In 2003, the Oakland Zoo teens embarked on a trip to ARCAS with much excitement. As a trip leader, I hoped these youth would have a safe and fun time, and an experience that would affect their lives and life choices. The teens were previously prepared through monthly workshops about the wildlife, culture and conservation issues in Guatemala, and were so inspired that they raised funds for a needed spider monkey fence, and collected educational and medical supplies to bring along. I could not have been more thrilled with our experience! The teens were empowered by the trust that ARCAS bestowed upon them, as they were each assigned various tasks at the center. I had never seen them so serious and focused as they rose early to prepare food for the animals, clean enclosures, haul materials and help at the education center. The authentic eye-opening work, combined with the evening vet and staff talks, really offered these youth the true story of the issues that these animals face, and the solutions that work. For each one of them to feel like they had contributed to the betterment of these animals was life changing. Of course, they also had a blast! Exploring the area, games and campfires, and getting close to beautiful animals made for an incredibly good time. Back at the zoo in Oakland, they were beyond motivated to teach our public about the importance of ecologically sustainable pet choices and did what they could to keep supporting ARCAS. Through the success of that trip, various zoo vet techs have volunteered at ARCAS and another batch of teens returned in 2010. Our ZooCamp even adopted ARCAS as their beneficiary and focus for that summer. I still am in touch with some of these now young adults, and there is no question that their trip to ARCAS was a critical part of their journey to be environmentally aware and empathetic adults. We will definitely return!