All recipes call for a variety of ingredients depending on what you are creating. At Cottonwood Institute, we create adventure, and we had the perfect ingredients for the perfect adventure this past May when we teamed up with Mission: Wolf for Littleton Academy’s third annual fifth grade trip. Over 50 fifth graders made the trek to Mission: Wolf, a wolf sanctuary located in southwestern Colorado near the majestic Sangre de Cristo mountain range, where we spent three days and two nights learning about animal ecology, sustainable practices, nature awareness, and basic outdoor survival skills. We also worked on team building and leadership skills, while playing games, relaxing in nature, and eating s’mores around the campfire. We had it all: wolves, mountains, horses, bears, skulls, snow, sun, mud, and even puppets!
The snow couldn’t even put a damper on the kids’ enthusiasm. We hiked up mountains, found bones on a scavenger hunt, and played games until we couldn’t keep our eyes open. We partook in service learning activities including landscaping and woodcutting. We even put on a puppet show for the entire staff at Mission: Wolf about trophic cascade, because we are that smart! We listened to stories, told our own stories, played games, made up our own games, and even found a skull! And…we did this all in the snow! We camped in the snow, in tents, and had campfires and marshmallow roasts in the snow. We learned how to make fire…in the snow! We rock!
We tracked bears! We did! Well, we saw a bear track, and it was really cool! We helped butcher a horse to feed the wolves! We did! We actually did that, and that was even cooler than seeing a bear track! We were kissed by wolves! We were! And that was the coolest! “This is the best camping trip ever! Wolves, mountains, and no parents!” (LA student). The perfect ingredients for the perfect recipe! You heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.
A huge shout-out to Mission: Wolf and their staff for their wonderful hospitality during these two courses filled with adventure, snow, and mud! They continue to inspire and educate youth in powerful ways and we appreciate their partnership!
To find out what ingredients create a perfect adventure, click here for the Littleton Academy Shutterfly share site, where you can view and download pictures from both courses.
What adventures will we find next year?
Written by: April Pishna, Littleton Academy 5th grade teacher and CI Instructor