Father’s Day Weekend at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park

Spray Park at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, RV Campgrounds

The first camping trip for 2016 was a success. We spent the weekend at Yogi Bear Jellystone Park in North Java, NY. We’ve camped at this resort several years and would like to go there more often is it weren’t so expensive. The campground is very large and we always rent a golf course which adds to the expenses.


The weather was perfect and the campground was packed. The kids loved the spray park, swimming in the pool, swimming in the lake, and playing in the sand. Unlike my sons, the girls were not hesitant to ride the paddle boats, kayak, and row boat….alone. This trip was also MY first time on a kayak. It takes a lot of energy and once you get the paddling together, you can move around pretty good.

Jellystone is the only campground (I know of) that has a rather large and diverse staff. This was the first time we’ve seen a diverse campground staff AND diverse campers. We were shocked that we were not the only black family camping. That was great to see. Now about the large diverse staff. The staff was diverse in sex, race, and age. And, when there is a large number of staff, you will run into some mess. And we did. All I will say is that some people should not work at places where they are required to be around a lot of families. I have very little tolerance for old grumpy men. I am all about respecting my elders but I will let you know who I am with the quickness. This is not the 60s homie.

Back to the positive. Jellystone has a great general store. They serve all the regular stuff but have a kitchen that delivers. Will had an emergency run home and I am not a grill master like him so I ordered pizza.

Overall, I highly recommend Jellystone; especially for beginners. They have a large amount of cabins, lots of space for ten campers, laundry facilities, clean bathrooms, and plenty of activities to you busy all day.


Can We Make It Happen?

IMG_20160403_152032Hello! Shawnice here and I am so ready to make camping what it’s supposed to be. During our Memorial Day 2015 camping trip, we broke the tow bar…again! I can imagine how upset I was. I told Will that we are experienced campers and cannot continue to let people who “think” their more experienced than use try to help with parking the RV.

I have been helping Will park the camper for YEARS! I need him to trust me and know that I have our best interest at heart.

We eventually got the tow bar fixed but not in time for another trip. But 2016 should be on like Donkey Kong.

Can we make it happen? Yes we can!

On a side note, I am on Twitter now. I have 2 followers! LOL! Will and my friend Gail. You can follow me @justsewpeazy. Yes, I am a sewer. I wrestled with the idea of creating a twitter account for BlackCampers. The work it would take to manage two account  was outweighed by my desire to remain sane.

Anywhoooo…Will and I going on our annual wine tour this weekend and will try to periscope our adventure.

Here’s to a great 2016 camping adventure.


Memorial Day 2015


We had our first camping trip for the year this past Memorial Day. The Ridge (formerly known as Frost Ridge) has been our Memorial Day campground for several years. We registered at the campground later than desired and ended up in a site that is a comfortable pull-through spot for a pop-up, but not our RV. It took a little over an hour for me to park the RV. The first night was so cold, we didn’t even attempt to build a fire. We retired early and woke to a great morning with a great breakfast.

The Breakfast Bowl

20150523_101847A few years ago we started adding all of our breakfast items in one bowl. At first it made for easy clean-up but then we started loving the mash-up and made it a staple in our camping trips. Our breakfast bowls include potatoes, onions, bacon, sausage, eggs, cheese, and a drizzle of syrup.

I still keep a box of cereal and yogurt on hand because that is the only breakfast my youngest will eat. The breakfast bowl, along with a cold cup of orange juice or a cup of hot coffee, helps to warm up an otherwise chilly morning.


Thankfully, the weather warmed up some later that day and the kids were able to go swimming. The water was frigid so it was great entertainment to see kids jump in the pool and come pop up out of the water screaming. Chaney was in the pool the longest and had a hard time warming up. As I sat on the side of the pool, I thought about the need to update this site sooner rather than later. I wanted to make note of the other black children I saw around the pool. Yet, the adults that were there with the children were not black. They called out to the adults with the titles “uncle” and “aunt.”


It was ridiculous how much food we cooked. My eldest son ate so much when he was in high school, that I still tend to cook for 10 instead of 6. That child could eat for several people. He’s now 20 and camps on his own with his friends. He’s in this phase where he wants to do everything he did with us; but not with us.

20150524_175535While we were out camping, he and his friends were at the house and decided to have a little get-together and built a fire. These boys went through Will’s entire wood pile and kindling. He needs to pay for the next delivery of wood!

Our neighbors came out for dinner. It’ always nice to have our friends come out. And, yes! We try to sale the camping experience. At this time, they have their hearts set on buying a boat. After dinner, we headed down to the stage for the live DJ. The entertainment the previous night was night before The Christopher Gerard Band. The bands that play at The Ridge are not the flavor we desire, but if that’s what’s playing; we’re game. But there’s only so much I can handle in one evening.

Our first trip was a success. We hope to one day possibly be seasonal campers at The Ridge. I love the owners, and the regulars are friendly. I’m sure that we’re the only black family that graces there presence all season, but that’s what makes our adventures great! That’s simple how we do it!


See Other Memorial Day 2015 Photos

Share your camping pictures with us!
Send to sonice37(at)gmail(dot)com and we’ll post them on this site!




















Camping Update and Many Thanks!

Every time I get a notice that Black Campers has a new follower, I am humbled and embarrassed at the same time. I am humbled that there are people who are interested in what we’re doing. I’m embarrassed that I am not on top of my blog. I have found blogs that peaked my curiosity just to eventually learn that the blogger has moved on.

We are still here and the RV still smells like love. No joking. When we need to head out to the RV to get something out of it, Will and I walk inside the RV and take a deep breath. We talk to the RV and tell it how much we miss spending time with it. Will usually ends the visit with a pat on the side of the RV and we drive away talking about how we missed our camping adventures.

