Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wintercamp

The pre-Christmas wintercamp was a great success. The snow showed up just in time and it was just enough. With 35 students we spent the night out in the cold Canadian Wilderness of Cairine Wilson.

The trip really started on Tuesday, as we received 10 cm of snow and we decided that we really wanted to do wintercamp. Students spent the next 3 days piling snow and digging out their quinzhees. The back field of C.W. was quite the sight, as we had 14 quinzhees build. The quality of the quinzhees was quite excellent, with lots of space (some more than others), nice platforms and good cold sinks. A great job considering we did it with a day less than usual.

The night itself was perfect. At a - 10 C and no wind, it was a very pleasant evening. The students were there right as school finished, with most groups putting the final touches on their homes for the night, while others started to gather firewood for our fires. Once it got dark, everyone started preparing their dinners. With some cooking on the fires and some on stoves, the meals looked great, with chili, spaghetti and garlic bread, stews and soups ensuring everyone got a warm start to the evening. The rest of the night saw people singing songs around the campfire, eating frozen marshmallows, games of soccer in the snow and some good story telling.

The only concern was that some of the quinzhees seemed to be shrinking. Something that happens normally over time, but this seemed to be happening quite quickly. We decided to collapse one quinzhee for safety and we had to lower the platform in our quinzhee to ensure that we had enough headroom to sleep. Around 10:30 PM, we had our last call to brush our teeth and got ready for bed. This is when all the groups headed into their quinzhees, most of which were beautifully lit by candlelight, and hunkered down for the night. It was a great night for sleeping out, not too cold and with well build quinzhees, most students had comfortable nights. There were a few interesting stories in the morning while we ate our pancake breakfast, but we will let the students tell those in the reflections attached to this post.

26 comments:

*MADOWER* said...

Wintercamp was an incredible camping experience. At first I was unsure that I would enjoy it, although I did notice that others had spoken highly of their experiences. I guess you could say that I was a little nervous, but at the same time I was super excited. The more I thought about it, the more exited I became, and by the end of waiting for it, I couldn’t wait!

We were a little short on snow, and everyone was convinced that it would be cancelled. However, just as we were about to give up hope, it snowed. There was enough snow to build all of the shelters, and so Wintercamp was a go.

On the first day of building, Shannon, Air, Emily, Jessie and I headed out to find a perfect spot to start building our Quinzhee snow shelter. Remembering what Mr. Brouwer said, we found a mini hill, and started our pile of snow on that slant in the ground. Shannon outlined how big it should be, and we all gave our input to make the size and location perfect (as possible). Then we started piling snow. Time went by so fast, and before we knew it, the period was over. I was shocked, because we had only finished the base, and the pile didn’t even look close to being full size yet.

On the second day, we made a goal to be finished piling by the end of the period, and that is exactly what we did. Shannon had brought in her massive scoop, and Air was using a recycling bin to fill up, and then dump on the snow pile. As they were collecting lots of snow, the rest of us were piling that snow on top. For the whole period we worked, but occasionally switched jobs to give others a break (super team work!). I remember looking at the window that was looking directly at our Quinzhee, and two faces were looking back. Anne and Ben were watching us build our shelter, so we all waved at them. When the second period of building was over we had almost finished piling.

Thursday was the day of Wintercamp! Waking up earlier then usual, I made sure all of my bags were ready to go. When I got to school, I was so exited to sleep outside, and every time I bumped into someone in my Outdoor Ed. class, I asked them: “Aren’t you exited!” I could hardly wait! Outdoor Ed. was the last period of the day, so that meant we could continue working until it was bed time. This was good, because we still had lots of work ahead of us. I was so anxious to start digging, so when class time rolled around I ran for the Outdoor Ed. room.

*MADOWER* said...

Once everyone had their snow pants on, we headed out to our almost complete snow shelter. Much to our dismay, someone had walked across the top of our mound, leaving big deep footprints right through our work of art. “That was rude!” I thought. It was alright; we fixed the holes and then carried on piling the last bit of snow. Once that was all finished, we started digging. Shannon started the first bit of the tunnel. Then we were talking about being claustrophobic, and I was the only one who wasn’t. I told the girls that I had no problem with small spaces, or being underground, so they all voted that I continued the tunnel because it was becoming longer, and further into the mound of snow. I had no problem being the one to dig; I was really exited to dig in the first place! Every once and a while we switched, and everyone had a chance to dig out the Quinzhee. Probably the best part was when we discovered that Shannon couldn’t hear us, because she was so far in, that was so cool, plus we could finally notice that progress was being made. We could now fit two people in our Quinzhee at once, and Jesse and I used our feet to dig at the roof, and smooth out the walls. It was easier then using a shovel, I found. The best moment of building our shelter was when we made it to a stick. We had placed sticks into the pile of snow so that when we were digging, and we reached a stick, we knew that we were not far off from the wall of the shelter. Each time we reached a stick, a girl on the outside would measure how far we had left to dig. We were almost done digging. By this time, the sun was setting and we knew that it would be dark soon, so we needed to bring in the flashlight. Once everything was finished, and we smoothed out almost every possible part of the shelter, we got everyone to lay down in it. Five people just fit, but there were some parts that we still needed to smooth down, and carve out so that the people on the end wouldn’t have snow in their face. I helped make the adjustments, and once we were totally finished, and laid down the tarp I brought, it was time for dinner.

