Too and the Park Service will collaborate to promote state parks camping and outdoor recreation on a platform that speaks specifically to African Americans. Among several benefits, State Parks in South Carolina will be the only campgrounds promoted in the “state parks” category on Black Folks Camp Too’s website for the remainder of the calendar year. State Park campgrounds also will be featured on the website’s interactive resource map. SCPRT will have opportunities to capture images from the Tailgate Tour for future marketing programs. And the Park Service will be listed as an official partner of Black Folks Camp Too with links to the website at SouthCarolinaParks.com.

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“As a youngster, I visited Sesquicentennial State Park many times, yet I never knew camping there was an option,” said Black Folks Camp Too founder Earl B. Hunter Jr. “Columbia, S.C., is my hometown, so it certainly feels good to help remove fear, add knowledge and invite all folks to gather around the campfire! The campfire in our log is the portal to amazingconversations, your race, age or gender does not matter. We all have something to say!”

Want to get a whole lot more from TheTandD.com?

For more information, contact Craig McAnsh at craig@blackfolkscamptoo.com or Dawn Dawson-House at ddawson@scprt.com or 803-467-0202

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