Brian and Harris present Park Avenue Armory’s Youth Corps program at ICA Teen Convening in Boston. 

Berlin is such an interesting and inspiring city. The architecture is very bright and unique, unlike the buildings here in New York. Most of New York’s buildings are either grey or made out of glass, but in Berlin more buildings are pastel colored and not as tall, revealing more of the sky to see.

Even the city life is interesting, with whiffs of sausage being made in the street, art and history at every turn, and wonderful hospitality. It wasn’t what I expected at all; I thought it would be all cold historic buildings. Berlin is more of a hybrid city, a mix of old and new. Due to its history, many of Berlin’s buildings were destroyed, so much of it was rebuilt and made into the bright and shining city we see today, full of modern buildings and restored buildings brought back to their former glory.
Berlin is also very diverse. It has a large area called Kreuztberg, with a large Turkish population, and in Friedrichshain there are plenty of graffiti buildings, which is very different from the modern and historical parts of Berlin, adding to its flair and pizazz.
Berlin will always hold a very special place in my heart since it was such an amazing and new experience. It really gave me a new perspective on the world.
-Nassim, Phase I

Berlin is such an interesting and inspiring city. The architecture is very bright and unique, unlike the buildings here in New York. Most of New York’s buildings are either grey or made out of glass, but in Berlin more buildings are pastel colored and not as tall, revealing more of the sky to see.

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My fellow Youth Corps member Nassim and I were lucky enough to end our summer this year (after the summer Youth Corps session) going to Berlin to work with young people at the Berlin Philarmonic and preview Peter Sellars’ ritualization of St Matthew Passion, which is coming to Park Avenue Armory in October. During the four days we spent in Berlin, I made memories I’ll treasure forever and can’t wait to share with anyone willing to listen!
Although the United States has a rich history and lots of beautiful architecture, nothing I’ve ever seen here compares with the exquisite works of art they call buildings in Berlin. Also the hospitality I was welcomed with at the Philharmonic was heartwarming. We all felt so welcome, by the second day it felt like a home away from home. Also, the actual pieces of art we saw in Berlin were amazing. My favorite place we visited was the East Side Gallery, a collection paintings on a preserved section of the wall that used to separate East and West Berlin. I thought it was fantastic how all these artists from around the world came together and turned something that caused so much distress into a piece of art that now represents the complete opposite of what it was made to do. The artists who painted on the old Berlin Will created art to symbolize freedom and unity, which turned into one of the largest outdoor galleries in the world.
Also, I have a strong background in theater, but during our Berlin tried I was able to work with film for the first time. Both directing, and being directed on film, were both absolutely amazing!
-Cristina, Phase I

My fellow Youth Corps member Nassim and I were lucky enough to end our summer this year (after the summer Youth Corps session) going to Berlin to work with young people at the Berlin Philarmonic and preview Peter Sellars’ ritualization of St Matthew Passion, which is coming to Park Avenue Armory in October.

