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Veneka Smith is an educator, environmentalist, grant writer, and social activist. She unschools her three children, south of San Francisco where she founded the Northern California African American Homeschoolers Activities Association. She also organizes the annual African-American Homeschoolers Family & Friends Vacation as well as local family-oriented outdoor trips to natural environments. She is currently working with local agencies to establish a nonprofit to help parents access multimedia educational materials. Her family has lived and taken sabbaticals abroad and is working to establish strong university relations with many African diasporadic educational institutions. The Place for Maps Online

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Make Plans now for the 2005 African-American Homeschoolers Family & Friends Vacation! 
This Event has Sold Out!

The 2nd Annual African-American Homeschoolers Family & Friends Vacation is approaching fast! In 2005 we are going to continue to foster the same warm, close community setting through camping that we had last June.  As an added bonus we will also attend the 19th Annual Gullah festival in Beaufort, South Carolina.  It promises to be an engaging educational experience for all. The Gullah Festival founder, Reba Paizant, has worked tirelessly since 1986 to make the annual festival the success that it is today with 70,000 people attending last year. Her mission to preserve Gullah culture, is a goal that resonates strongly with many homeschooling families.

We will be camping at Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina. This year, we will have a "primitive group site" -- in other words, we will give up a few more picnic tables and a free-standing grill -- for a semi-secluded campsite that can hold 100 people. Hunting Island has many ecological aspects that broadens its appeal for homeschoolers. While there, loggerhead turtles will be coming to shore at night to lay their eggs before heading out to sea. There is also a plethora of 'small' animals that call the island home, which explains how it got its name. The island was used before 1930 as a hunting area for deer, waterfowl and raccoons.

The island also has an elaborate visitor center with information on the islands interesting history. One interesting 'tidbit' is that the island was used for scenes in two movies: "Forest Gump" and "G.I. Jane" Forrest Gump scenes included the Vietnam war and camp scenes. G.I. Jane shots included the jungle and water camp scenes. The island also has several trails which lead to the lighthouse, marsh land and lagoon. There is even fishing allowed in the lagoon area. Fishing for spots, whiting, trout, bass and puppy drum is popular at the lagoon as well as crabbing and shrimping.  The lagoon is a perfect spot for photography as the bird life is plentiful and used to human activity. Some people prefer to get a rubber raft and just float around. The lagoon is well protected from the wind and is very peaceful.

The weather on Hunting Island is nice most of the year and the cool Atlantic breeze keeps the summer heat at an enjoyable level.  During our stay, the average high will be 81F with an average low  of  63F, allowing us all to sleep comfortably in our tents. As with the Grand Canyon event; there will be a lot to do, see, and time to get to know fellow African-American Homeschoolers from across the country.  Here is a summary of the 2005 African-American Homeschoolers Family & Friends Vacation:

2005 African-American Homeschoolers Family & Friends Vacation 
Thursday, May 26th - Sunday, May 29th.

Campsite: Hunting Island State Park, 18 miles south of Beaufort, South Carolina.

Reservations: $50 per family.  Reservations are limited and on a first come first served basis.  Secure payments may be made online at African-American Unschooling with a credit/debit card or via PayPal. 

Sorry! This Event Has Sold Out!

Additional questions? 
Email the 2005 African-American Homeschoolers Family & Friends Vacation Planning Committee:

To share planning and travel tips, interesting discussions about Gullah culture, homeschooling, unschooling, and more --sign up to join the AfAmUnschool Listserv!

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