Monday, January 16, 2012

Wintercamp

What an amazing day and night. The students finished their quinzhees during the most beautiful winter day of the year. It was nice and warm and it snowed big flakes all day long. Perfect for our night out in the Canadian winter.

The night promised a slight change from the warm snowy day we had, there would be some heavy winds followed by a mean drop in temperature overnight. With winds of 30 km/h and a temperature of -20 C, everyone build up their walls to block the wind and made sure the platforms in the quinzhees were nice and high. Well almost everyone, as some found out, walls that were not high enough were not a great wind block and shelters that didn't have a good enough cold sink were chilly when the temperature dropped.

This led to a number of people hanging out around our fire, as our walls were plenty high and they also had comfy benches build into them. There was also a huddling of many people in the better made quinzhees, as some were just too cold. There was also a few calls home as some used the wonders of the cell phone to call their parents to rescue them. It is too bad that instead of preparing properly, some students were once again able to press the reset button.

Sleeping out in the Canadian wilderness is one of those activities that everyone should try at least once in your lifetime. If you pay attention to the details in building your shelter and you take the time to get the proper gear, it is a night that you will truly enjoy and never forget.

48 comments:

Sarah Jenni said...

Winter camp reflection
By Sarah Jenni

I have never built any Quinzhee before, and I did not imagine that it was possible to sleep over night in a Quinzhee, in the Canadian winter. My group and I did not have a lot of experience in winter camping, but fortunately Mr. Brouwer gave us good advice and tips to have a good experience. We worked hard during the class time and after school all the week to get our Quinzhee done, but it was an amazing time and we had fun making something together with our group!

The Quinzhee construction looks really easy when it is drawn on the board, but it is really different in real life. We chose to build our Quinzhee on the top of the small hill close to the beach volley fields; because we wanted the cold to go out with an entrance lower than our sleeping area. We spent many hours piling the snow. The first day had the best snow condition because the snow was wet so it was easy to take it and fix it on the top of the snow pile. On Wednesday and Thursday the weather was much colder and the snow was powdery. We had a great strategy to keep the snow on the top of the Quinzhee, we form some flat area in the top part of our Quinzhee, and then the snow did not fall down along the walls.

We started digging the Quinzhee on Friday morning, and we were nervous about not being able to finish it on time for the night. I was surprise to see how long it takes, especially when only one person could dig at a time. We got wet laying on the snow digging out the tunnel, and we were quickly freezing. We finally created space enough to be two at the same time, but we were worried about the walls. We were not sure if we could continue digging or if the walls would be too thin. If we left the walls too thick, the Quinzhee would be really small. It was a short time of panic, until Mr. Brouwer had a look and told us that we were able to continue working. In the end, we had enough space to sleep 4 people inside, it was a success.

We were so happy to change our clothes and be dry again. We prepared our food and cooked it on the fire. It was small pizza made with English muffins. It was great, but the cheese did not get hot enough with the outside temperature, we ate finally cold pizza. We warmed up some soup too and we made tea and hot chocolate to be warm. I felt so much better with a full stomach and a lot of clothes on, I was not cold anymore. We spent a great time around the fire, before we took the sleeping bags and everything to go in our Quinzhee.

We had difficulty to take all our stuff in the Quinzhee because with all our bags, sleeping bags and clothes, we did not have space for organizing them. After a while, we finally did it and everyone was comfortable in their sleeping bag. We played cards, ate snacks, and talked a long time. It was really exciting and we did not feel the cold!


I had a lot of fun to build a Quinzhee, and spend a night with friends in the Canadian wildness. It was a great Canadian experience and I will love doing it again! Thank you Mr. Brouwer!

Ryder said...

Since my winter camp experience got cancelled last year due to rain, I was ecstatic to see a beautiful snowy day on Friday the 13th. The afternoon gave us a comfortable temperature to work in and lots of snow to work with. I had a great time at winter camp and felt like there was nothing overly big that I would have changed.

The little things I would have changed looking back on the experience are remembering to bring candles to warm up the quinzhee, putting my name on my shovels and having big bags to block the door way at night instead of coats, pants and boots. Other little things I could have done to make the experience perfect would have been having more of a warm, nutritious supper and maybe hanging out more in the quinzhee for a while before heading into our sleeping bags to warm it up.