Shannon was a life saver, and brought the most delicious Campbell’s Chunky Soup on the planet! Also, Air brought super good cheese buns, which we all dipped into our bowls of hot soup. It filled us up, and was a perfect meal to eat outside. We used our favourite stove to cook it, and there were some funny moments when we reminded each other how to use the Tranglea stove. Hilarious, because it was so simple! After the meal was finished we decided to wash the dishes right away, a decision that paid off. I was so glad we didn’t leave them until morning.

*MADOWER* said...

When we headed back out, a bunch of us organised a game of soccer. Though it didn’t last long, it was super fun and got the blood pumping. Some were so hot, they took their jackets off. Jessie was only in a sweater! It was really great playing in a snow suit, because if I fell over, one, it didn’t hurt, and two, I couldn’t get wet. I felt invincible! After soccer, we all talked, walked around, and I even tried Matt’s snowboard (with Jessie’s help)!

When it was time for bed, we went inside to go to the bathroom, change, and get our sleeping stuff. I knew that as soon as I took my boots off, and got into my sleeping bag, that I wouldn’t come back out until the next morning. We had some visitors, and talked for a bit, but once it was time to sleep we kicked everyone out, and blew out the candle. Jessie and I were so warm, because just like the hiking trip, we shared a sleeping bag. Plus, Jessie’s spare sleeping bag was unzipped, and laying on all of us, acting like another comforter. I was so hot, that I had to have part of my body out of the sleeping bag! I slept so well, it was incredible.

The next morning, we wasted no time in our shelter. At 7am, we were all up, and once everyone put their snow pants on, we scrambled out of the Quinzhee. Jessie and I exited first, and then Emily, Air and Shannon passed us everything that was inside. Then we all carried something in, this way we only had to make one trip! Once inside, we hung our wet gear up, folded up the tarp, and rolled sleeping bags. After all of our stuff was organised or drying out, we ran for the showers! It took awhile for the water to heat up, but after that, we were singing in the shower! Any song we knew, we were singing as loud as we could. Shannon, Air and I sounded so ridiculous, but the best thing was, we didn’t mind, it was too much fun! The only embarrassing part was that we hadn’t noticed other people come into the change room, and hear everything…oops! Once our “amazing hour hot shower” was done, we headed over to the foods room, and Mr. Brouwer made us a wonderful pancake breakfast. With food in our stomachs, we were ready for the last day of school.

When Outdoor Ed. came along, we had to destroy our masterpiece, which was very sad, but a lot of fun at the same time. Some of our friends from other classes wanted to help also. I showed some friends the inside of our Quinzhee, and they were marvelled with our snow shelter. After that, it was ready to destroy it. All at the same time, we ran up onto our Quinzhee, and jumped on it. As we fell through, we were laughing and screaming, it was so much fun. I was surprised how strong it was…we did a good job building it!

*MADOWER* said...

Even though it went by fast, Wintercamp was such an amazing experience. I will never forget camping out in the snow, how surprisingly warm it was, and all of the great moments I had. Whether it was building, digging or just running around in the snow, I had a blast. It was incredible. Over all, Wintercamp was one of the best moments I have ever experience, and hopefully I will be able to do it all again.

Jspicer said...

At first, I was so much more nervous than I was excited about wimtercamping. There were many people who tried to reassure me, but since I had never done it before I was very nervous.
We started preparing three days before, on the Tuesday. We were to sleep in our quinzhees on Thursday night. I was absent on Tuesday the day my group started to build, but on Wednesday I helped them continue building a giant mound of snow for our shelter. We only started to dig it out at the beginning of class on Thursday. Shannon and Caitlin did most of the digging at first, since the rest of us were a little scared of the small space. But once the inside was expanded, we were all excited to get in and dig.
We finished digging out our quinzhee around the same time it started to get a little dark out. We built a barrier on the outside to protect our doorway from the wind. Our dinner that night was Campbell's Chunky Soup and buns, courtesy of Shannon and Ariana. We had a little trouble remembering how to use the stove we had, but once we figured it out we had a very warm and very tasty meal.
After eating and cleaning up, we were all trying to figure out something to do. Matt M had brought his snowboard out, so Caitlin and a few others tried it out. Then some of us decided on a game of soccer. It got really hot really quickly, so I took my coat off and was just wearing a hoodie. We played a bit in the field and just talked after, it was a lot of fun. The night was great!
After we changed into our pyjamas, everyone pretty much went right to bed. Just like on one of the nights of the hiking trip, I shared Caitlin's sleeping bag to keep extra warm. We lay my two sleeping bags on top of us. Before going to sleep, Trevor, Tyler, Jon, and others came in to visit. Tyler gave us a good laugh, and when he left he blew out our candle so we could sleep. The sleep was tight, but it was so warm and actually turned out being a lot more comfortable then I thought.
In the morning, we all just woke up and got all of our stuff cleaned up and inside as quickly as we could. We went to the showers and got ready for the school day, and we had a delicious pancake breakfast in the foods room. I was thinking of how much fun it was, and how nervous I was before. It was definitely a great night and I am so glad that I decided to do it. I can't wait for next year!

Kris S said...

