After being exhausted from all the happy hour and per usual networking events at restaurants and local clubs, entrepreneurs and Clark Atlanta University alumni, Shanelle Williams and Kareem Taylor wanted to create something different where other Black entrepreneurs and professionals could come together in an adventurous and fun environment, which is how the Encounter Camp was launched.
“My goal is simple,” Williams, CEO at True Splendor Events and Encounter Co-Founder, explains. “I want to create events and experiences that inspire and change people. I want to create a safe place for people to come and share their fears and their thoughts, and those things they’ve been struggling with but leave refreshed and inspired, and renewed to go out into the world and make a difference.”
And that is exactly what the Encounter Camp offered---refreshment, rejuvenation, and inspiration! The camp was held at the beautiful Pali Retreat in the San Bernardino Mountains from Friday, August 25 to Sunday, August 27. Attendees had a full-fun weekend that consisted of workshops, early morning yoga, dance classes, s’mores around a campfire, and archery. Dance classes were taught by Los Angeles based Choreographer, Luckie, who is known from Oxygen’s hit show “Dance Your A** Off.”
“It was very powerful experience,” Dwight Williams, Art Director from Los Angeles, stated regarding his experience at Encounter Camp. “It was definitely life-changing and reaffirming. It’s for those who want to get away and want to grow. I had a wonderful time with great people, great views, and the facilities were clean. What set it apart was the structure, friendliness, speakers, activities, down to the food and the snacks. It was very well organized.”
Bummed that you missed out? Well, there are already talks about the next Encounter Camp so make sure you follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @EncounterSoCal or visit www.encountercamp.com and sign up on the email list to stay updated!
Naomi K. Bonman is the founder and editorial director of Purposely Awakened, a digital media agency for millennial activist and change agents of color. A digital media maven at heart, Naomi is also a journalist, screenwriter and digital content creator. Originally from Southern California, Naomi received her B.A. in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism from Clark Atlanta University and her Masters of Public Administration from Keller School of Management of DeVry University.