CampingCon 2024: Wilderness and the Historian

NCPH members and non-members alike are invited to gather in southwestern New Mexico to discuss the concept of “wilderness” and the place of the great outdoors in public history work. The Gila Wilderness, brainchild of Aldo Leopold, celebrates its centennial year in 2024—so plan to participate this October 10-12, 2024.  The conference will be held at the rustic Camp Thunderbird in Mimbres, New Mexico, adjacent to the Gila National Forest. 

Featuring a mixture of presentations, site visits, and outdoor excursions, this conference in the woods will examine public outdoor spaces and the development of the “wilderness” idea.  Participants are encouraged to engage with issues related to public history—both historic and contemporary—that occur in “outdoor settings” however defined.  The event hopes to build on the work of previous CampingCons held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2016 and in the San Juan Island National Historical Park in 2019. 

Registration information will be coming soon! Registration includes conference fees, access to the facilities at Camp Thunderbird, and most meals. Participation will be limited to 40 attendees. Registration will open in June and remain open through mid-September. 

For information about submitting a proposal, visit the Call for Proposals page! The deadline to submit a proposal is June 1, 2024.

CampingCon 2024 is sponsored by New Mexico State University, the New Mexico State University Library, the New Mexico State University History Department, and the University of Texas at El Paso History Department.

Contact Us

For general inquiries, further information, or to lend a hand, please contact

Dylan McDonald
[email protected]
(575) 646-7711

CampingCon 2024 Committee

Dylan McDonald, New Mexico State University Library
Jeff Shepherd, University of Texas at El Paso History Department
Jerry Wallace, New Mexico State University History Department
Troy Ainsworth, City of Las Cruces Community Development Department