The Pre-Christmas winter camp, held in the beautiful back yard of Cairine Wilson Secondary School, was truly an interesting and memorable experience.
At first we weren’t even sure we would be able to do the Wintercamp this year because of the lack of snow and the hotter temperatures we were getting, but just in time we received about 35cm of snow within days of when the Wintercamp was scheduled. We spent the next couple of days shoveling massive mounds of snow and eventually dug them out and made final preparations before we slept in them for the night.
When digging out the “qwinzhee” Forrest and I accidentally punched a hole in one of the walls. It wasn’t much of a problem because we just patched it up quickly and moved on with the building of our home for the night.
As night crept in, all the students started making supper on either over a fire, or on one of the many stoves we learned how to use prior to the Wintercamp. I chose the simple route and used the Triangia stove. I boiled some water and cooked myself up a couple of hot dogs before sitting by the fire.
The night was perfect with not too low temperatures. After I cooked my dinner I sat with some friends around the fire, sang some campfire songs, and had a great time. By about 10:30, we were told that it’s the final call to get our stuff from the school before it closed for the night. We brought our stuff to the qwinzhee, set up, and called it a night.
When morning came we noticed that the roof of our qwinzhee shrunk a bit because we could no longer sit up in the qwinzhee anymore. This was a bit of a shock so I couldn’t wait to get up and out of there and retreat to the school, not only because of that experience but mostly because of the cold morning. I personally had a horribly cold night. I think it was because we made the walls to thin and our cold sink wasn’t really effective.
Even though I pretty much froze that night, I had a great time building the qwinzhee and spending the night in them. It was a great experience and I will never forget it.

EmilyS said...

I have done winter camps before, but I have never had an experience like this and I wish I could do it again! I was quiet nervous at first thinking that our shelter would collapse during the night and no one would notice, but they were actually quiet strong and really warm to sleep in.

We didn't really have much snow to work with so we had a large area which we could scoop up as much as we could and trow it up onto our snow lump. It started snowing more and more and luckily we had enough to work with. The first day we planned to get as much snow into the outline Shannon made and we only ended up finishing the base, but the next day we were more prepared and we finished piling snow and were ready to dig it all out but the period was over and we had to head to our next class. The last day we had to finish it was very productive since we built it up a bit higher and hollowed it out and completed our snow shelter. We all crammed in there and just relaxed for a bit then went back out for a meeting in the class.
The sun went down very quickly and we were working in the dark at one point but we had flashlights that helped a lot and got it finished before we had to eat supper. We used the Tangia stove and we made chicken soup and cheese buns which really warmed us up and gave us more energy for the cold night ahead.
After everyone was finished building their own shelters people started making fires and sitting around them and talked. Some other people were playing games or just standing around inside and outside and some people even headed to bed. Once it was late enough all the girls decided to set up and head to bed and to my surprise it actually fit all 5 of us and was quiet warm and cozy. I slept really good that night and wasn't cold at all!
The next morning we woke up early to go get showers and ready for the last day of school before the holidays. It felt good to be back inside and I couldn't wait to eat, since I was starving. Mr. Brouwer made some delicious pancakes for us and after eating it was off to classes.

Winter camp was really fun, and I will not forget it. Building a Quinzhee was a great experience and I learned a lot about staying warm and I hope I will be able to do it again! :)

The.Vezinator said...

This December we had the chance to experience a rare event that we are not usual blessed with. We had the opportunity to go winter camping which was a very new idea to me.
Normally for camping I would think of going out during the summer and sleeping in a tent, but I have a new found understanding out camping after this course and especially after our winter camp.
We started by just collecting snow and making a massive pile. We were to make a quinsy of five for the five girls in our class. It took the five of us two days to build our pile large enough to start digging out. Finally on the day of our sleepover we started to dig out the pile, I was let out early of my first class so I was out before the rest of the girls so I started to dig it out.
I was terrified of the idea of sleeping in an emptied out pile of snow, and even in digging out the tunnel I was feeling very claustrophobic and not looking forward to sleeping in the snow. Later on the ladies joined me and I took a break and they started digging away. I went back in to check the progress and I was so impressed on how well we were progressing! It was amazing as soon as I went back in to dig we were working so well together we had myself and Caitlyn inside digging some one in the tunnel and the two others pulling the snow away from the entrance.
As we were doing our last touches I was getting less nervous by the minute! The five of us were all in the quinsy doing the last touches and we were so proud of our
We started by just collecting snow and making a massive pile. We were to make a quinsy of five for the five girls in our class. It took the five of us two days to build our pile large enough to start digging out. Finally on the day of our sleepover we started to dig out the pile, I was let out early of my first class so I was out before the rest of the girls so I started to dig it out.
I was terrified of the idea of sleeping in an emptied out pile of snow, and even in digging out the tunnel I was feeling very claustrophobic and not looking forward to sleeping in the snow. Later on the ladies joined me and I took a break and they started digging away. I went back in to check the progress and I was so impressed on how well we were progressing! It was amazing as soon as I went back in to dig we were working so well together we had myself and Caitlyn inside digging some one in the tunnel and the two others pulling the snow away from the entrance.
As we were doing our last touches I was getting less nervous by the minute! The five of us were all in the quinsy doing the last touches and we were so proud of ourselves.
We went inside to warm ourselves up and it was approaching dark so we decided to put our tarp in our new found home and to warm it up by putting in a candle. We were enjoying ourselves and playing outside when it came to the point were we were so tired and ready for bed but we had still not eaten.
For dinner we used a stove to heat up our dinner, we had chunky chicken noodle soup so it was nutritious, loaded with meat and just what we needed to warm ourselves up!
We still had not put our sleeping bags in the quinsy, Ariana and I were lounging by the fire place and we were just so relaxed because we were so tired. When it finally came time to go to sleep I was so happy this had been the moment I was waiting for. We get all settled in to our sleeping bags but it was still pretty cold. I look at Ariana and I knew she was thinking the same thing so I asked her to come into my bag with me!
I woke up constantly during the night, at every hour I would look at my clock waiting till morning. When 7 am came I jumped up and was happy I made it through the night, we all got up and went to the change room to get ready for the day. Ariana, Caitlyn and I took possible the longest showers, it was the most enjoyable feeling after being out all night it was amazing.
Even though I froze and was tired out of my mind I had one of the best times it was so much fun and I am so proud of how mush we accomplished.