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The Youth Corps recently had the wonderful opportunity to meet Peter Sellars, the amazing director of the Berlin Philharmonic’s St. Matthews Passion. At first when I was told that we were going to meet him I was like, “Wait…. What?” I thought that this was just crazy because it’s Peter Sellars! How is this even possible?
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When he walked in he had this amazing energy and always had a smile on his face. He wore this bright yellowish orange shirt with a beaded chain. He introduced himself and asked how we were doing, then he said, “So what’s up?”
We explained the project that we have been working on this summer, inspired by his “ritualization” of St Matthew’s Passion, and he was amazed and very interested in what we were doing and how we connected our audio walk project to St. Matthew’s Passion. We all had questions we wanted to ask him about what he was thinking when he directed this production. He explained in depth how and why he takes  a well known classical piece that might have a traditional way of being performed, and turns that into something different and new. Making that change allows people to experience the story in a different way, whether it’s a play, an opera, or in this case a piece of music. He explained how he took St. Matthew’s Passion, a traditional, classical, well known piece, and “ritualized” (he avoids the word ‘staged’) it into something unique with all the characters walking around the stage and standing really close to the audience.
One of the most breathtaking and amazing moments was when he said there are three rules for creating radical theater: 1) imagine the world you want to live in, 2) create that world, and 3) live in it. Everyone started laughing once he said the 3rd rule because it was so simple yet true. That was something that really stuck with me.
Peter Sellars doesn’t only have an amazing gift for directing and interpreting specific pieces in a certain way, but he also has the gift of persuasion and being so genuine. I started tearing up just listening to him talk. Every word that came out of his mouth was full of wisdom and it was so inspiring. On top having these amazing gifts, he also gives great hugs that are full and feel like they last for hours! I will always remember this day and the words that were spoken to me. Thank You Peter Sellars!!
-Elyssa, Phase I
Zoom Info
The Youth Corps recently had the wonderful opportunity to meet Peter Sellars, the amazing director of the Berlin Philharmonic’s St. Matthews Passion. At first when I was told that we were going to meet him I was like, “Wait…. What?” I thought that this was just crazy because it’s Peter Sellars! How is this even possible?
[[MORE]]
When he walked in he had this amazing energy and always had a smile on his face. He wore this bright yellowish orange shirt with a beaded chain. He introduced himself and asked how we were doing, then he said, “So what’s up?”
We explained the project that we have been working on this summer, inspired by his “ritualization” of St Matthew’s Passion, and he was amazed and very interested in what we were doing and how we connected our audio walk project to St. Matthew’s Passion. We all had questions we wanted to ask him about what he was thinking when he directed this production. He explained in depth how and why he takes  a well known classical piece that might have a traditional way of being performed, and turns that into something different and new. Making that change allows people to experience the story in a different way, whether it’s a play, an opera, or in this case a piece of music. He explained how he took St. Matthew’s Passion, a traditional, classical, well known piece, and “ritualized” (he avoids the word ‘staged’) it into something unique with all the characters walking around the stage and standing really close to the audience.
One of the most breathtaking and amazing moments was when he said there are three rules for creating radical theater: 1) imagine the world you want to live in, 2) create that world, and 3) live in it. Everyone started laughing once he said the 3rd rule because it was so simple yet true. That was something that really stuck with me.
Peter Sellars doesn’t only have an amazing gift for directing and interpreting specific pieces in a certain way, but he also has the gift of persuasion and being so genuine. I started tearing up just listening to him talk. Every word that came out of his mouth was full of wisdom and it was so inspiring. On top having these amazing gifts, he also gives great hugs that are full and feel like they last for hours! I will always remember this day and the words that were spoken to me. Thank You Peter Sellars!!
-Elyssa, Phase I
Zoom Info

The Youth Corps recently had the wonderful opportunity to meet Peter Sellars, the amazing director of the Berlin Philharmonic’s St. Matthews Passion. At first when I was told that we were going to meet him I was like, “Wait…. What?” I thought that this was just crazy because it’s Peter Sellars! How is this even possible?

Read More

Throughout this summer the Youth Corps focused on St. Matthews Passion and Battery Park. One of the things that we did was pick a monument in Battery Park to link to the themes in St Matthews Passion.
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One of my favorite monuments that we picked was Castle Clinton and the theme that we picked for that monument was “Mob Mentality”. When you go into Battery Park the first thing that catches your attention is Castle Clinton. I mean how can you miss it? It’s basically an old castle with all these tourist around it. You can’t help but want to go inside and see what all the commotion is about. So that’s why we picked Mob Mentality as the theme to go with this monument.
Before Ellis Island became the entryway immigrants to the United States passed through when entering the country, Castle Clinton used to be the main immigrant processing center in New York. Immigrants found out there whether they were allowed into the US or they weren’t. Castle Clinton has encountered so many immigrants who wanted to come to America for a better life and to start new. They were hoping for the best when they traveled on that boat to get here. In a way you can say Power (one of our other themes) is involved with this monument too because the men who decided whether or not people were allowed in America or not had a lot of power and authority. Castle Clinton marked a start of new life, new opportunities and possibilities. Today Castle Clinton is still standing, although it is not used for what it once was. It is sometimes used as a performance site, a touring site and also a wonderful addition to the interesting things you can do at Battery Park.
This also relates to St. Matthew’s Passion because Peter Sellars directed his performers to roam around the stage and move through the space. But they weren’t wandering aimlessly; you could tell that they were really interacting with other performers and the audience. They were in character the whole time they were on stage.
We also worked in GarageBand to create a soundtrack for Castle Clinton based on the themes in St Matthews Passion. The music for this site starts out with this booming bass than goes into some strings and massive orchestra in the background. Eventually you hear people talking to really connect to the theme of Mob Mentality.
We will always relate Castle Clinton to this theme because of the massive groups of people that inhabited that space throughout American history.
-Elyssa, Phase I