I really liked building the quinzhee’s and digging them out, I don’t know why I just find it fun and playing games around a nice fire is always a good way to spend a night. I didn’t like the temperature and then to make it worse the wind was gusting around 30 km/h. If I would have looked at the forecast the night before, I would have probably spent more time and attention on making good high walls near our fire, instead of going over to Mr. Brouwers nice fire.

This experience has taught me that being over prepared is way better than being under prepared. When you’re over prepared, you can keep yourself warm and dry and you can lend things to others to help them keep warm and dry. I also learned the importance of making big high walls around a camp fire to keep the wind out and be able to have a warm fire area for cooking and relaxing.

The overall experience that winter camp has given me is a once in a life time. It is unfortunate the some people could not experience the whole thing and will hopefully get another opportunity to do it. The big lesson that I came out of winter camp with is to always double check what your card is while playing mafia, there’s nothing worse than a cop who thinks he’s a civilian.

MadiStew said...

Although wintercamp took place on Friday the 13th, it was far from a horrible experience. Working temperatures and conditions were perfect for building, unlike last year when it got rained out. Along with our experience from last year, we were able to build our quinzhee in no time at all.

When we first headed out to start building, there was not much snow left since there had already been some quinzhees built that morning. There was also a struggle to find good shovels to use throughout the building experience. We had also built some walls to connect our quinzhee to two other neighbouring quinzhees, forming a sort of village. As we built up one of our walls, to block the wind, we realized that the wind was coming from the other direction. In the end, we only stayed at our quinzhee to cook and eat. We then proceded to sit around Mr. Brouwer's campfire for the evening.

As for the food, we planned to make an amazing supper of salad, spaghetti and garlic bread, which we shared with our fellow "villagers". We started off the meal with a great Caesar salad, and then followed it with the spaghetti and garlic bread. Unfortunately, the ratio of noodles to spaghetti sauce was not well planned, so the spaghetti was kind of dry. Also, because of our lack of walls, the spaghetti cooled off before it even reached our mouths. For the garlic bread, we were all too lazy to cut each piece, so we decided to rip the pieces off instead. Eventually, some of us started to take bites straight from the loaf itself.

After washing dishes and having a cup of hot chocolate, we changed our clothes and sat by Mr. Brouwer's campfire. We then played "Mafia" while snacking on chips and cookies until bedtime. Since our quinzhee was a bit too small for four people, it was a difficult task to set up all the sleeping gear. After we squished all four of us into the quinzhee and blocked the doorway with our gear, we all fell asleep instantly.

During the night, we were warm and toasty, unlike some other campers. But when we woke up the next morning, it was FREEZING outside. To make matters worse, my gloves had turned into ice blocks, so I had to run back into the school with all my gear while my fingers were frozen enough to make me cry.

I was so glad that wintercamp was not cancelled, considering there was no snow before Christmas break. Over all, this was an amazing experience that I got to spend with amazing people. I've learned to bring more gloves and to find out which way the wind will be blowing BEFORE I start building the wall.

mackburnsie said...

When I first heard that we were going to be sleeping in "Quinzhees" I had absolutley no idea what that meant. I figured it was a different kind of tent... But no, it is a pile of snow with a hole dug out of it. I had to just wait and see what it was going to be like once January came.

When we started building our Quinzhee all we knew was that it had to be big enough for 3 girls and about 6 feet high. On day one we only had small shovels, and that did not work out too well, so the next day my two partners brought two big shovels so it we go faster. By thursday we were done building it and we just needed to dig it out. Thursday night my two partners started digging it out and got the tunnel dug out. Friday we dug out the entire thing and by 3:15 we were ready to go out and make sure our platform was flat and ready to sleep on.

Throughout the night we played a few games and hung out around the fire and made some dinner. It was so cold that we decided it was better to suck it up and not eat. The wind was the coldest part of the night. At ten o'clock we went into the school to get our dry sleeping clothes on and headed back out to the quinzhees. We all hung out in the biggest quinzhee until around 3am then ventured out in the cold back to our own, where I fell asleep right away and was warm for the night.

