DOINews: NPS: Martin Luther King Jr. NHS, Partners Hold Fourth Annual Legacy Campout

Last edited 09/05/2019

At left, campers, tents and the Atlanta skyline; at right photos of campers taking part in events.

At left, Under Atlanta's skyline, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site holds its Fourth Annual Legacy Campout. NPS photo by Linda Byers. At right, campers work on their vision boards while listening to a little history from NPS Ranger Marty Smith. NPS photos from park's Facebook page.

National Historic Site and its partner organizations – the Greening Youth Foundation, the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and REI – hosted the park's Fourth Annual Legacy Campout on Friday, Sept. 19, and Saturday, Sept. 20. They held this event on park grounds at the Visitor Center Pavilion located at 450 Auburn Ave. The Legacy Campout was a free event that offered a unique forum for local youth to have an opportunity to be exposed to outdoor recreation and its links to a healthy lifestyle. "The campout goal was to have youth participate in activities to express their ideas, thoughts and concerns about current social issues within the context of fulfilling Dr. King's dream for our nation and world," said Superintendent Judy Forte.

The theme for this event was "On the Road to Centennial." This event helped to share the park's upcoming goals for the centennial with the community.

One of the signature activities at the campout was a special time capsule created by the youth in attendance that will be stored in the historic home of Dr. King and opened in 2016.

"We are excited that we partner annually with the National Park Service to offer this opportunity which brings together students from the Metro Atlanta High Schools and other local youth based organizations to experience camping in an urban environment," said Angelou Ezeilo, founder and CEO of the Greening Youth Foundation.

The keynote speaker for this event was Stevie Baggs, graduate of Bethune-Cookman University, professional NFL and CFL football player, and motivational speaker. He has authored a book called "More Than Just A Game" and speaks all over the nation to youth about leadership.

Additional remarks were given by Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin, Deputy Regional Director Sherri Fields, Superintendent Judy Forte, Greening Youth Foundation founder and CEO Angelou Ezeilo, REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach Market Coordinator Nicole Warren- Miller, and Rosalind McGinnis of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

Participants told stories around the campfire, conducted camping games and an assortment of camping activities, pitched tents, and held live demonstrations preparing camping food and snacks. They also watched the award winning movie "The Butler" and held a facilitated discussion focusing on relevant current day social issues and topics brought out in the film.

On Saturday morning, the youth participated in a yoga class and conducted community service. They held a cleanup march in the King Historic Preservation District of Auburn Avenue. They created chants and cheers about cleaning their community while picking up more than 100 pounds of trash and litter.

The event ended with a "Legacy Circle" in which youth shared their true feelings about the impacts of the campout and the expectations and charge they have to continue to fulfill the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. every day.

By: Joy Kinard, NPS

Sept. 19, 2014

Related Links:

Martin Luther King Jr. NHS
NPS-The Morning Report

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