Bigfoot said...

For the winter Camp me and my partner Grant had to dig out our snow cave despite having spent two hours the night before working on it. I found it cold slow work digging out the tunnel of the snow cave.

After we finished the tunnel I found it fast and easy to carve out the platform, by shoving a stick through the walls I was able to make the platform as big as possible without making the walls to thin. While we where digging out the platforms, me and my partner took turns gathering some wood. Once I finished my winter cave I talked with my friends until we decided to make dinner. Just after Mr. Brower called everyone inside for a meeting my cooking group started making Pizza Casserole. After we cut up the onion, pepperoni and started boiling the noodles Grant claimed that someone stole the pizza sauce. Then after Grant convinces me to run to the Metro in order to buy more pizza sauce, I come back to find out they found it in Grant's locker. Then we had a meal of all you can eat pizza casserole. Despite my best efforts of convincing someone to do the dishes for a bowl of pizza casserole we did the dishes. After Joey and me finished our groups dishes I went to sit by the fire.

Bigfoot said...

For the winter Camp me and my partner Grant had to dig out our snow cave despite having spent two hours the night before working on it. I found it cold slow work digging out the tunnel of the snow cave.

After we finished the tunnel I found it fast and easy to carve out the platform, by shoving a stick through the walls I was able to make the platform as big as possible without making the walls to thin. While we where digging out the platforms, me and my partner took turns gathering some wood. Once I finished my winter cave I talked with my friends until we decided to make dinner. Just after Mr. Brower called everyone inside for a meeting my cooking group started making Pizza Casserole. After we cut up the onion, pepperoni and started boiling the noodles Grant claimed that someone stole the pizza sauce. Then after Grant convinces me to run to the Metro in order to buy more pizza sauce, I come back to find out they found it in Grant's locker. Then we had a meal of all you can eat pizza casserole. Despite my best efforts of convincing someone to do the dishes for a bowl of pizza casserole we did the dishes. After Joey and me finished our groups dishes I went to sit by the fire.

jonathon murrin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ginger_kid said...

Just before the Christmas break this past year our Outdoor Ed class had the privilege of wintercamping behind Cairine Wilson. I was in a group with Gavin and Trevor. A couple of days before the day of the wintercamp we started to make piles of snow which were destined to be our quinzhees. I was pumped for the wintercamp.

On the day of the wintercamp we had Outdoor Ed as our last class, so we were able to stay outside and keep working on our quinzhees without an interruption. We still had quite a bit of digging out to do inside our quinzhee, so this served as an advantage. When we had finally finished digging out our quinzhee we lay down a tarp on the platform and lit a candle inside to provide a little extra warmth. We then headed inside and changed out of our working clothes and into the clothes we would wear that evening.

Eventually it came time to eat, so Trevor I heated up two cans of "Stagg" chili over a fire in a pot, and Gavin heated up his lasagna over the fire as well. I'd also brought buns, so we had a few, but without any butter they weren't very enjoyable. We had loads of fun that evening, we even had a game of soccer going at one point, although it didn't last very long.

Things were going by so fast that in no time it was time to turn in for the night. Our group of three became four as one of the people sleeping in the quinzhee that was collapsed obviously needed somewhere to sleep, and we had more than enough space for three. Four was a tight fit, however. Once everyone was in the quinzhee and comfortable in their sleeping bags I realized I had to pee. Everything looked so peaceful at... whatever time it was at night, my guess is around eleven o'clock, maybe midnight. When I was done I got back in the quinzhee and made myself comfortable once again.

The sleep I had that night could've been worse, but it was bad nonetheless. I woke up several times through the night. Eventually I couldn't get back to sleep and just waited until it was time to get up. As soon as Mr. Brouwer came to our quinzhee to tell us the school was open I grabbed all my stuff and ran inside. I was so tired I can't even remember what I did that morning besides taking a half hour shower, and going to the foods room to get breakfast. For breakfast Mr. Brouwer and Mr. Demelio made pancakes. I don't know what Mr. Demelio's were like, but the pancakes I had from Mr. Brouwer were undoubtedly the best I've ever had. This might be because everything tastes better when you're camping, but even so they were amazing.

Wintercamp camp went by really fast. I may not have gotten a very good sleep, but I think we all had great fun. Wintercamp was an awesome experience and I look forward to doing it again.

Treasure said...

I’m so glad the pre-Christmas winter camp went so great! It finally snowed enough for me and 35 other students to start building our homes for the night.