I was warm all throughout the night and did not wake up once. When we were woken up at 7:30 I realized how cold it really was. We went into the school, warmed up then came back out and cleaned up camp.

Overall I had a good experience winter camping!

SpeedPaddler said...

Althought this wasn't my first time making a quinzhee, this was by far the most enjoyable. My group and I didn't really have much experience building quinzhees, but after some research we were confident in our ability to recreate a good quinzhee.

The construction of the quinzhee took awhile and a lot of hardwork, but it turned out great. We picked a spot on top of a hill between the two school fields, we chose this area because there was a lot of room for cold air to go down hill. The first day was by far the best because the snow was perfect for making quinzhees, on that day i'd say our group worked the hardest. Wednesday the snow was hard and compct and not nice to work with, but nonetheless we were able to pile all our snow and dig out our tunnel entrance. Thursday and Friday were our digging out days, we spent many hours digging our quinzhee out, because we needed to fit 6 guys into it, finally at the end of school Friday we were complete our quinzhee. Our quinzhee had a wall around the entrance to block the winds from going in, it had a pretty long tunnel entrance which then opened up into a big den.

After school our group didn't have much to do so we split up and helped some other groups, during this time I was able to dig out a big fire den, in the middle of the den was the fire, it then had tall walls to the northeast to protect the fire from the high winds. It was nearing 6:30 and our group decided that it was time for us to cook our supper. Our supper was really good, it consisted of hotdogs and hamburgers. After we had finished our supper and a few other groups had used our fire, we decided to play some games with the groups that had shared our fire.

We played games, talked, and chilled in our quinzhee until 10:00pm at this time we all got our sleeping bags and setup in our quinzhee, despite the cold we still stayed around the fire till about 11:00pm at this time the cold was really getting to us so we moved into my groups' quinzhee. Our quinzhee was originally meant for 6 guys...in the end we managed to fit 13 people with a few others coming and going, we all were having a great time until 3:00 in the morning when everyone ventured back to their own quinzhees. After everyone had left I then realized how cold our quinzhee got, but despite the cold I was able to fall asleep. Sadly I wasn't able to get much sleep because I had to leave at 5:00 in the morning. When I got out of my quinzhee I realized actually how cold it was.

Despite the cold and biting winds I had a great time, and I can;t wait to do it next year.

Tyler Charron said...
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Tyler Charron said...
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Tyler Charron said...
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kelly :) said...

Winter camp reflection

People always say "nothing is ever what you expect it to be" and I really didn't think about what that truly meant till the sleepover in the Quinzhee.

Building the Quinzhee wasn't just fun.. it was tough and it involved a lot of team work. My group worked well during the class time to complete the pile of snow that we thought would turn out to be comfortable and warm. I had an amazing time spending all week with my friends creating what I think could be stated as one of nature's master pieces.

When we first started to build the Quinzhee I thought it was going to be easy to build and we would finish earlier then Friday. Then I realized it was harder then it seemed, it took us till Friday to pile the snow and all day Friday to empty it out. Emptying it out was the toughest part of the building portion of the winter camp, I had to crawl in tight spaces and try to remove as much snow in as little time possible.

On Friday night it was freezing cold, everyone was huddled around fires and bundled up so only faces could show. I was having a great time with all my friends, laughing and just joking around. When it came time to go to bed my group realized that our Quinzhee was too small for the four of us to fit. So two people moved to a different Quinzhee while myself and another group member remained in our own Quinzhee. During the night the temperature dropped to -28 degrees and I started to get hypothermia, so I ended up going home at two in the morning.

Winter camp was such a great experience for me and all my fellow classmates. I learnt so many things and I had such an amazing time. If I end up being a part of outdoor ed next year, I can now prepare myself because I have an understanding of the elements needed to make it through a night of winter camping. Thank you Mr. Brouwer for this amazing opportunity!

haley lorenz said...

When the snow finally came around I knew that we were going to be making quinzhee’s. What I wasn’t ready for was the -22 degree weather we were going to be sleeping in. I thought everyone in outdoor ed was crazy because we were going to sleep out in the cold.

