Gear flung everywhere, smiles abound, and parents left behind! It’s time for an adventure! Twenty-one Littleton Academy 5th graders and six adults headed out to howl with the wolves this past week at Mission: Wolf, a wolf sanctuary hidden in the shadows of the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains just outside of Gardner, Colorado. For three days, this rambunctious group of kids ran circles around the adults. Full of both energy and intellect, they raised the bar and outwitted us all. With YouTube, cell phones, and tensions left in the dust of the vans, 27 pairs of feet eagerly hit the trail to Mission: Wolf to continue their quest for knowledge.
After setting up camp, participating in an informative tour, and learning about the history of this unique place, it was time to play with FIRE! But how does one start a fire if matches and lighters were left behind? Vaseline and cotton balls, of course! One cannot have an adventure without fire and these kids were fire beasts! Sleep came late but the new day dawned bright and early. With tummies full of breakfast, the group headed up the hill to give back to this beautiful land by helping with fire mitigation. Chopping, hauling, splitting, cracking – one pile of unorganized wood became another pile of organized success.
To celebrate, it was time to play! Hiking, fox walking, sit spots, camouflage, scavenger hunts, races to the top, and more! But were they outwitted or exhausted? Not this group. They may have left the city and their parents behind, but they definitely did not leave their energy. And it wasn’t over yet. Kent, the founder and owner of Mission: Wolf, kept the group engaged with his energetic stories and lessons on wolves. With bated breath, the kids listened and participated, and finally, the moment arrived… time to meet and kiss a wolf!
With the sun setting in the distance, s’more’s sticks well used, the quiet whisperings of children in their tents, and the distant howl of the wolves, the camp settled down for its second night, content with leaving it all behind… if only for a moment.
“We’re never going back!”
Written by: April Pishna, Littleton Academy Teacher and CI Instructor
To check out all of the images from this exciting adventure, click here for the Shutterfly share site.