Cottonwood Institute set out with a very excited group of 22 Littleton Academy fifth grade students this May on their much anticipated trip to Mission: Wolf! With bags packed, eager smiles, and helping hands, we loaded the vans and were off! Many songs were sung on the way to Mission: Wolf along with curiously anxious questions of “When will we get there?” “It’s so bumpy, where are you taking us?!” especially on the last 13 mile stretch of dirt road. Upon our arrival, hungry staff and students alike quickly ate some lunch, learned about best practices for setting up camp, constructed their cozy tented homes, and were ready to explore Mission: Wolf and hear about what we would be doing the next few days!
Without further ado, we all scrambled up the hill from our campsite and met with the volunteers of Mission: Wolf. I have to say they were thoroughly impressed with the students’ knowledge about wolves and the Trophic Cascade. I think the students taught the adults some things! We enjoyed the tour, meeting and hearing about the wolves individual stories of how they arrived at Mission: Wolf. I think a memory that will never be forgotten was the experience of starting a “howl” with the group and listening as all the wolves at the sanctuary joined in with us in unison. So cool to be surrounded by howling wolves!
Later that evening as we went to bed and early the next morning we heard the wolves howling loud and clear from camp, we were told they were howling more than usual because they were ready to be fed! We eagerly awaited our chance to get to meet the wolves up close and in-person in the enclosures. Kent, the owner of Mission: Wolf discussed wolf behavior and the power of interacting with these magnificent creatures. This trip wouldn’t have been complete of course without spending some time giving back to Mission: Wolf and doing a service learning project to help with their fire mitigation efforts at the sanctuary.
We left Mission: Wolf with our curiosity satiated, many fun memories made, and energy reserves low- at least for fifth graders they seemed more tired than usual! This is always a sign of a great trip and job well done! Thank you so much to our amazing Littleton Academy staff, teachers, and chaperones who made this trip possible. And as always, thank you to Mission: Wolf, we thoroughly appreciate your partnership!
Check out pictures from the trip on our Flickr album.
Written by Taryn Longberry, CI Program Manager