Planning to make the quinzhee was a lot easier than actually making it. Although it was just piling snow until it’s about 6 feet high - It was a lot of work. I thought my arms were going to fall off by the end of class. My group only had two or three tiny shovels the first day and our quinzhee wasn’t going very far, but we had some volunteers to give us a few piles of snow. The second day two of us brought those giant “scoop” shovels and our quinzhee started to get really big and just perfect for three of us to sleep in it. The hardest part I think was trying to make our quinzhee round.

On Thursday two of us planned to stay after school to start to digging out because, if we didn’t we had a good feeling we would be sleeping out in the cold because we wouldn’t of finished. Digging inside the quinzhee had its challenges. I was put into really awkward positions because it was such a small space to deal with. We tried some experiments as well. We made bunk beds in our quinzhee. We took them out because we thought someone was going to roll of the top and crush the other two.

All night I was fine because I was by the fire where it was warm and I kept moving a lot. Although when I went to sleep, I was frozen. I didn’t really sleep and I couldn’t move because I was smushed against a wall and my friend. I also couldn’t feel my toes - I thought they were going to fall off. Once I heard the school was open I bolted to the school to get warm.

Other than being freezing at night I would defiantly do this again because it’s a great experience but I would experiment while building the quinzhee next time.

Despite the cold weather and chilly wind, I had a really good time.

Rachel said...

Winter camping reflection

By morning time I was half frozen, could not feel my toes and was just happy to be able to get warmth. I may have had the worst sleep of my life that evening but winter camp came with great memories that I will never forget.

Building a quinzhee was not as easy as I thought it would be. I thought it would be a simple process that only took 2-3 days at most. I did not realize the amount of time and effort I would have to put in to build this snow shelter. After a whole period of shoveling snow we still were not even half way done. I soon realized that building the quinzhees was going to take more time then I had thought and a lot of hard work. Once we were finished making the snow pile for our quinzhee we had the challenge of digging out the shelter. This also took a lot more time than I thought it would. We did not finish digging the quinzhee till dark on the Friday that we were camping. Even then we needed to have help from other people for mine and alexia’s quinzhee to be built. Once we finally finished building our quinzhee there was a moment or pride and we were both very excited in what we had accomplished.

The evening that we were camping had to be one of the coldest winter nights this year. Nothing could have prepared me for the blistering wind or the bone chilling cold. The only thing you could do is wear layers and sit around by the fire. There was also the boys huge 6 man quinzhee , which was nice and warm inside. The only problem is that everyone wanted to go inside the quinzhee but there was not room for everyone to fit. Even it may have been freezing outside it was all part of the experience. I had a great time being with all my friends and having a good time.

If there is one thing I would have changed it would have been to bring a warmer sleeping bag. I had a great time the whole evening up until i was in the quinzhee trying to fall asleep. The whole evening I was extremely cold and uncomfortable. During the evening I kept waking up from being so cold and was unable to get much sleep. It is safe to say I got around 2 hours of sleep that evening. By morning time I was so cold that when I heard mrbrower telling us that the school was open I was overly excited. I even said a little “o thank god” and was so excited to be able to get some warmth then I sat up to quickly in my sleeping bag and smacked my head on the top of the quinzhee. Alexia and I instantly started laughing somewhat because I smacked my head but mostly because we had made it through the night and accomplished sleeping outside in the middle of winter.

Winter camping was a whole new experience for me. Camping in the summer or fall is one thing but camping while there is snow on the ground and it is below zero temperatures is another thing. I am very proud in my classmates and myself for being able to last the evening camping outside. I made many good memories that I will never forget. Even though I did not get the greatest sleep I still had an amazing time. Winter camping was worth the frozen toes and frost bitten nose and is something i will never forget. I look forward to being able to try it again next year.

Rachel Andolfatto

kelsey said...

Spending a night in a quinzee was definitely something I never thought I would do, but I am glad I had the opportunity to do it. Although I was cold all night I still had a great time. I built a quinzhee with Mackenzie and Haley. Our quinzee was probably the hardest thing to make but with a little extra time after school we managed to finish it. We spent most of our time that night hanging out by the campfire and playing games in the snow like red rover and man hunt, which I must admit we failed at. Mackenzie and I made pea soup over the camp fire and it was just the thing we needed to warm up. Later in the evening a group of about 14 of us went into the boy’s quinzee which was only made for 6 people but we stayed warm and ate candy.