Throughout this summer the Youth Corps focused on St. Matthews Passion and Battery Park. One of the things that we did was pick a monument in Battery Park to link to the themes in St Matthews Passion.

Read More

This summer at Youth Corps has been a busy one.  We spent this summer working on a project based on the upcoming performance of Peter Sellars’ innovative staging of St Matthew Passion by JS Bach.
[[MORE]]
In the beginning stages of the project we listened to the music of St Matthew Passion then added locomotion to the experience to see how being in different spaces affected us and how the music makes a different impact depending on where you’re standing. We listed themes that we heard in the music and identified in the story of St. Matthew’s Passion. We chose to focus on four themes we found: Trust and Betrayal, Death and Sacrifice, Power, and the idea of a Mob Mentality.
Since New York City is such a huge city filled with many beautiful spaces we identified four public locations where these themes could be applied. We took a day to spend some time in all four of these locations: Central Park, The Highline, The Lower East Side, and Battery Park. We kept in mind while visiting these locations the criteria of the project, which include: themes we will be working with, how well the locations fit with the themes and what areas in these locations we could imagine writing music to. The next day we came back to the Armory and took some time to reflect on our experiences in the locations. We as artists had the difficult task of choosing only one of the locations to focus on for our project although all were great contenders. We weighed pros and cons of each location and argued in behalf of the locations we felt very strongly for, then we voted. The location that came out victorious was Battery Park.
Some reasons Battery Park became the chosen site include the fact that it is a non-linear park so people are free to explore as they like. Also, although it is not as well known or a big of  a location as compared to Central Park it and all its monuments have such a rich history. The history and stories that come with the park and its monuments really resonated with us all. We later visited Battery Park for the second time with more specific focus, since we knew at this point this was the location our whole summer will revolve around. We all really paid attention to its monuments and its details and thought about what specific themes fit with which monuments and why. The next day we again had the same hard task of choosing as a group what monument and location in Battery Park should be associated with which theme. Once we were able to do this, we were able to go onward with the project.
This project tied in to Sellars’ ritualization of St. Matthews Passion in that he adds movement in the piece to evoke a different feeling to the piece. This relates to our project because, the reason we chose Battery Park was because of the different emotions that space made us feel. Moving to and from each monument and section of the park made us feel something, whether it was sadness, happiness, or contentment, there was always a feeling. And the purpose of this project was for a person to visit this space and listen to the music we created and feel the emotion we were trying to portray through the themes of St. Matthew’s Passion. We wanted to put a person in a location and add movement to change how the person processes the area. This is similar to Peter Sellars’ staging of St. Matthew’s Passion. By adding locomotion to the piece, the audience is able to experience the performance space in a way they did not previously.
It was really great coming back to the Armory and having the discussion on the space and seeing how we were all impacted by the space as a whole and seeing how strongly people felt for certain locations. This portion of the project really gave me a sense of admiration for my peers. Also being able to visit the different public spaces was one of the coolest days in youth corps for me. Although I’m a born and raised New Yorker I had never spent time in any of these places and spending this day at these locations made me really appreciate the city I live in and the rich history that resides in this concrete jungle. Going back to Battery Park for the second time, after having researched the space and its history, was actually quite humbling to me. It made me really appreciate the life I live and appreciate the struggle many people have faced in and for this country for the greater good of all.
