2019 mParks Youth Symposium

This year Auburn Hills had 6 teens, who are apart of the Auburn Hills Teen Council, attend the annual mParks Youth Symposium at the Howell Nature Center in Howell, MI on November 8th-10th.  The teens were excited for a weekend of personal growth, networking, and leadership development with other councils from Detroit, Howell, Huntington Woods, Wayne County, Farmington Hills, and Canton.

The teens learned about what the nature center does to rehab animals, learned how to reduce stress from a licensed psychologist, had round table discussions on how each of the different teen councils are run and brainstormed future project ideas. They also participated in a hip-hop yoga session and all of that was before lunch.

After lunch, the teens had sessions from Cleary University about planning for post high school training. An HR team from Canton taught them how to write a resume and skills needed for interviewing before getting dressed in their interview outfits and participating in mock interviews with Parks & Recreation professionals.

To celebrate the day, a banquet was held where all of the graduating seniors were recognized and each council selected a Youth Council Member of the Year. Congratulations Eric Luo of Auburn Hills for being honored!

Exhausted as we were at this point, there was still more to do, we piled on all the layers of clothing for a guided night hike followed by s’mores at the fire and the teens still had energy for their annual “Youth Symposium’s Got Talent” talent show before lights out at midnight.

On the last day, all of the teens had one last nature program and a chance to step out of their comfort zone on a zip line. It was an exciting end to a packed weekend. Now, each of the teens will take back what they learned to their respective cities to share with the rest of their council and grow the reach in their communities.

Through the Auburn Hills Teen Council, teens learn leadership skills by designing and planning fun activities, have access to special events and earn valuable community service hours. The current council is working on cooking classes as part of their “How to Adult” series as well as their annual winter sock drive, a teen nerf gun war for 2020, and opening the new Community Garden at Civic Center Park to name a few. Teens 13-18 years old in 8th -12th grade wanting to get involved can reach out to Mandy Mullins mmullins@auburnhills.org for more details or to get an application.

Mandy Mullins, Recreation Coordinator

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