All Kinds of News for July 10, 2019
In mid June, a group of 10 AIM House participants headed down to Westcliffe, Colorado to volunteer at Mission Wolf, a non-profit educational wolf sanctuary. A day at Mission Wolf has become an annual trip for AIM House, representing a unique opportunity to be immersed in an experiential educational experience. For those who participated in this most recent visit, it was an unforgettable one-of-a-kind adventure.
An AIM House staff member, Kaitlin Anderson, reflected on what the Mission Wolf experience has meant to her over the years and why she continues to take part in the trip: “The first time I kissed a wolf, ie. had a huge wild animal stare into my eyes with her deep yellow windows to her soul and lick my teeth, I was floored, honored, moved, and seen in a way that I have never been seen before.” She continued, “Connection, understanding, majesty, grace, power, strength, humility, life, love, gratitude were all things that coursed through my veins and thoughts in that moment, and continue to every time."
Hearing Kaitlin describe the experience reveals her powerful energy for the education offered through AIM House. Discussing the purpose of experiential education, she said, “Each time I return, I see this experience happen for client after client - people who have struggles, who feel unseen, who hurt, who feel alone, for them to be seen in this way. There are not words to describe what that is like. That is why I do this every year!”
She continued, “What I notice is that it changes people. It changes the light in their eyes, the way they walk, the way they talk and carry themselves, the way they connect to each other, what they think is possible. Every time when the group comes back to the house they are more aware, more grounded, less anxious, more connected, more jovial and more confident. When we leave Mission Wolf after such an experience having done community service to help the cause, a part of every group leaves something- they’ve made a positive and lasting impact on the wolves.”
After spending time with the wolves, the group headed to the Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado and had another powerful experience, taking in and playing in the vast landscapes and treasures of the earth. Camp fires, shared food, lots of play, bonding, healing and enjoyment.
The AIM House crew wrapped up the trip with a soak in the Joyful Journeys Natural Hot Springs and Spa. A time to integrate. A time to relax. A time for self care and experience natural highs far more powerful than substances, an important lesson for AIM House clients about the many sober experiences that can create bliss and joy. The Mission Wolf trip is meant to help people in recovery see that life offers much more goodness than often meets the eye. Happily, the participants who were part of this experience have been exceedingly grateful to have taken part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
About AIM House
Founded in 1999, AIM House is a transitional living program located in Boulder, Colorado. Young adults come from wilderness therapy programs, residential treatment programs, therapeutic boarding schools and drug and alcohol treatment centers. Mentors and therapists work with each participant to create an individualized program that meets the needs of the participant and their family. Participants have access to a large variety of educational institutions, including the University of Colorado Boulder. AIM House also offers executive functioning support, vocational coaching, and personalized artistic and entrepreneurial mentorship.