-Cristina, Phase I
Zoom Info
This summer at Youth Corps has been a busy one.  We spent this summer working on a project based on the upcoming performance of Peter Sellars’ innovative staging of St Matthew Passion by JS Bach.
[[MORE]]
In the beginning stages of the project we listened to the music of St Matthew Passion then added locomotion to the experience to see how being in different spaces affected us and how the music makes a different impact depending on where you’re standing. We listed themes that we heard in the music and identified in the story of St. Matthew’s Passion. We chose to focus on four themes we found: Trust and Betrayal, Death and Sacrifice, Power, and the idea of a Mob Mentality.
Since New York City is such a huge city filled with many beautiful spaces we identified four public locations where these themes could be applied. We took a day to spend some time in all four of these locations: Central Park, The Highline, The Lower East Side, and Battery Park. We kept in mind while visiting these locations the criteria of the project, which include: themes we will be working with, how well the locations fit with the themes and what areas in these locations we could imagine writing music to. The next day we came back to the Armory and took some time to reflect on our experiences in the locations. We as artists had the difficult task of choosing only one of the locations to focus on for our project although all were great contenders. We weighed pros and cons of each location and argued in behalf of the locations we felt very strongly for, then we voted. The location that came out victorious was Battery Park.
Some reasons Battery Park became the chosen site include the fact that it is a non-linear park so people are free to explore as they like. Also, although it is not as well known or a big of  a location as compared to Central Park it and all its monuments have such a rich history. The history and stories that come with the park and its monuments really resonated with us all. We later visited Battery Park for the second time with more specific focus, since we knew at this point this was the location our whole summer will revolve around. We all really paid attention to its monuments and its details and thought about what specific themes fit with which monuments and why. The next day we again had the same hard task of choosing as a group what monument and location in Battery Park should be associated with which theme. Once we were able to do this, we were able to go onward with the project.
This project tied in to Sellars’ ritualization of St. Matthews Passion in that he adds movement in the piece to evoke a different feeling to the piece. This relates to our project because, the reason we chose Battery Park was because of the different emotions that space made us feel. Moving to and from each monument and section of the park made us feel something, whether it was sadness, happiness, or contentment, there was always a feeling. And the purpose of this project was for a person to visit this space and listen to the music we created and feel the emotion we were trying to portray through the themes of St. Matthew’s Passion. We wanted to put a person in a location and add movement to change how the person processes the area. This is similar to Peter Sellars’ staging of St. Matthew’s Passion. By adding locomotion to the piece, the audience is able to experience the performance space in a way they did not previously.
It was really great coming back to the Armory and having the discussion on the space and seeing how we were all impacted by the space as a whole and seeing how strongly people felt for certain locations. This portion of the project really gave me a sense of admiration for my peers. Also being able to visit the different public spaces was one of the coolest days in youth corps for me. Although I’m a born and raised New Yorker I had never spent time in any of these places and spending this day at these locations made me really appreciate the city I live in and the rich history that resides in this concrete jungle. Going back to Battery Park for the second time, after having researched the space and its history, was actually quite humbling to me. It made me really appreciate the life I live and appreciate the struggle many people have faced in and for this country for the greater good of all.
-Cristina, Phase I
Zoom Info

