NATURAL DETROIT: Developing Youth Through the Magic of Nature

Let me paint the scene. School’s out! The final bell has rung and kids are flying out of every door at Merriman Elementary School in Romulus, Michigan, rushing home to start their summer adventures. Days prior, my classmates gushed about the vacations their families would be taking and the things they were going to do with friends. But not me. Starting when I was six years old, my summer plans had always been the same: I would spend my vacation time in Detroit, Michigan visiting my uncle and cousins. Whenever I talked about my anticipated summer plans, people would reply with repugnance or pity. They would say, “Too bad. You are not going to have a REAL summer vacation.” Or, “You should tell your parents you don’t want to go.” But they didn’t understand that I was the lucky one. For me, summer in Detroit was the best thing in this world. It surely beat out any amusement park or trips up north. I was lucky to spend 10 weeks with the people I love, making memories, laughing, playing, exploring and investigating. But more importantly, I would have 10 weeks of nature in Detroit. Even though I was only coming […]