After the crazy whirlwind time that Spring 2020 was, with the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing of George Floyd, founders Ron, Rashad & Shequeita Frazier decided to create an experience aimed at Black folks and our allies to recharge and find their peace in the wilderness. Welcome to Camp Yoshi.
Their unique experiences focus on reconnecting with nature via guided multi-day adventures and enjoying chef-prepared meals by Rashad. We sat down with the Camp Yoshi co-founder Rashad Frazier to learn more about how they came up with the idea and what people should expect.
MiiR | How was the idea for Camp Yoshi born?
Rashad | My brother Ron and I had been taking these trips we like to call “the trips to nowhere,” for the last 5 years. We would always combine my passion for food and adventure with Ron’s passion for overlanding (ambition car camping). We’ve been flirting with the idea of becoming adventure guides for years. With the catering industry taking a hit due to the pandemic, we decided to pivot into a camping experience since access to space became everyone’s goal. Combine this with social injustices of last year (and way before) and the idea formed naturally.
Ultimately, we wanted a camping experience that was easy and accessible. Remove as many barriers as possible. You just show up and we handle the rest. Our first trip was in October of last year in Southeast Oregon. That trip validated our theory.
M | How would a Camp Yoshi experience be beneficial for Black men and women?
R | Between stress, COVID-19 and racial pandemics, WE NEED A BREAK! Connecting with nature and being at peace, is something we want people who look like us to also experience. The benefit is one learning to not only thrive in the wilderness but also build community.
M | How does your culinary background come into play?
R | As a chef, I connect with people through food. During our first trip there was one specific day with a really long hike up this challenging trail and after, everyone was exhausted and defeated. The campers all just wanted some water and sleep. I whipped up a caramel braised short-rib stew with whipped potatoes and fried shallots for the group and everyone was beyond happy and recharged. The rest of the night was filled with humor and beautiful conversation. As people we connect through food, music, fellowship and community. That’s what Camp Yoshi is all about.
M | What’s next for Camp Yoshi?
R | We’re focusing on 2022 now that all of our experiences in 2021 are sold out. We want to perfect the process we have built while discovering more adventure/route locations in the U.S. and abroad (Tanzania/Kenya sounds lovely). And lastly we want to make our trips available to families. Between zoom learning and working from home, there are a lot of families who could use an adventure.