The experience started on Tuesday during class when it finally snowed enough for us to start making our quinzhee’s. It was such a great way to spend class time, pilling snow and digging out our cave. It’s quite an experience when your almost done digging your cave out then you realize you’ve dug too much and you’ve trapped yourself in. Well that’s what happened to me when my partners left me to dig alone! I was so exited that I didn’t even realize I was trapping myself. Luckily Mr. Brower came by and dug me out just in time.

Once we finished digging our quinzhee was great! A good platform and enough room for three people but we weren’t expecting the next thing that happened that night. As the night went on and other groups began to finish up there quinzhee’s it was now time for supper. My group gobbled up our chilli and it was now time for some snow soccer. It was all good fun then as were playing the grade twelve quinzhee collapses! They had nowhere to sleep so we had to take Brittany under our roof and let her sleep with us for the night.

The night went splendidly as I was all nice and warm in my sleeping bag in a pile of snow I couldn’t be happier. All in all the winter camp of 2010 was a huge success in my eyes. Good quinzhee’s good weather, good friends and great stories to tell in the future, this wont be a winter camp that I will soon forget.

thename said...

Our grade 10 outdoor ed class Started our winter camping trip on the Wednesday, the 14th of December. Of Wednesday, we didn’t actually start camping yet, we were making are Quinzhees. As Mr.Brouwer instructed, are group found a small hill to build are quinzhee on. Also as instructed, we were to build a platform, and a small ramp at the end of the platform. What this did was let most of the cold air drop from the platform, which we slept on, to the bottom of the ramp, so it would be a little warmer for us.

Are first step was to get a lot of snow and pile it up into a big pile, we did this for 1-2 days depending on how fast the group worked. You couldn’t start digging out your shelter until at least the second day so the snow could get packed down and harden, or the shelter would collapse when you tried to dig it out. Are group spent 1 and a half days piling up snow, and dug out it out on the second and third day. We were suppose to build are shelter for four people, luckily, two of the people left are shelter, so there was only two of us. If the two people didn’t leave, there would be no way that we could fit everyone in because we built it was to small for that amount of people.


On the day that are trip really began, we were epected to come prepared for the night with food, cloths, sleeping bag, ect. Once we got out of school that thursday, we went right to work on are quinzhees, if we were finished digging them out. then we had time to get all are things into them and mabye help other people out. My group finished digging tout the quinzhee, then we put a tarp down on are platform so we wouldnt be sleeping on snow. We also had another foam pad on top on that for another layer of warmth.

At around 5:30 or so, we started making dinner. We had the option to use the stoves, which most ppl did do. Are group had made beef stew the day before. This saves alot of time because we only have put the stew in a pot and let it heat up. It was very good and it also gave us some warmth in are bodies. I think this was a good meal because it provided a few of the required food groups.

Later that night, around 10 pm, everyone started to go to bed. At this point, it was time to bring are sleeping bags into are quinzhee's. The night was very cold and long and by morning , the roof the the shelter had almost collapsed on top of me, but in the end it was a fun experience.

From the beginning, i didn't think i would enjoy this experience at all, but as time went on, i got more and more excited about it. From what i had heard, everyone who had done this before had loved it, so I was prepared for an easy ride, is the end, it was long and cold. It was a fun this to try, but i deffinitly would not do this again unless I were more prepared.

Ariana said...

Wintercamp


This December, the Outdoor Ed classes, held a wintercamp in the fields at Cairine. We slept in Quinzhees, which was a very nervewracking thought at first. I had never done anything like it before and small spaces are not my favourite. The snow came just in time, as Mr.Brouwer had originally cancelled the trip on Monday, because of the limited supply of snow.
We started building our quinzhees on Tuesday, and finished them up on Thursday. Digging them out was intimidating at first, but soon we were all, even those of us who were nervous about (me, Jessie an d Emily), were all eager to jump in and help. By the time it got dark, around 5:30, we finished digging out our quinzhee, it was very spacious, and might I say well done. After working long and hard on our shelter, we went inside and collected our stuff to make dinner. We had amazing soup, and cheese buns, with juice boxes to drink. The warm meal was perfect, as it was satisfying and warmed our cold hands. After supper, we played some games, sat around the fire, and occasionally went inside to thaw out. At 10:00 the girls went inside and got change into pyjamas and got ready for bed. We brought out our sleeping bags and once inside our quinzhee, decided we were too comfortable to go outside again. After being entertained for a while by Tyler’s humour, and after a couple of visits from Trevor, we had a little conversation, then finally warm and comfortable , dozed off.
In the morning we woke up with cold noses, but other than that we stayed warm during the night. Luckily we all woke up right at 7, which was when the school opened. Eager to have hot showers, we crawled out of our sleeping bags and put on our boots. The last person out pulled the tarp with everything on it out, and we dragged all of our belongings through the snow quickly and into the school. It was very cold outside and none of us were wearing our coats, so you can imagine us, five girls, at 7am, running through snow with bundles of sleeping bags and mats tucked under our arms, and dragging on the ground. Once we got inside, we organized our stuff and headed for the showers. Caitlin , Shannon and I spent an hour in the shower singing any song that came to us at the top of our lungs. To everyone else in the changeroom, and all that could hear us, we probably looked like fools ( and I apologize for the noise), but we didn’t care we were having too much fun. After our showers we headed to the foods room were we had some pancakes that were somewhat unappealing. Then the bell rang and we headed off to our classes, eager to share our experiences with friends.
I can honestly say that I have conquered my fear of claustrophobia, and sleeping in the quinzhee was actually a lot of fun. I had a great time at wintercamp, and I enjoyed the new experience, that I was lucky enough to share with great friends. Once again, I cant wait for next year!

gavin said...

winter camp was a great camp because we got to build are shelters and sleep in them. They kept us fairly warm but our quinzhee was cramped because Britny's colapsed. playing tackle soccer and snowboarding down the slight incline was the was the way i spent the time. I was suprised to see that we could make that big of piles with that little of snow and at the start i was skeptical, but it all turned out good and i had a great camp.