This summer at Youth Corps has been a busy one.  We spent this summer working on a project based on the upcoming performance of Peter Sellars’ innovative staging of St Matthew Passion by JS Bach.

Read More


As a Youth Corps member at the Armory every day is different. You learn and do new things that can benefit you as a person and the people you know around you. One of the things that I noticed about interning here is that every day we were doing something different, and we didn’t know what to expect. [[MORE]]It may sound scary but expecting the unexpected is kind of fun. I like this idea because it’s not the same routine. Each day Libby or Pip has something new up their sleeves to share with us or they have new activities that are fun and educational at the same time. Sometimes I think to myself, “Why can’t school be like this?” In school you already know what schedule and class you have to follow. Even though you learn different things in those classes, the order of the day is still the same. In Youth Corps we have different things to do at different times and everyone gets a shot at something new. I call this expecting the unexpected. In life there are always going to be things that you don’t see coming. So I feel like in a way this is preparing us for the real world.
            
For example on July 22, 2014, I wasn’t expecting us to examine video games and listen to the soundtrack that the game had. We faced away from the screen as another Youth Corps member would play the character that was in the game and we had to listen to what sounds and music the game used and how they made us feel. The game that I was most intrigued by was called Gone Home. It was basically an exploring game. You had to figure out what happened to this girl’s family once she arrived from college. When I first listened to it I heard thunder and rain. It made me feel scared and uneasy. Once I turned around to look at the screen, the feeling that I felt was spot-on. Everything about that game made me feel scared and unsettled. The icing on the cake was when the Youth Corps decided to turn off the lights in the room and watch the screen as we witness Katie the main character explore this empty house.
            Although playing video games for three hours and examining the sounds that the video game created seemed random, it wasn’t pointless. It taught me how to really listen to the sounds and music chosen by the game designers, because half the time if we have this really interesting game, we really are paying attention to playing and not the sounds it uses. This experience has caused me to appreciate sound and sound design, because without those sound effects and music, the game wouldn’t be as interesting.

-Elyssa, Phase I
As a Youth Corps member at the Armory every day is different. You learn and do new things that can benefit you as a person and the people you know around you. One of the things that I noticed about interning here is that every day we were doing something different, and we didn’t know what to expect.

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I had only been working as an intern at the Park Avenue Armory for about 3 months before being offered a humongous opportunity.[[MORE]] The Armory asked me to represent the Youth Corps Program at the 2014 ICA Boston Teen Convening Forum. ICA Teen Convening brings in teenagers from all over the country (and some from outside the country) who intern at major art institutions to discuss how they impact their institutions and represent their programs in front of the public, and for their peers.
At the time, I was scared to death of speaking on stage, but I took the opportunity anyway. I remember thinking that having this once in a lifetime chance would influence me majorly! Maybe in the process my stage fright would be terminated. Sure enough, Youth Corps put me on stage enough times that I actually began getting comfortable with being in the spotlight. With every month I began getting more and more comfortable with the idea of representing the institution because I began to feel a strong connection with everyone who worked there.
Sitting down with my co-presenter Eric Harris and working on a script for our presentation was difficult. We had to fit our experiences as Youth Corps interns, along with programs (like the band The XX or Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford’s Macbeth) at Park Avenue Armory all in a 10-minute presentation. Every time we did test runs we were always a minute or two too long, so we had to practice more and more to get it to the perfect length. Then soon enough, the ICA began hosting the Online Forums.
The Online Forums are for students who are going to attend the ICA Teen Convening to all have a discussion before meeting in person in Boston. The host of the forum would pose a topic question at the beginning of the conversation and the teens would build up from there. An example of a topic question they would give is “What is the civic role of a museum and how does having a large youth program at a museum impact its civic role?” I thought the civic role of the museum is to give access to its art and exhibits not only teens, but all age groups, so that anyone who is interested can come in and explore, and having a large youth program can make it more comfortable for those people. Everyone who answered the question had their own ways of viewing it as well. The Online Forums also helped us get to know the people we would be surrounded by so it can be easier to talk to each other in both a professional discussion and in a personal conversation. It worked perfectly because once we all got together in Boston nobody felt like a stranger.                                                              
                                    COMING SOON:BRIAN & HARRIS PRESENT LIVE IN ICA FORUM…

I had only been working as an intern at the Park Avenue Armory for about 3 months before being offered a humongous opportunity.