The worst part of my experience would have to be how cold my hands were and the fact that someone took my pillow right before bed. Also it didn’t help that I had Mackenzie snoring in my ear all night. However what I really liked was how much everyone in both classes bonded and just talked. It was like the hiking trip all over again.

I would love to get to do this again next year but I would make sure to prepare myself a little better. Next time I would bring 4 pairs of gloves not 2 and I would bring a warmer sleeping bag because I froze that night and couldn’t wait to come home to my own bed. Thanks to all the teachers that helped out!

Mady said...

Wintercamp Reflection

This was my first experience building a Quinzhee, and for the most part it was a good one! My group members were Brittney, Kelly and Taylor Rankin. We decided to put our quinzhee on a hill, with the door facing the forest so that less wind would come in and we would have a natural cold sink. After working hard during class time and after school on friday, we realized that it would only be big enough to fit two people. Brittney and I decided to split up and join other people in their Quinzhees.

For dinner we had Kraft dinner made over the fire. We also ate a lot of junk food. Once it stopped snowing, started to get dark, and the tempurature dropped, we made our way over to the bonfire. We sat around the fire for while to keep warm but eventually all mooved into the 6 person Quinzhee. After talking and trying to keep warm for a while we all spread out into our own Quinzhees. After a fairly cold night it was finallly time to pack up and go home.

Next time that I build a Quinzhee I'm going to keep afew things in mind. One of the most important things I will remember is to keep in mind the size I want my quinzhee to be. Another thing I will keep in mind is to build a higher platform and to block the door so the cold does not come in during the night.

Wintercamp was an experience that I have learnt lots from and will never forget.

leah said...

Of all the experiences I’ve had with the Outdoor Ed class, winter camp was one of my favourites because it’s something completely new to me. Last year building up our quinzhee had me stoked for the overnight ahead but because it was cancelled I was uncertain how this year’s would go.
Waking up to a perfect snowfall had me pumped and the fact that I would be spending hours outside in the winter and sleeping in the snow all hit me at once. That day my group started digging out our shelter. Although felling a little claustrophobic at the beginning, once you had enough room to move, shovelling went quite quickly. There is no mature way to describe the great feeling when you chop out a huge piece of snow at once; life’s small pleasures.
While one member dug, the others built up a wall. Out plan was to have three walls high enough to block wind from all sides to protect our fire. Out biggest wall by the end of the night was the one on the opposite side the wind was coming from. Had we checked wind direction, our efforts would have been very useful. This is the thing I regret most about our shelter.
After supper and disappointed, I think our whole group took a minute to think about what we could have done differently. With a week fire we made spaghetti that did not include enough water to boil properly. Having put in the whole bag of noodles, our sauce was unable to cover our dinner. Our garlic bread was cold and never heated nicely though we put it in the fire more than once. Coming out of it, I can say that warmer food and a bigger fire will may off for overall happiness later that night.
Heading to bed toasty warm from our teachers’ fire and still laughing from our game of Mafia, us girls got settled (and a little crammed) in our snow shelter for the night. Waking up in the morning I was surprised at how students were frozen from that past night. The thing I am most pleased with was the depth of our cold sink and how effective it was. I wish never to sleep in a qunizhee without one. I slept all through the night comfortably and thanked myself for packing the essentials to a good sleep: a fleece blanket, warm socks, an extra hat, and my teddy.
Although I was sceptical about sleeping in a collapsible qunizhee, in the cold winter, on Friday the 13th, I am so happy I had the chance to winter camp and spend campfire time with great people.

leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leah said...

