Last July, Gina and I went to Colorado to work and volunteer at Mission Wolf. We went with a group
called the Road Less Traveled which is an organization for kids 14-18 that leads them on service and
adventure trips around the world. They have many different options for places you can go. The trips
are usually led by college students who are certified adventure education instructors.
For three weeks, Gina and I camped with a group of kids in three different locations. For the first couple
of nights, we stayed at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, home of the tallest dunes in North America.
After that, we lived alongside wolves in Westcliffe, Colorado between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
and the peaks of the Greenhorn Wilderness Area. We then took a rafting trip down the Arkansas river
and rock climbed in San Isabel National Forest.
Mission Wolf is a wolf refuge that works on a number of important conservation efforts. It is home
to 40 resident wolves who were abandoned or abused and their owners could no longer provide the
space and care that they needed. Our group of volunteers worked for approximately 75 hours on the
site. We assisted the staff in the care and feeding of the wolves, we repaired old fences, helped restore
new enclosures, and assisted in the observation and documentation of wolf behavior to make sure the
wolves were comfortable in their habitat.
When signing up for “The Call of the Wild” trip, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I was afraid
to leave home without any family members, but excited at the same time. I’ve always wanted to do a community service trip that involved working with animals but when I found out it was wolves I was blown away. I couldn’t picture myself working with real wild wolves. It all seemed to good to be true, and it really was. I will never forget the first time I looked into the eyes of Zeab (one of the wolves) and felt like all the hard work we did was appreciated. I met amazing people and felt accomplished and proud of the work we were all doing at Mission Wolf.