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Howling at the moon at the Ely Wolf Center with the Girl Scouts by Ann Treacy
June 7, 2017, 3:15 am
Filed under: Ely

Last weekend Aine’s Girls Scout troop slept with the wolves at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota. First, they went camping and had a great time. I met up with them for the indoor camping.

The Wolf Center is a research and educational park for wolves. We spent the night, which meant several hikes and a night in the observation auditorium. It was very cool.

They did a really nice job with the hikes. We saw the Kawishiwi Waterfalls, found a geocache prize, learned about flora and fauna. We learned the difference between deciduous (leafy, shrubby, trees that shed leaves in the fall) and coniferous (more like pines) trees. We saw a beaver dam. We got to use our senses of smell and hearing to figure out our place in the woods.

Mostly we got to watch the wolves. You are behind glass the whole time but it’s kind of amazing to be up that close and just watch what they do for a day – and night. Without a doubt the highlight for me was the first time they all started howling. I was sure it was the girls at first – but it wasn’t. I got a quick video.

Wolves eat beavers and deer. We got to see some sides of both that we hadn’t seen before – like intestines. It is very cool to see them eat. You get used to it but not entirely desensitized to the gruesome nature of nature.

The girls were super tired but they rallied for wolf Jeopardy, a wolf movie (which included some wolf sex and violence – loved to watch the girls’ faces for that!) pizza and almost everyone was out for the count by 10:30. Some of us stayed up with the hope of seeing Northern Lights. No luck but we had fun trying.

The next day we drove back home – but not directly. We made a quick stop at the North American Bear Center – which is less than five miles away. We got a quick behind the scenes tour with the bears. They are big and seem so tame and at least in that setting seem so slow. Mostly they eat berries and leaves and ants. Unfortunately it really was a very quick trip – but worth it. Interesting to see the difference between the two animals. And to hear the stories of the bears – most of which are rescues with heartbreaking stories.

And on the way home? Cheeseburgers and malts at Gordy’s High Hat! Not to brag but Gordy himself took our order.

The best part of the trip was the girls (and their moms). Such a nice group of women. These kids have been in the troop for 8 years – since kindergarten. They are different kids with different interests but they all seem to genuinely like each other. They are kind, they are inclusive and they soak up info like sponges.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Love this post! Good for you! Lucky kids. Thanks for making the effort to write and share.

Bernadine

Comment by Bernadine Joselyn

Thanks! It was one of those super fun opportunities in our own backyard!

Comment by Ann Treacy




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