From brilliant sunshine to whipping wind to glistening snowflakes, Littleton Academy 5th graders saw it all this spring at Mission: Wolf, a wolf and horse sanctuary in the remote Colorado mountains where volunteers work hard to educate visitors about wolves. The weather was no concern for this group; however, as the excitement of meeting the wolves quickly became the “thing” for the rest of the school year.
While spending 3 days and 2 nights under the stars, two groups of Littleton Academy 5th graders worked hard, played hard, and were rewarded with kisses from wolves. Service learning is a key component for both Cottonwood Institute and Mission: Wolf, so these amazing 10 and 11 year old students poured their heart and soul into their work. They dug a ditch for a water pipe, helped haul and sort firewood, landscaped a camping area, helped build a hiking trail, and some brave souls even helped to cut up meat to feed the hungry wolves.
Throughout their three days at Mission: Wolf, students, teachers, and instructors hiked up tall mountains, found carcasses and bones for hands-on science lessons, learned how to fox walk, how to start fires, and how to set up tents. They learned about sustainability and the importance of a strong wolf population in many ecosystems. They talked into the night, woke up with the sun, played games amidst the swirling dust and drifting snowflakes. They built teamwork, strong friendships, adaptability, independence, and perseverance.
To the wolves who quickly became their friends and to the volunteers and teachers who quickly became their mentors and leaders, and to everyone who participated in their fun-filled never-to-be-forgotten adventure – Thank you all!
View and download pictures from the courses at the Shutterfly Picture Share Site.
Written by April Pishna, 5th Grade Teacher at Littleton Academy
Edited by Katie Craig