I first visited in the late 1990s when I was living in Texas and came to northern Minnesota for a fall vacation. I spent my summers on a nearby lake as a kid, so was familiar with the area, but had just heard about the Center. Loved it from the first moment there. Became a member and tried to keep up with it as much as I could (the internet back then not being what it is now.)
After moving back to Minnesota I started making frequent trips to Ely and would just spend hours sitting and observing the wolves. I was selected as a Pup Nanny/Pup Care Participant with the 2008 litter of Aidan & Denali - the best week of my life!! I've since been invited back to do Pup Care in 2012 and 2016. I also volunteer through the Corporate Office in the Twin Cities at the MN State Fair. I have learned so much from the staff and other volunteers - they are the best! Lori Schmidt, Curator, has the utmost respect for all the wolves and I have never doubted that no matter what, she will always do whatever is right for the wolf.
The Center always finds the very best for their intern staff also - what I respect about them is that even though they are "staff" and I am not - they are still very interested in my stories/experience with the wolves (pups) and my observations throughout the years.
This place is a MUST SEE for anyone with even an inkling of interest about wolves - the Center is a neutral party in discussions - they are not pro-this or against-that - they are all about education and letting people make up their own minds - a fresh purpose these days.
For my role - it will only allow me to select one - but I am more than one - I am a customer, member, volunteer, donor, and exuberant supporter!! :-)
Distance is a problem for me, but I have followed the IWC since 2008, my first visit was in 2010. As we walked in the door I knew we had came into a wonderful place, full of great things. The people are so caring and helpful, answering all question that you could put to them.
I love the fact the school's and classrooms can be involved also..
Since my first visit I have been able to be a nanny for the 2012 pups and the 2016 pups, best experience a person could ever have. Again without the caring & knowledgeable people that are in charge, this great place would never exist.
Since I live in an area that get's winter visitors I'm always running into folks from Minnesota I always ask have been to Ely & the International Wolf Center. If the answer is no. You can guess you my reply is.. Oh you must go...
I have been journeying to the wolf center since 2014 for volunteering on the working for wolves crew, pupcare in 2016, and many of the educational adventure programs. Every time it is a wonderful experience watching the wolves and speaking with staff. Everyone is dedicated to the mission of the center but foremost to the best care of the wolves. The dedication to the wellbeing of the pack is outstanding. This is a must visit for learning about the importance of wolves to the ecosystem. Ely and surrounding area have many opportunities to be in nature. Their are also interesting shops and small museums to visit. If you can't get to the center, watch the pack on their webcams!
The IWC has the best programs for learning about Wolves and their importance in the natural world. An amazing facility affording viewing of captive born pack to learn about these beautiful animals. Volunteer programs and learning adventure trips provide various opportunities to learn about and engage with nature
I had the opportunity to serve as an educator/intern in 2014 and in prior months. I have always felt apart of a team, a family if you will, of strong staff who are dedicated towards serving the missing statement and educating the public about wolves. Working for the wolf center has not only been a dream of mine but also something which I have and will always cherish as one of my favorite memories and internships. I love the mission of the wolf center and educational tools they not only provide their staff but the public as well. Come join us for a unique experience, where you may learn about wolves and (hopefully, if you are patient) see them up close through the glass.
Ever since I was a little girl in grade school, I had always wanted to visit the center. I tried to persuade my parents to take a trip up to visit but the cost of travel was always too much. We spent our summers doing other things instead. However, the desire to visit the center never died. As the years progressed, I actually almost forgot about the wolf center because I turned my attention away from wolves and began to focus on birds. I was always told "forget about working with wolves, it's practically impossible in the wildlife field" and the bird passion later sprouted. Now, as a college student, I am on my way to becoming a wildlife professional. Every summer I attempt internships despite them being out of state. Last summer I was located in Wisconsin and remembered the Wolf Center. I became a member and planned on visiting because I was finally within driving distance. However, my vehicle then decided to have a gas leak and my journey was halted. I still received updates about the center through their membership magazine, wolf logs, and wolf cams. The later two located on their website. I began to secretly desire to pursue wolf related internships again and as the 2014 summer approached, I found an internship application and applied. I was in absolute disbelief when I was interviewed and the fact that I was hired as a Summer Educator was practically surreal. I could not believe it. Everyone told me it was impossible and yet I still managed to prove people wrong again.
