Move over Bear Grylls! Our Young Explorers are ready for the outdoors! On Friday July 7, Uptown Birdies hosted an Outdoor Adventure walk with Earth Living Skills. We headed into Inwood Hills Park and our guide, Nancye Good taught us how to survive and connect with nature.

We completed several fun exercises; under Nancye’s tutelage, we listened to the outdoors and learned how what you hear can affect your livelihood. We learned how to “foxwalk” – a method of waking almost silently in order to hunt for food (or escape being prey). We also learned a little about foraging, how the vines of certain plants have water in them. How to spot and prevent poison ivy: “Leaves of 3, let them be” – but luckily, if you must pass through the itchy stuff to get to shelter or safety – Nancye taught us a great survival tip: Jewelweed, a plant which almost always grows near poison ivy – can be used to protect against or lessen the sting of a rash.

And of course, the coup de gras – FIRE!!! Fire serves many purposes in nature, and Nancye spoke to us about being safe with fire, respecting the area that we create the fire in, making sure we put our fire out completely so it does not spread. Using a paracord bow drill, friction and dry leaves, we created Fire, a living breathing element that can warm us at night, scare away predators, and make sure we have clean drinking water.

And we couldn’t have picked a better stage: Inwood Hill Park, once home to the Native American Lenape tribe, still has much of its forest land intact. Home to natural springs and salt marshes, the land is dense and lush. There are even caves to explore. The landscape transports you into a magical feeling of being in the woods and was a quintessential part of our adventure.

We had a blast! Thank you to everyone who made this possible. If you missed this event, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, there’s more to come!


Shaneeka Wilson
Author: Shaneeka Wilson

Mom to an adult trapped in a tween's body (HELP!). Passionate about Education, Community Involvement, and Good Coffee. Co-creator of Uptown Birdies.