Tyler Charron said...

winter camp

first thing that i did at the sleep winter camp was hollow out are quinsy so we could have a big place to sleep. jon ended up digging the tunal to long it ended up being half the snow pile. as we Continued to dig our quinsy jon used the shovel on the side wall and ended getting a big hole in the quinsy. we managed to fix it useing some snow bolders and some water to freeze thatit back together. after we hollowed out are quinsy we were told to get some fire wood and put it next to our shelter i found some really big log that could be used as a bench in the forest and decided to give it to the teachers for there fire because it was all ready lit. then we played in the school for about 5 min and i saw my english teacher getting ready for the holiday coffee house so i watched her practise a song.

it was then time for supper and i was told we where haveing hot dogs i wanted to try one raw so i did i tasted taribal but i finished it and then had the other one rosted over the fire i did not want the awfull taste in my mouth any more so i went to the bathroom to rinse it out. when i came back we were all playing takle soccer in the snow... i was on the girls team :(
and we won!!
Sometime after the game i was dared to climb to the roof of the school, i made it half way but my gloves kept sticking to the metel and made it imposible to contiue.

than it was bed time shortly after but i was running around trying to get people to come out side and play when i heard David say that no one knows where trever is. i wait untill David walked of looking in the forest and i say to my self "if i was trever where would i be" withen secounds i knew that he would be with shanen because i knew he and shanen are always together in that staker type way. but when i went to the girls Quinsy there were 5 girls and no trever i ask them if they saw trever and they all tryed giveing differant places so then i sayed "shanen trever is hear isint he "
she said no so i said them can you all stop making wall with your backs and then areana said that trever was in shanans sleeping bag and i was not suprised.

then i ran around for a few hours and went to bed after torturing trever with a lighter ask him what i meen i to tired.

winter camp was really great untill every one decided to go to bed and i was left out side alone.

ianE said...

winter camp was a blast this year. It was the first time i had slept in a snow shelter and the first time i have been on a snow mobile as well. The part i worried about most was if we had enough snow on our shelter because i was not there for some snow collecting days because of hockey.



When it first snowed enough for us to collect it and start to pile up the snow for our quinzee. We went and collected a large amount of snow. On the last day of snow collecting me and my group made a very good snow collecting method. By using the two black recycling bins, a big scoop shovel, one normal shovel, and the empty blue bin that the shovels were in. We simply just filled them all up with snow and brough them all to our quinzee at once. we did this about ten times and got a huge amount of snow to put on the shelter. The next day the snow was packed enough that we could start digging it out. We each took turns digging and we got about the first quarter of it shoveled out by the end of the day. the next day i had a hockey game so i couldn't do any digging that day but my group did and they took alot out. The day after this was the second last day until the snow camp and we only had abut half our quinzee dug out , we worked really hard and dug another large amout of snow out of the shelter and we were almost done the digging out. The next day we completed it and had a good camp we brought the right food enough warm clothes and had a great time except for when that crazy guy came and started swearing and cussing up the place.

MKFitz said...

Being in outdoor ed, I have had some of my best experiences. During the same trip, however, I have some of my worst experiences. This trip would be one of those cases.
My partner and I were lucky enough to have a few boys from our class working with us to build our quinzhee, since we were originally all going to share it. Later, we decided that it was too small so the boys went to build their own. So, we had the luxury of having all that help on ours so we were able to start digging almost right away. Thanks guys!
The digging process was a lot harder than I thought it would be. By the night of the campout, we still hadn’t finished and worked right until about 6pm. It was difficult to dig when you’re in such an enclosed space, especially when you’re using a shovel with a long handle. We ended up using a garden shovel until we had a big enough space to use the big one again, which worked out great.
The final product of our quinzhee was good in my opinion, just big enough for the two of us to fit in, which I thought would conserve the heat. After finishing, we went inside to get some much deserved dinner; hot dogs. They were unfortunately frozen, however, which made it impossible to cook them on a stick, so we just heated them up on a grate over the fire. It’s amazing how good a simple meal can taste after a lot of hard work. We topped off the hot dogs with some hot chocolate and marshmallows cooked over the fire.
The night before bed was pretty enjoyable, just sitting around the campfire listening to stories and such. Sitting around a campfire is probably one of my favourite things to do. It was more so the sleeping part that wasn’t as nice.
At first, I thought we would be okay since the shelter looked adequately built and all, but I was very wrong. I don’t think we constructed the cold sink right, and our walls were a little thin; you could see a lot of light coming through when we turned off the flashlight. So, we were in for a cold night. It also didn’t help that my sleeping bag didn’t close up at the top, so I had to constantly keep readjusting it around my head. To top that off, every time I moved I would hit the ceiling, causing snow to get into and on my sleeping bag. Needless to say I hardly slept that night.
The next day was the most brutal part of the whole experience; going through school and then having to work that night. With not much sleep, I practically had to drag myself through the whole day. The clean-up wasn’t so bad. Most people pitched in to get things done in the morning.
I think the best part was probably the hot shower in the morning. After a night of freezing cold, the hot water and steam made everything better. The pancakes were also great!
This wintercamp had its ups and its downs, but in the end there were positive things than negative. There were great people, great food, and a mildly cold night. I also got the chance to learn how to build a great winter shelter, and how to improve it next time. Even though while I was trying to sleep it felt like the worst experience of my life, there’s no doubt that I would do it again. Well, maybe if I had a different sleeping bag...

