Natalynn Masters, Camp Founder Girls Director
Originally from Arizona, Natalynn grew up camping and fishing with her parents and two brothers. The outdoors were a family tradition that showed her all of the benefits of being in nature. Although she did not attend summer camps as a kid, she was able to attend a short camp experience while in college. Bear Down Camp at the University of Arizona opened her eyes to the community that can come from a camp setting.
Natalynn moved to San Antonio upon graduation to teach middle school math through Teach For America. For 3 years, Natalynn taught on the South and East sides of San Antonio where she learned about Camp Founder Girls. She began to volunteer and fell in love with its mission and impact, especially a camp with such a rich history and a dedication to serving Black girls. Natalynn now serves as the Camp Director and works to continue creating empowering experiences for CFG Campers!
Ki'Amber Thompson, Charles Roundtree Bloom Project Director
Ki’Amber is from the west side of San Antonio and she grew up on both the east and west sides of town in communities that were over-policed, over-incarcerated, and over-burdened with environmental inequity. Her mother and grandfather were incarcerated at different points in her life, and several of her younger cousins’ parents have been incarcerated so she has intimate knowledge of the impacts of mass incarceration on children and families. Growing up in this environment, she experienced police harassment and traumatic police raids. Ki’Amber attended Pomona College in Claremont, California where she had the privilege of having outdoor experiences that were transformative and healing for her. She found healing, her sense of purpose, and vision for her community in these outdoor experiences. Ki’Amber wanted to do something to support all of the kids who were impacted by the system of incarceration and lacked support so she founded Charles Roundtree Bloom Project.
A month after Ki’Amber came up with the idea for Bloom Project, her younger cousin, Charles Davonte Roundtree, Jr. also known as “Chop” was shot and killed by a San Antonio police officer on October 17, 2018. Chop was only 18 years old and didn’t have the chance to bloom to his full potential. So Ki’Amber named the program in honor of him.
Thurman Hogan - Operations Manager
Born and raised in one of Fort Worth’s economically under-resourced neighborhoods, Thurman always had an organic inkling for the outdoors; whether it was watching Surviorman after school, roaming the neighborhood with his best friend, or playing football. During his adolescent years, Thurman was introduced to a new world of outdoor activities (hunting, fishing, and camping) upon his acceptance into one of Fort Worth's top private schools. Feeling a lack of knowledge and confidence around his more affluent friends, Thurman spent countless nights reading and learning outdoor skills to "fit in." Over time, his new found interests grew into a passion and love for nature.
Prior to joining the Black Outside Inc team full-time, Thurman completed over 1000 hours of service with Black Outside, Inc as an intern through Trinity University. He proudly uses his years of outdoor knowledge and experience to ensure youth feel confident, safe, and have fun across all of Black Outside's respective programs. As the Operations Manager, Thurman oversees risk management, gear inventory, and trip planning. Thurman is a proud graduate of Trinity University, an American Hiking Association NextGen Trail Leader, and Wilderness First Responder Certified.
Alex Bailey, Founder/Executive Director
From the fresh smell of mint leaves in his grandfather’s garden to fishing trips with his grandparents on the Clear Fork river in Ohio; Alex’s familial connection to the outdoors always inspired him to connect deeply with nature, particularly in life’s hardest moments. This foundational love and connection to nature led him to envision a program which radically transforms outdoor spaces and programming to be a beacon of joy and liberation for Black youth--- later to be known as Black Outside, Inc. Between 2018 and 2019, founder Alex Bailey embarked on a journey to observe and shadow summer camps and outdoor programs across the country to better understand the impact outdoor programming has on youth. He took those learnings and, alongside an amazing community of people, began building a culturally relevant outdoor program in the city of San Antonio which today collectively serves 150+ Black youth across central Texas.
Alex is a proud fellow the National Wild Gift fellowship, The International Echoing Green Fellowship, a 2019 TedxSan Antonio speaker (Recolor the Outdoors), and currently serves as the Board President for Black Outside, Inc