Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 59

Through all the turbulence, we children connected with our urban landscapes, creeks, and green corridors with friends by bike-and under
the hawk eyes of mothers and grandmothers who seemed to always be
watching or shooing all us children from their windows and porches.
I grew up learning about ways to be in nature, and how to be with others in it. Up at the Lake County Ranch, we grew our own food and harvested meats from the cows and pigs we tended there. We hunted and
fished: I recall the excitement of catching my first fish when I was three.
And it was my job to help make sausages, threading lamb casing on the
funnel of the meat grinder, twisting every several inches to wind a continuous rope into the five-gallon bucket. In the morning, I could hear
the sounds of woodpeckers tapping the giant oaks and mated pairs of
California quails at home in our front yard.
It was also a place of convening. Numerous friends, neighbors,
and community members would stop by, often unannounced, for
conversation, a raucous game of dominoes, delicious BBQ, and
other Southern-inspired culinary delights.
When our church members came, we hosted
moments of outdoor community prayer,
through which I learned how to speak in
public, reading Bible passages. Our pastor
would even perform baptisms in the swimming pool. My friends and cousins and I created tents out of folding chairs draped with
blankets to sleep outside in the thick quiet of
night under the stars.

own business, at 22, brought life-changing joy, in spite of its challenges.
At 24 years old, motherhood came unexpected, but welcome,
prompting me to move back to Oakland with my parents. I gave birth
to two more beautiful children and I persevered with my husband to
launch a game and hobby store in Oakland, but my marriage felt shaky
from the start. On the heels of my divorce, I decided to complete that
neglected undergrad degree. I was 33, and knew that I needed to have
as many choices as possible to potentially support the children on my
own. In night school, I discovered that I was a scholar, earning all As the
first and almost every semester to follow, and I soon got accepted to UC
Berkeley. I moved with my three young children into University family
housing, surrounded by a community of mothers like myself who were
working to change the trajectory of our lives.
The courses I took on the artistic representation of the American
forest-stories and images of John Muir, Ansel Adams and others-
inspired me most, yet I yearned to learn the stories of Black people in
the narratives of these places. Throughout
this whole time, I continued to find refuge in
camping, hiking, biking, and being in nature
with my family, and also sought out outdoor
recreation groups. But they rarely had participants who looked like me.

MY MENTOR, AWARE OF
ALL THE UNCERTAINTIES
I WAS FACING, ASKED ME
A SIMPLE QUESTION, "IF
TIME AND MONEY WERE
NOT AN ISSUE, WHAT
WOULD YOU BE DOING?"

I BECAME AN ENTHUSIASTIC GIRL SCOUT,
who earned the most badges in my troop in
a single year, gleefully sold cookies, and discovered a love for camping,
journaling, and ecology. I was also on the cutting edge of technology. In
the Bay Area, we were some of the first kids in the country to have computers in the classroom, and I learned to code on a Commodore PET
computer. But my love of nature persisted.
I wanted to create nature experiences on my own terms. By the time I
was 19, I had a few disastrous camping trips with friends under my belt.
I recall overshopping for canned food (then leaving the can opener at
home), leaky tents, damp sleeping bags, and shivering in cotton clothing
next to an evening fire that refused to catch. An Outward Bound course
tested me, and pushed me through physical boundaries I didn't realize
I had to summit a mountain. I learned a powerful lesson at the precipice
of adulthood: to "trust my feet" or to have faith that I had everything I
needed within me. It was another form of motherwit.
Then life got busy, and complicated. I went to San Francisco State
University in the 1990s, the first in my family to attend a four-year college. Here, I met some of the most brilliant and talented human beings
of many hues, many of whom were, like me, working to find their voice
and identity-but after a few semesters, I decided to leave college. I
worked at San Francisco's famous Zuni Cafe. I started a limited-run
clothing company called Rulette Wear. The experience of having my

AT LAST, I HAD A SHINING MOMENT OF
revelation. It was 2009 and the U.S. economy
had tanked. I had just graduated from UC
Berkeley with no real plan or job prospects
and I was considering moving out of state to
hide out in business school. My parents had
both transitioned by then, and the lands and homes that were my precious bond to them, and my past, had been sold off. I felt awash. Then I
had a conversation with a mentor about my next step in life.
My mentor, aware of all the uncertainties I was facing, asked me a
simple question, "If time and money were not an issue, what would you
be doing?" Her words suddenly opened a door in me, a revelation that
my personal truth had been hiding in plain sight, I had a deep desire to
keep that Lake County Ranch experience alive in the world, to share it.
I answered her: "I'd probably start a website that reconnects African
Americans to the outdoors..."
My lifelong love for family, community, nature, and the wherewithal to
use digital technology platforms to elevate my deeply instilled passions
suddenly all made sense working together. Motherwit. This became my
True North. Within a week, I set up a blog template and I began sharing
my stories about growing up both urban and wild. Outdoor Afro, a community of love in nature, was born. O.R.
-Rue Mapp is the founder of Outdoor Afro (outdoorafro.com), the
nation's leading cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires
African American connections and leadership in nature, reaching
30,000 people every year through planned activities.

Winter 2019/ OUTDOOR RETAILER 59


http://www.outdoorafro.com

Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019

OUTDOOR RETAILER - WINTER 2019
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MERCHANDISING
MARKETING
BIG PICTURE
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
WHITNEY CONNELL
SHERYL DEBOARD
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
RESEARCH
NEPTUNE’S REVIVAL
MOVING THE NEEDLE
SKI TRADITIONS
BREAD+BUTTER
KNOW YOUR WINTER SPORTS
MADE IN AMERICA
WORK WEAR
COUNTER CULTURE
THE VIEW
HOW I GOT HERE
#REPLIFE
FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - WINTER 2019
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - MERCHANDISING
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - BIG PICTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 20
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - WHITNEY CONNELL
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - SHERYL DEBOARD
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - RESEARCH
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - NEPTUNE’S REVIVAL
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 30
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 32
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - MOVING THE NEEDLE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 36
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - SKI TRADITIONS
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - BREAD+BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - KNOW YOUR WINTER SPORTS
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - MADE IN AMERICA
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - WORK WEAR
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - COUNTER CULTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 54
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 56
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - HOW I GOT HERE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/dailySM2022_Day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/dailysm2022_Day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/dailySM2022_Day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2022_Day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2022_Day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2022_Day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2021_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2021_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2021_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/outdoor-retailer-august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/outdoor-retailer-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/outdoor-retailer-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/may_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/april_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/march_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/february_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/january_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/december_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07302020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07212020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06302020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06232020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06162020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05272020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05192020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nxtbook_bhtest/weeeekly_05052020__JJ
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day3_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day2_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day1_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com