Home Health “Healing in the Outdoors:” Free youth empowerment retreat will promote mental health...

“Healing in the Outdoors:” Free youth empowerment retreat will promote mental health resilience at Warner Park on Saturday

Brooks Griffin (left) and Ajamou Butler will be the featured guests of "Healing in the Outdoors" on Saturday at Warner Park. (Photos supplied.)

A pair of inspiring community advocates and activists from Milwaukee, Ajamou Butler and Brooks Griffin, will be the featured guests of “Healing in the Outdoors,” a free youth empowerment retreat on Saturday, June 1, at Warner Park focused on empowering youth and promoting mental health resilience, self-esteem, and hope for the future. 

“Basically, youth are going to learn techniques on how to thrive in the summer, when things get tough and when things are frustrating or they’re under peer pressure. This is a time when peer pressure will make young people do things that they shouldn’t do. And so Ajamou and Brooks are all about making strong decisions and being strong people in your community and turning lives around,” Prenicia Clifton, the founder of Seein is Believin’, tells Madison365. Seein is Believin’, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing mental health and life readiness resources to Madison-area youth, is the host of the “Healing in the Outdoors” event. 

Butler, an international expert in the academic and behavioral development of children of color and those from underprivileged backgrounds, will lead a session focused on the therapeutic benefits of nature. Butler is the founder of Heal the Hood.

“Ajamou has a great connection to the outdoors and he believes that it’s one of the saving spaces for our youth,” Clifton says. “So they will actually be active in the outdoors. The outdoors can be a safe space for young people to thrive and grow. His talk will be about meditation and connection to the earth and setting yourself with the earth.” 

Griffin is an inspirational speaker and youth advocate who delivers empowering presentations, workshops and trainings on youth success, overcoming adversity and mental health awareness. He will host an energetic and motivational session aimed at personal transformation, Clifton says, and through dynamic activities and powerful storytelling, participants will be inspired to embrace change, set goals, and unlock their full potential.

“Brooks will talk about how to build strong friendships and make sound decisions, even when everybody else around you is making the wrong decision. So it’s about youth empowerment,” she says. “It’s about having a strong mental resilience, as well as having a strong personal ethic.”

Youth at “Healing in the Outdoors,” which is geared towards students ages 12-18, will develop protective factors and receive tools to help them through challenging times.

Prenicia Clifton

Clifton will officially open the program with a welcome introducing the day’s schedule, setting the tone for the event, and providing an inspiring start to the participants’ journey.

“I will be talking about the importance of being your most authentic self this summer and how sometimes when we’re alone our thoughts can get the best of us,” Clifton says. “So how do we control our thoughts? How do we stay positive? There are a lot of kids that go through an entire school day without a single hello. There’s a lot of isolation just being a teen. So now we’re getting into the summer, and there’s nobody around having those conversations with you … how do you stay mentally healthy? That’s what I’ll be talking about.”

“Healing in the Outdoors” is a free retreat open to youth ages 12-18 and will feature games, food, prizes, and more. For more information or to sign up, click here.