Vision of national camp - 1985
CAMP PUMZIKO HISTORY
As an original founder of the New Afrikan Scouts, Kweli Sobukwe Umoja, envisioned a national gathering of all New Afrikan Scout chapters at a camp similar to the Boy Scouts of America’s Jamboree. The Los Angeles, California, Zulu Troop, established in 1979, conducted many local camping outings that qualified scouts to earn camping merit badges. The goal of a national New Afrikan Scout Organization (NASO) assembly was not accomplished prior to many of its founders, and leaders relocating to the south.
The NASO camping experiences in the south began under the leadership of the Atlanta, Georgia, chapter. This local chapter was established in 1986 with Aminata Umoja as the Troop Leader. Kwame Kalimara, an experienced camper, led the initial camping activities in April of 1990. He prepared the necessary forms with the assistance of Ahadi Tyehimba, who was one of the Scout co-coordinators in Los Angeles.
The Atlanta troop began camping in tents during weekend outings at pioneer/primitive sites on the grounds of Georgia State Parks. After a few years of successful camping adventures, the activities evolved to include horseback riding, and boating. The Birmingham troop, led by Sanovia Muhammad and Ahmed Obafemi, joined in several of the camping trips.
It was during a planning retreat when Sanovia proposed the idea of having a national Scout camp. She, Aminata, Ahmed, and Kwame all agreed and together, developed the program for the first national gathering. In July of 1994, Camp Pumziko came into fruition at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama. Sanovia served as both Camp Administrator and Camp Medic, Aminata was the Curriculum Developer, Kwame was the Camping Coordinator, and Ahmed was the Logistics Director.
The word Pumziko means rest, vacation, a place for recreation and relaxation in Ki-Swahili. Sanovia named the camp based upon the Afrikan Institute of Martial Arts (AIMA) and Kupigana Ngumi-The New Afrikan Combat System's interpretation of Pumziko: "We come in peace, but ready to defend". The Pumziko stance utilized in AIMA is a closed left hand (fist) covered by an open right hand. Therefore, we offer an extended open hand as a gesture of peace, but if rejected, the fist is ready to defend. Pumziko is also the term we use for our 'Parade Rest' position when the NASO troop is in formation.
Recognizing the overall positive impact of camping, and in an effort to be more inclusive, NASO leadership opened the camp to Non-NASO youth and staff participation. A blending of a survivalist and accommodationist style of camping has taken place over the years.
Since it's inception, both the number of campers and staff members continue to flourish as a result of Camp Pumziko's overwhelming efficacy and outstanding success.
This is a gentle reminder that the 25th Annual Camp Pumziko is rapidly approaching and pre-registration will be ending before camp starts.
And because we plan the schedule; select accommodations; create the menu; and do shopping based upon PRE-REGISTRATION, there will be a WALK-UP FEE of $50 for the first child and $10 for each additional child. Please PRE-REGISTER your youth!
Fundraising/Donations Needed for Camp Pumziko
It's our primary goal for all of our youth to have the quintessential summer camp experience - learning new, fun and educational skills in the heart of nature.
Sharing living quarters and responsibilities with a group of same-aged campers from various cities, states and countries is not only a tremendous amount of fun, but also a great opportunity for growth and long lasting friendships to be made.
Making decisions independently of the family, working as a team toward a common goal, and learning the skill of compromising, are character-building lessons that develop lifetime substance.
We garner only the very best experienced staff, select the very best accommodations and utilize the most appropriate equipment.
Providing all of this during a 7-day, 6-night sleep-away camp for our youth true value is intangible. However, the actual monetary cost is $1,000 per camper. This is much more than the current registration fee. Because we target the inclusion of youth from underserved marginalized communities, we strive to keep the fees low.
To defray the actual cost, we rely heavily on volunteer staff. And we have an ongoing fundraising campaign both on-line and in our communities. This combination, added with soliciting both financial and in-kind donations, help to supplement the true cost of camp.
Everyone's help is needed to make an investment into our future. Ask your family, friends and neighbors to donate. We are grateful for any and all support. No donation is too small.