Tyler Charron said...

winter camp

First thing that I did at the sleep winter camp was hollow out are quinsy so we could have a big place to sleep. jon ended up digging the tunnel to long it ended up being half the snow pile. As we continued to dig our quinsy Jon used the shovel on the side wall and ended getting a big hole in the quinsy. We managed to fix it using some snow boulders and some water to freeze that it back together. after we hollowed out are quinsy we were told to get some fire wood and put it next to our shelter I found some really big log that could be used as a bench in the forest and decided to give it to the teachers for there fire because his was all ready lit. Then we played in the school for about 5 min and I saw my English teacher getting ready for the holiday coffee house so I watched her practice a song.

When I went it was then time for supper and I was told we where having hot dogs I wanted to try one raw so I did it tasted really terrible but I finished it and then had the other one roasted over the fire I did not want the awful taste in my mouth any more so I went to the bathroom to rinse it out. When I came back we were all playing tackle soccer in the snow... I was on the girl’s team :(
And we won!!
Sometime after the game I was dared to climb to the roof of the school, i made it half way but my gloves kept sticking to the metal and made it impossible to continue.

Tyler Charron said...

Then I ran around for a few hours and went to bed after torturing Trevor with a lighter. Let me explain, Madower wanted to talk to Trevor, Trevor would not come out of his quinsy, I told Madower she said to try harder to get Trevor out so I did this time Trevor needed a liter in order to light his candle and he would only come out if he got one so I ran back got Jessie’s lighter and ran back. I new Trevor was not going to come out of his quinsy to talk to Madower so I decided to trick him I placed the lighter on the far end of the quinsy and told him that if he wants the lighter he was going to have to come outside and get it… that pissed him of so much I could tell he was ready to kill me for that trick but it was worth it. So he came out saw Madower and then …

Than it was bed time shortly after but I was running around trying to get people to come out side to play and do other things but when I heard David say that no one knows where Trevor is. I wait until David walked of looking in the forest and I say to my self "if I was Trevor where would I be" within seconds i knew that he would be with Shannon because I knew he and Shannon are always together in that weird stalker type way (just kidding Trevor) stalker type way. but when I went to the girls Quinsy there were 5 girls and no Trevor I ask them if they saw Trevor and they all tried giving different places so then I said "Shannon ,Trevor is hear isn’t he "
she said no so I said them can you all stop making wall with your backs and then Arianna said that Trevor was in Shannon’s sleeping bag and I was not surprised.

After that I was in the girls quinsy just talking and prank calling people I also did the best pick up line ever according to Shannon so this was probable one of the best camps I have ever been on even thought I got sick and until every one decided to go to bed and I was left out side alone

i'm not matt.m said...

Winter camp was a great experience one I believe I will never forget. The night was very beautiful one at that it was a balmy -10 c which was quit nice for sleeping. With all jokes aside it was a beautiful night to be outside especially in the beautifully light quinzeehs .

My night started of with me setting up for coffee house but as soon as that was done I went outside to help my quinzeeh mate Colton do final preparations on the quinzee like putting a tarp in and getting candles ready after this we were freezing cold so we decided to have some of my moms delicious stew that me and Colton quickly shoved down with out even breathing I don't believe. After cleaning dishes and getting every thing cleaned up I decided to have a little fun and got my dad to drop my snowboard off even though there wasn't much of a hill I still managed to have some fun late into the night. After I was cold and done with snowboarding me and Colton decided to do are last bed time prep before the school closed.
After getting are sleeping bags ready in the quinzeeh we talked for most f the night till just before we were about to go to sleep the tarp had caught on fire due to a candle underneath it so me and Colton calmly put out the flames unfortunately will burning are hands and breathing in toxic fumes we clamed down attempted to go to sleep by morning are roof had all but crushed Colton and we were all but out the entrance to are quinzee due to the slippery tarp on the cold ground.

After having an amazing breakfast of pancakes and some orange juice that for the record mister Brouwers were the better pancakes and I am not looking for better marks. All and all it was an amazing yet interesting experience that left me with many fun stories and I believe partial frost bite but I would definitely do it again.

Nick James said...

I really enjoyed the winter camp this year. It was the first time I got build and sleep in a quinzee. It was a very cool experience! The partners I had were very good as well. We were well prepared for are overnight stay.