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I have lived in New York City all of my life, which also means that I rarely leave her premises. On July 25th, nine Youth Corp interns and our four supervisors went on a trip to the Wolf Conservation Center located in South Salem, New York. The crunching of the small pebbles under our shoes not only made a beautiful sound, but it made me realize that we aren’t in the city anymore. The heat from the sun felt different than the heat from the sun in the city. The air also felt cleaner and I had more energy than I usually do.
We climbed a very steep hill, which caught me really off guard. We met a very knowledgeable woman named Lois, who is a tour guide and wolf nanny (meaning she helps care for young wolves and keeps them company). We entered a wooden cabin; decorated with animals commonly found in the woods made from cardboard, a real-life figure of a coyote, and a humongous stuffed bear named Pooh. We participated in a group discussion about the overall mission of the sanctuary, facts about wolves, and numerous misconceptions humans have about the wolves. Their overall mission at the Wolf Conservation Center is to save wolves from completely going extinct and to teach people that wolves are more scared of us than we are of them. We learned that there are two types of wolves: red wolves and gray wolves. Baby wolves are born blind and deaf; and they gradually develop these two instincts as they begin to mature. We also learned that a main reason why humans are so scared of wolves is because they are used as antagonists in storybooks we read when we were younger such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Peter and the Wolf”, and “The Three Little Pigs”. In these tales, the wolves are the evildoers and are the enemy of the main character. These stories contribute to the continuing stigma that wolves are dangerous creatures that attack humans, which is completely untrue. Wolves are a crucial balance in nature. Without them, a whole bunch of animals will feel the shock waves from this interruption.
Afterwards, we howled like wolves to let them know that a whole bunch of us where going to visit them. We first met a five month old wolf named Nikai, who is scared of people (especially men) and never came close to the fence that separated us from him. The Conservation Center’s mission for Nikai is to train him so he could become a traveling wolf, which means that he would travel to different places and educate people that wolves pose no threat to human beings. The wolves would be brought to people who could not visit the Wolf Conservation Center. The next two wolves we visited were two brother and sister wolves named Zephyr & Alawa. Lois had a bucket of meat that the Center receives as donations from Whole Foods and fed the two eager hungry wolves. They were very excited to see us and howled back when Lois howled at them. They were way bigger than Nikai was, and they were more engaged with us as well. The final wolf we visited was a white furred wolf named Atka, who was also very large in size and completely captivated our attention. Lois also fed Atka and we found it amazing that Atka was able to crack an egg open and only eat what was inside of the egg. Out of the three, Atka was my favorite because he is a very intelligent and unique wolf, as well as a very alert animal. If I was a wolf, I would be exactly like Atka. Atka, as well as Zephyr & Alawa howled back when Lois howled at them; but it did take a little help from us to join Lois in howling along.
I was really sad leaving the Wolf Conservation Center. My favorite part of this trip was meeting Atka and the discussion that happened in the beginning of the trip at the cabin. It would be so wonderful if we could come back during the winter, while it was snowing. I would love to see wolves in the snow.
-Oscar, Phase II
Zoom Info
I have lived in New York City all of my life, which also means that I rarely leave her premises. On July 25th, nine Youth Corp interns and our four supervisors went on a trip to the Wolf Conservation Center located in South Salem, New York. The crunching of the small pebbles under our shoes not only made a beautiful sound, but it made me realize that we aren’t in the city anymore. The heat from the sun felt different than the heat from the sun in the city. The air also felt cleaner and I had more energy than I usually do.
We climbed a very steep hill, which caught me really off guard. We met a very knowledgeable woman named Lois, who is a tour guide and wolf nanny (meaning she helps care for young wolves and keeps them company). We entered a wooden cabin; decorated with animals commonly found in the woods made from cardboard, a real-life figure of a coyote, and a humongous stuffed bear named Pooh. We participated in a group discussion about the overall mission of the sanctuary, facts about wolves, and numerous misconceptions humans have about the wolves. Their overall mission at the Wolf Conservation Center is to save wolves from completely going extinct and to teach people that wolves are more scared of us than we are of them. We learned that there are two types of wolves: red wolves and gray wolves. Baby wolves are born blind and deaf; and they gradually develop these two instincts as they begin to mature. We also learned that a main reason why humans are so scared of wolves is because they are used as antagonists in storybooks we read when we were younger such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Peter and the Wolf”, and “The Three Little Pigs”. In these tales, the wolves are the evildoers and are the enemy of the main character. These stories contribute to the continuing stigma that wolves are dangerous creatures that attack humans, which is completely untrue. Wolves are a crucial balance in nature. Without them, a whole bunch of animals will feel the shock waves from this interruption.
