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A Day of Foraging and Fun with We the Youth of Detroit

By Lottie Spady, Youth Director, We the People of Detroit



A few weeks ago, I had the honor of hosting the Youth Leaders from We the Youth of Detroit, a program under the amazing umbrella of We the People of Detroit. It was a day packed with foraging, plant identification, and basic survival skills – not to mention a whole lot of fun! Although our time together was relatively short, only about three hours, we managed to squeeze in a wealth of activities, making it a fantastic introductory experience. Here’s a brief overview of what we did:


DIY Bug Spray Workshop

One of our first activities was crafting a DIY bug spray. This isn't just any bug spray; it's one I personally use often. We combined essential oils known for their ability to repel ticks, mosquitoes, and other pesky insects. The kids were enthusiastic about creating their own natural repellents, and it was a perfect way to kick off our day.


Mastering Fire Starting Skills

Next, we moved on to practicing basic fire-starting skills. I shared various techniques and emphasized the importance of safety precautions when making campfires. Watching the group work together to spark flames was incredibly rewarding, and it provided them with a valuable survival skill they can build upon.


Plant Identification Hike

Then came one of the highlights of our day – a plant identification hike. As we wandered through nature, I introduced the Youth to a variety of natural medicinal herbs. We discussed how these plants can help with allergies, cuts, stings, upset stomachs, and more. The youth were keen observers, eager to learn and ask questions about the flora we encountered.


Lunch and Hibiscus Tea Blending

Upon returning from our hike, it was time for lunch. We took this opportunity to blend a special hibiscus tea mix, incorporating herbs beneficial for respiratory health. This blend was a thoughtful touch to help the kids manage allergies and pollen exposure. They were excited to create something they could take home and use.


Practicing Zero-Waste and Low-Impact Skills

Throughout the day, we emphasized zero-waste practices and low-impact gathering skills. We set up a dishwashing station and avoided single-use plastics and individual bottled water. Teaching these sustainable habits was a vital part of our program, underscoring the importance of caring for our environment.


In Conclusion

Our day was a whirlwind of learning and adventure. Although it was a brief introduction, the smiles and enthusiasm of the youth were a testament to the impact of our activities. We touched on essential skills, from fire starting to plant identification, and instilled a sense of environmental responsibility.


As we wrapped up, I couldn't help but feel inspired by the energy and curiosity of these young leaders. It was a privilege to share this experience with them, and I look forward to many more days of foraging, learning, and fun in the future.

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