| Vicki Whisenhunt

Littleton Academy Spends a Weekend with The Wolves

Littleton Academy spends a weekend with the wolves “I kissed a wolf, and I liked it,” a fifth-grader from Littleton Academy sang. She had just met Mission:Wolf’s newest addition, Nashira, a 14-week-old pup. A group of 23 fifth graders traveled to Mission:Wolf, the wolf sanctuary in Colorado’s Wet Mountains to participate in Littleton Academy’s annual endangered wolf project led by Cottonwood Institute.

Friday afternoon, the students arrived at the national forest campground neighboring the sanctuary. They finished setting up their tents just before a late spring storm coated everything in snow. The next day, they awoke to a bright but cold morning. One student shared that she wanted to go home when it started snowing, but now she was looking forward to more camping and exploring. The spring sun, silly warm-up exercises, and uphill trek to the sanctuary warmed the young campers and prepared everyone for important learning.

That day, the students toured the sanctuary, Littleton Academy Spends a weekend with the wolvesand learned the importance of keeping wolves wild and free. Sanctuary staff posed the question, “How does a wolf keep fish happy?” a couple times throughout the day. The fifth-graders’ hands shot in the air, and the chosen student eagerly detailed how wolves contribute to the health of the entire ecosystem.

In exchange for their visit to Mission:Wolf, the students completed projects for the sanctuary. They separated into teams to create a border for a trail, extend the rock barrier surrounding the parking lot, and organize wood piles. Each team embraced their task, coming together to work efficiently. They impressed the Mission:Wolf leaders by how fast they completed the projects.

Littleton Academy spends a weekend with the wolvesOn the trek back to camp, the group stopped at Carcass Canyon, a ravine where the bones and hides from the wolves’ meals decompose. The fifth-graders found it disgusting and intriguing. There, they played Camouflage, a hide-and-seek game variation that gave them the chance to see how they might fare as predators or prey.

After the long day, the group appreciated a burrito dinner, and then settled around the campfire a student started with flint and steel. Reflections, riddles and of course s’mores ended a great day. Sunday morning, they broke camp, surprised the trip was already ending, but eager to return home to share stories and knowledge with classmates and families.

A big thank you to Mission: Wolf for their continued partnership!
Written by field instructor Rose Conry
See more photos from our trip here!




Categories: Littleton Academy, Program News

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