In short, thank you IWC for the opportunities you provide. Not only do you provide college students the chance to work with you through internships but you also have volunteer experience for anyone interested in helping the center out. Membership opportunities include a quarterly magazine filled with factual based articles and various other fun things as you climb the membership ranks; such as limited edition Ambassador Wolf coins. The website, wolf.org, offers people the chance to view the wolves via wolf cams, wolf logs, and weekly youtube videos that update folks about the center's activity. Now that I have experience working with the staff members at IWC (board members, wolf care, educators, store management, etc) - I can honestly say that each and every one of them is truly wonderful! I love that the center's goal to be as factual and scientific as possible rather than constantly telling you to "Save the wolves! Just because!". The wolf center makes sure that each of the wolves are properly cared for and it truly shows based on their physical appearance, behaviors, and interactions with one another. Sometimes you see animals pacing back and forth in the enclosure but the center's wolves are rather relaxed and do not have to worry about constantly being bothered. The wolves are medicated, vaccinated, and more. On top of all this, there are various programs and events that the public can get involved in so that they may learn factual based information about wolves. I truly have nothing bad to say about the wolf center.
Thank you IWC for all the wonderful opportunities you offer!
I have been enthralled with wolves since 1993, and when my family took me to the International Wolf Center in 1998, I knew that this passion was more than just a small fancy. As I have grown, I have also watched the Center grow: enriching the exhibit enclosure with a pond, more rocks and trees; creating retirement enclosures and a pack holding area; the expansion of the wolf lab for the care of wolf pups; new technology being added into daily programs to aid in the dissemination of information to the public. Through the murky waters of economics, ecology, politics, and preservation, the IWC has sought only to educate the world about wolves, because an individual will not fear what they do not understand (and the wolf has endured through decades of misunderstanding). I had the honor this year to participate in the Wolf Pup Care program, which made a childhood dream of mine come true. All of my experiences with the wolves and staff of the IWC over the decades of my life have been formative, and I cannot imagine the Northwoods of Minnesota without the presence of this humble facility. Their work with leading experts in the field of conservation and biology have uncovered more about the secret lives of this animal in the last 20 years than we previously knew, which enables the public to be on the leading edge of information. I would be pleased to see the IWC receive funds through this campaign so that my children and grandchildren may also have the opportunities to see such majestic creatures exhibit their natural behaviors so we can do right by their wild brothers and sisters.
I've been a member of the International Wolf Center since 1999 when I first learned of the wonderful educational programs that they offered. I participated in several of these adventure programs and in the process learned much about wolf ecology and behavior plus met many people during these programs that shared the same passion for the wolf as I do. About 10 years ago, I decided to move near the center and became a volunteer. I'm now a part of the wolf care staff and helping out with various educational programs that they still offer to carry out their mission to "teach the world about wolves".
I loved volunteering so much fun and the staff was always friendly and willing to answer questions can't wait to go back someday soon
I was able to help out to clear out the wolf pens when I was at Vermilion Community Collage. Plus for a class I studied the behaver of the main pack. All of this was because the main caretaker was one of my teachers and club adviser.
I visited Ely for the first time a few years ago and fell in love with the town, the people, and especially the IWC. They brought to life a love of wolves I didn't know I had until I visited. What an amazing place and amazing people, working tirelessly to educate the world about wolves. I've been back each year and plan to continue the tradition for many years to come. The IWC is one of my most favorite places, anywhere.