As a kid, Patricia Clement didn’t go to the park let alone do things like fish, kayak, camp or crab.
“Growing up in Brooklyn, East New York, all I saw was concrete,” she says. “The first time I stepped on grass I cried because I didn’t like the texture.”
A Virginian since 1997, Clement made a career in law enforcement, retiring six years ago. She asked her husband what he wanted to do to celebrate his birthday when he suggested camping in a cabin.
Less than enthused, she agreed, a weekend that opened up another world.
The campground had lights and hot water but best of all — peace.
“It’s so relaxing on the water,” says the Henrico resident, who is currently building a house on the Wicomico River with a launch spot for her two boats.
Clement and her husband also own an RV. “That’s when I discovered the outdoors and I feel in love,” she says, a passion that she shared on social media that led to the start of a brand she calls Rivah Sistah, which encourages others, especially African American women like herself, to be confident enough to authentically experience the outdoors.
“If I can do this, you can do this” is the philosophy behind her social content that introduces how to fish, how to bait crab pots, how to pull and set up a travel trailer camper and more.
“I have friends who visited me from New York and they were scared to walk on a pier,” she says. “I want women to feel more comfortable doing things on their own outdoors.”
Clement has morphed into a social influencer and produced content for TAKEMEFISHING.org, DSG Outerwear and Bass Pro Shop. Last month, she had her own booth at the Richmond Fishing Expo.
In addition to her own camper kept at Grey’s Point Camp in Topping during the season, Clement rents out a travel trailer during the warmer months. If asked, she’ll help with set-up and demonstrate how to crab and fish — she taught herself both.
“I love crabs, but I always bought them,” she says. “Crab pots are not hard. You can pay $50 for a crab pot and crab all you want. This winter I had 20 pounds of crab meat in the freezer.”
Clement is working toward earning her captain’s license. She remains an avid student of the outdoors and a passionate teacher. She plans to explore more areas this year on the Middle Peninsula, including Camp Cardinal in Gloucester Point.
“I don’t know everything. But I’m trying to learn and I‘m trying to teach people what I know. And I know people need to go outdoors.”
Want to connect with Rivah Sistah? Check her out below:
-Online at rivahsistah.com
Photos courtesy of Rivah Sistah.