We did not get any camping trips in 2014. The brakes on the truck were not reliable, the sensor on the gas tank was failing, and the tank had a slow leak. Will had problems getting gas into the tank; he could not put more that $5 or $6 of gas into the tank. The truck was riddled with problems. Will said the Avalanche was his best truck and worse truck. When things were good, they were real good. When things were bad, we were screwed. Money was tight and financially supporting our son in college put camping on hold.

The GOOD news is….we have a new truck! Will finally had had enough of the Avalanche and purchased a Ford F-150. Camping is going down in 2015!

We are looking into being seasonal campers at one of our favorite campgrounds, Frost Ridge. We’ve spent several Memorial Days at Frost Ridge. The campground is small, the other campers are very nice, and it’s a 15 minute drive from our home. It will become our “summer cottage” (insert chuckle). Current campers at Frost Ridge have until the end of the month to renew their contract. We will know after that point if a spot opens up for us. If we do not get a spot for 2015, we’ll continue to camp as we have done all this time. Neither Will nor I can see ourselves settling down anywhere else.

Until my next article, which I have half written because I was going to add it here but decided to make it its own post, many thanks to the new followers of Black Campers! If you’re a camper, I’d love to hear about your adventures. Feel free to comment with a link to your site. If you’re not a camper, I hope I inspire you to give it a try.

Ready for 2013 Camping Season

We took a year off and now we’re back! The family was not happy that we did not get out to camp in 2012, but it was necessary for us to focus on other areas. Boy how we missed it!

We have our first trip planned for Memorial Day and I still need to finalize the rest of the summer. The family is EXCITED to get back into the groove of camping!

Our annual (minus 2012) July fourth trip will be in Pittsburgh, PA this year. My best friend since 2nd grade is getting married. And it’s too expensive for a family of six to stay in a hotel for 4 nights and although my sister is in that area, there’s just not enough room.

We plan on hitting up Kennywood on July 4th with the bride and groom! I’ve not been to Kennywood since 1991! 

OK…enough about July (I’m so exited)! I just wanted to share that we are on like Donkey Kong for 2013!


I’m Still Here and Camping

Ok…I told a little lie.

We’re not camping now, but we’re still campers. 2012 was a rough year and we decided to take a break. It was hard on the kids. They continually asked “when are we going camping?”

I had to get through some personal craziness and Will was busy getting the finances back on course. We also had our eldest child get his first summer job and that made it very hard to even get away for a night. I felt like a co-owner of my own vehicle!

We are looking forward to new camping adventures in 2013. Since our last season, we learned our eldest daughter had an allergy to bees!

Can you imagine! She’s been camping since she was a year old (she is now 10) and we’ve never had a bee incident. It took an afternoon of sitting in the GARAGE to encounter a crazy bee. Now we travel with the sacrexd Epi-pen. We have these pens everywhere!

We are looking forward to new adventures in 2012! The camper is in winterization mode and the entire family is revving to go.

Blogging Isn’t For the Confused

I think about this site every day. And every day, I chose to ignore it.

I think the problem is that I’ve made this site about camping when, in fact, I am so much more than camping. I’ve struggled with keeping this site up or starting another blog where I can express the things going on in my life.  And, there is a lot going on.

  • I’m married
  • I have four kids (all are active in extracurricular activities)
  • I work full time (35 hours a week)
  • In one form or another, I am involved in more than 5 ministries at my church.
  • I’m managing the care of a mother who has a traumatic brain injury.
  • I’m involved in United Way’s African American Leadership Development Program.
  • I’m wrapped up in the Word of Faith.
  • I’m experiencing some issues with my body.

And this list is a high-level overview of what’s going on. I don’t know if you can relate. But life is hectic. I started blogging as a way to share my camping experience with the rest of the world. I kept all my posts very “safe” . But anyone who knows me… I mean really knows me knows that I am far from “safe”. When I am true to myself, I can be a bit over the top. But I am not offensive. I love those around me and have a heart to see everyone live out loud.

I like to be transparent. But that can be hard when others around you are superficial. I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I’m frustrated with people trying to live as if life is a bed of roses. Yes. They’ll tell you everything is okay, but they’re lives are just as complicated as everyone else. If I had the courage to be honest and shared on this blog what I’d share with my closest friend, some of you would probably recommend some counseling.

There Are Places I Can’t Go

Some would say that I have some extreme views on life issues. Some would say that I think too hard. Some would say that I don’t care about anything and just crack jokes and laugh. Again, those closest to me would tell you that I will get deep on you to the point that your head will spin. There are many who don’t know that side of me because I choose to not go there with them. Not everyone can “go” to those places.

Regarding posting my views on the Internet; the world is filled with people who enjoy and take great pleasure in being oppositional and hurtful to the point of being abusive. You’ve seen their ignorant and offensive comments on the news and YouTube. I don’t want that in my life. I know who I am and I know that I’d have a hard time not taking such comments personal. There are places I can’t go.

So before I go off one of my tangents, I need to take a few steps back and return to the topic at hand. The title for this post is “Blogging Isn’t For the Confused. And honestly, I’m confused right now and feel like I’m in a midst of craziness. I want to scream and tell you why I’m tripp’n! But, I’m still searching for the truth and I’m not ready to take my stand until I have the facts.

Changing the Direction of My Blog

I desire to start blogging about the issues I face in life. But I’ve own the url, BlackCampers, and I’m not sure what I want to do with that. If I were to change the name, I don’t know what I’d call it. I’m not sure if changing the direction of a blog is a good thing. I don’t do this to have anyone follow me. But at the same time, I don’t want to come across as confused. But wait…. I AM CONFUSED. And, blogging isn’t for the confused. So I need to get myself together.