We started collecting snow a couple days before the winter camp. We were nervous because the weather was not in our favour. But, in the end it started to snow heavily and the winter camp was back on tract. By the end of the first day of snow collecting we had a very large pile and made great progress for only two people working on it. The second day we made even better progress because we had the full group of four. On the final afternoon before the camp we started digging the quinzee out. We finished just as it began to get dark. So the whole evening we just had to sit back make some dinner and relax. It was a blast! For dinner I had Orange noodles with chicken, It was delicious.



We went to bed around 9:00pm and I had a great sleep with the help of a rented sleeping bag from mountain equipment coop. In the morning I was a little sore and had some back pains. Once all are equipment was away I got picked up and then went out for breakfast.

NWH said...

I saw winter camp as being extremely cold and the quinzhees being cold as well. I knew I would enjoy help making the quinzhee because thats what I like to do. But the cold and I are not good friends at all.

Building the quinzhee was simple, just pilling snow letting it set and digging it out, but now what to do? Well nightfall came quick and I to get my dinner ready to eat. After that I lounged around the fire for heat. As it got darker and colder and the time went by, it was time to get the sleeping bags prepared. I got mine in my quinzhee first and decided to just lay in it because it was warm, and then later fell asleep. I woke up several times because of snow dropping on my head and then my sleeping bag, and when it got light out I went to sit up and my head hit the ceilling. My head didnt hit the ceilling before so I kind of thought the quinzhee had sunk. After getting out of the quinzhee it did look like it shrunk and I went inside the school to get warm again.

Overall the experience to sleep outside in the winter was worth it but maybe i'll bring some hand warmers next time so my fingers don't freeze again.

Kayaker said...

To start things off we were lucky just to have a winter camp, since we had had a warm spell followed by no snow fall until two days before the event was scheduled. My partner Chris and I had even less time than that since we had planned to be in another quinzhee, so we only had a day to make our quinzhee.

We ended up not finishing the building part of it until around 3:30, at which point we had to wait until the snow had settled. We let it settle for around an hour at which point with the rapidly approaching sundown we had to get the excavation under way. I worked on the excavation of our quinzhee for a good hour as Chris removed the snow I pushed down the tunnel, when I was done forming the inside of the quinzhee I started to work on the minor details, like smoothing out the platform on which we were going to sleep, and making sure we had enough room to sleep comfortably. Once we were finished we went and made ourselves our supper, for me it was cooking some Chef Boyardee on a dragonfly stove, which was OK (for some reason that Chef Boyardee ravioli always tasted better when I was a kid) sadly I can’t remember what Chris had. After that we went around and socialised with the other groups until it was time for sleep. At the start of the night I was warmly wrapped inside my sleeping bag, sadly that didn’t last the whole night and I woke up twice from the cold.

When we woke up in the morning we made a mad dash for the school since we were so cold (when we woke up we noticed that the ceiling had sunk in about 10 inches). Once we got inside I went and had a half hour long shower just soaking up the warmth. After that I went and had some pancakes for breakfast at which point winter camp 2010 officially finished, after we cleaned up and demolished our quinzhee. I had a lot of fun during winter camp it wasn’t just a great learning opportunity, I also got to have a lot of fun with my friends.

Forrest Mount

Sean said...

Wintercamp. Oh Wintercamp. Me and Wintercamp have a past together.. or atleast a lack off. To explain my history with winter camps, i’ll explain what happened this year.

After learning the proper methods of contruction for a quinzee, we headed outside to an awesome winter day. Cold enough that the snow was nice and powdery, but warm enough that shedding a couple layers wouldn’t leave you freezing. I love building things, i have forever, forts made of sticks, forts made of boxes, forts made of snow, forts made of chairs. To me, a quinzee was just a really awesome fort. that i could sleep in, so it was my goal to make an awesome quinzee. The first day we really piled the snow, a decent amount, infact nearly enough to start digging. but we didn’t. The weather was expected to change. The following days the weather deteriorated from the pristine blue sky and crisp winter air, into a despairing gray sky with a damp feeling in the air. Our Quinzees started to melt. We decided to persevere and keep building until the day before wintercamp.

It was probably the worst day in the entire winter. The temperature was around 2 degrees celcius with colder-then-you-but-warmer-then-snow rain. This caused all the snow to melt, and as you walked puddles would form anywhere they could gather, like footprints. Regardless, determined to dig out my quinzee atleast i began to dig. i made progress, having experience digging tunnels in grade 4, this was a breeze. Once i got past the nostalgia aspect of playing in the snow, the rain, the dampness and the general wetness of the day got to me. I was soaked to the bone, sheltering in my melting quinzee from the rain. The snow felt more like cement past, as it got wet it stuck together more, and became harder to move away. This became a problem when i was pushing all the snow i dislodged from the inside of the quinzee outside. Or should i say into the tunnel leading inside. I was stuck for a good 15 minutes because the snow had become unbelievably sticky, and not paying attention there was only a 5 cm hole leading to the outside. I was somewhat concerned, as the steam gathered inside the quinzee illuminated by the blue light from penetrating light in the walls.

When i was finished i was torn by the announcement that was made. Winter camp was cancelled. My initial thought was relief because i wouldn’t have to sleep in the wet cold quinzee, yet disapointed.

I was disapointed because, all the years i spent in scouts i never once managed to go to winter camp. Every year the conditions weren’t right, or some type of restriction on the parks would happen. This would have been my first winter camps. and it was cancelled yet again. I can only hope that in the year to come winter won’t be as.. lack luster as this year.