Afterwards, we howled like wolves to let them know that a whole bunch of us where going to visit them. We first met a five month old wolf named Nikai, who is scared of people (especially men) and never came close to the fence that separated us from him. The Conservation Center’s mission for Nikai is to train him so he could become a traveling wolf, which means that he would travel to different places and educate people that wolves pose no threat to human beings. The wolves would be brought to people who could not visit the Wolf Conservation Center. The next two wolves we visited were two brother and sister wolves named Zephyr & Alawa. Lois had a bucket of meat that the Center receives as donations from Whole Foods and fed the two eager hungry wolves. They were very excited to see us and howled back when Lois howled at them. They were way bigger than Nikai was, and they were more engaged with us as well. The final wolf we visited was a white furred wolf named Atka, who was also very large in size and completely captivated our attention. Lois also fed Atka and we found it amazing that Atka was able to crack an egg open and only eat what was inside of the egg. Out of the three, Atka was my favorite because he is a very intelligent and unique wolf, as well as a very alert animal. If I was a wolf, I would be exactly like Atka. Atka, as well as Zephyr & Alawa howled back when Lois howled at them; but it did take a little help from us to join Lois in howling along.
I was really sad leaving the Wolf Conservation Center. My favorite part of this trip was meeting Atka and the discussion that happened in the beginning of the trip at the cabin. It would be so wonderful if we could come back during the winter, while it was snowing. I would love to see wolves in the snow.
-Oscar, Phase II
Zoom Info
I have lived in New York City all of my life, which also means that I rarely leave her premises. On July 25th, nine Youth Corp interns and our four supervisors went on a trip to the Wolf Conservation Center located in South Salem, New York. The crunching of the small pebbles under our shoes not only made a beautiful sound, but it made me realize that we aren’t in the city anymore. The heat from the sun felt different than the heat from the sun in the city. The air also felt cleaner and I had more energy than I usually do.
We climbed a very steep hill, which caught me really off guard. We met a very knowledgeable woman named Lois, who is a tour guide and wolf nanny (meaning she helps care for young wolves and keeps them company). We entered a wooden cabin; decorated with animals commonly found in the woods made from cardboard, a real-life figure of a coyote, and a humongous stuffed bear named Pooh. We participated in a group discussion about the overall mission of the sanctuary, facts about wolves, and numerous misconceptions humans have about the wolves. Their overall mission at the Wolf Conservation Center is to save wolves from completely going extinct and to teach people that wolves are more scared of us than we are of them. We learned that there are two types of wolves: red wolves and gray wolves. Baby wolves are born blind and deaf; and they gradually develop these two instincts as they begin to mature. We also learned that a main reason why humans are so scared of wolves is because they are used as antagonists in storybooks we read when we were younger such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Peter and the Wolf”, and “The Three Little Pigs”. In these tales, the wolves are the evildoers and are the enemy of the main character. These stories contribute to the continuing stigma that wolves are dangerous creatures that attack humans, which is completely untrue. Wolves are a crucial balance in nature. Without them, a whole bunch of animals will feel the shock waves from this interruption.
Afterwards, we howled like wolves to let them know that a whole bunch of us where going to visit them. We first met a five month old wolf named Nikai, who is scared of people (especially men) and never came close to the fence that separated us from him. The Conservation Center’s mission for Nikai is to train him so he could become a traveling wolf, which means that he would travel to different places and educate people that wolves pose no threat to human beings. The wolves would be brought to people who could not visit the Wolf Conservation Center. The next two wolves we visited were two brother and sister wolves named Zephyr & Alawa. Lois had a bucket of meat that the Center receives as donations from Whole Foods and fed the two eager hungry wolves. They were very excited to see us and howled back when Lois howled at them. They were way bigger than Nikai was, and they were more engaged with us as well. The final wolf we visited was a white furred wolf named Atka, who was also very large in size and completely captivated our attention. Lois also fed Atka and we found it amazing that Atka was able to crack an egg open and only eat what was inside of the egg. Out of the three, Atka was my favorite because he is a very intelligent and unique wolf, as well as a very alert animal. If I was a wolf, I would be exactly like Atka. Atka, as well as Zephyr & Alawa howled back when Lois howled at them; but it did take a little help from us to join Lois in howling along.
I was really sad leaving the Wolf Conservation Center. My favorite part of this trip was meeting Atka and the discussion that happened in the beginning of the trip at the cabin. It would be so wonderful if we could come back during the winter, while it was snowing. I would love to see wolves in the snow.
-Oscar, Phase II
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I have lived in New York City all of my life, which also means that I rarely leave her premises. On July 25th, nine Youth Corp interns and our four supervisors went on a trip to the Wolf Conservation Center located in South Salem, New York.

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