Of all the experiences I’ve had with the Outdoor Ed class, winter camp was one of my favourites because it’s something completely new to me. Last year building up our quinzhee had me stoked for the overnight ahead but because it was cancelled I was uncertain how this year’s would go.
Waking up to a perfect snowfall had me pumped and the fact that I would be spending hours outside in the winter and sleeping in the snow all hit me at once. That day my group started digging out our shelter. Although felling a little claustrophobic at the beginning, once you had enough room to move, shovelling went quite quickly. There is no mature way to describe the great feeling when you chop out a huge piece of snow at once; life’s small pleasures.
While one member dug, the others built up a wall. Out plan was to have three walls high enough to block wind from all sides to protect our fire. Out biggest wall by the end of the night was the one on the opposite side the wind was coming from. Had we checked wind direction, our efforts would have been very useful. This is the thing I regret most about our shelter.
After supper and disappointed, I think our whole group took a minute to think about what we could have done differently. With a week fire we made spaghetti that did not include enough water to boil properly. Having put in the whole bag of noodles, our sauce was unable to cover our dinner. Our garlic bread was cold and never heated nicely though we put it in the fire more than once. Coming out of it, I can say that warmer food and a bigger fire will may off for overall happiness later that night.
Heading to bed toasty warm from our teachers’ fire and still laughing from our game of Mafia, us girls got settled (and a little crammed) in our snow shelter for the night. Waking up in the morning I was surprised at how students were frozen from that past night. The thing I am most pleased with was the depth of our cold sink and how effective it was. I wish never to sleep in a qunizhee without one. I slept all through the night comfortably and thanked myself for packing the essentials to a good sleep: a fleece blanket, warm socks, an extra hat, and my teddy.
Although I was sceptical about sleeping in a collapsible qunizhee, in the cold winter, on Friday the 13th, I am so happy I had the chance to winter camp and spend campfire time with great people.

Étienne AvA Rhéaume said...

Winter Camp Reflection
by Etienne Rheaume

At first, when I heard we were going to vbe sleeping in Quinzhees, I was excited, as I have done this before. I love making quinzhees almost as much as sleeping in them, but unfortunately, this time just wasn't as great as the last time.

I started off by simply piling snow for a one man quinzhee. I was not planning on partnering with someone else, and this change was made last minute. I then had to expand my quinzhee so that two people could comfortably fit inside of it, and this was a huge msitake on my behalf: I dug out too much space. The quinzhee was much bigger than it needed to be, and this caused my co-quinzheer and I to freeze like ice cubes.

My second mistake, which I couldn't quite fix due to time limitations, was the platform. We barely had a platform, and this was a major problem. Another thing I forgot was candles. I forgot to bring candles, which would have crystalized the inside, preventing heat from escaping the quinzhee.

Overall, I learned that I screwed up completely, and unfortunately, this resulted in me sleeping a total of one hour, from 0420-0520.
This lack of sleep unfortunately affected my results at biathlon tryouts the next day.

I learned a great deal from this, mainly to never ever ever bring a minus 7 sleeping bag to a winter camp, and that pj's aren't even that warm.
Good experience, quite mind-enforcing I must say.

Curtis said...

My winter camp experience was definitely positive, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to take part in such an event. I had a great group to cook and build a quinzhee with. The weather wasn’t too unforgiving and although not everything went perfectly, I wouldn’t change many things.

During class we built a massive 7-man quinzhee. It had a long tunnel and a well built cold sink. It was quite warm, especially when we had lots of people in it. It was defiantly to our group’s advantage that we had brought our own shovels and that we had people in both classes, this allowed us to get lots of work done and optimize our time.

The weather on Friday afternoon was perfect, it was very snowy and the temperature was mild. This gave us a chance to finish up our quinzhee. There were seven people that were supposed to be sleeping in our quinzhee and we had all been working on it for the last couple of days. On Friday afternoon we put the finishing touches on our quinzhee, and although we could have made it a little bit bigger we decided to keep it small so that it would be warmer. We had finished most of our quinzhee in class, so after we finished I went to help smaller group who was struggling to make there quinzhee in time.

In our cooking group there were 9 people, which all though seems like a lot, we had brought a lot of food. Unfortunately we had to share our cooking fire with another group so we didn’t get to cook all of our food, but either way I was satisfied with the amount of food I had eaten.

When I went to sleep I was very warm, even though there was a large vent above my head. However when Peter woke up at 5:30am because he had to leave another piece of the quinzhee had caved in above my head. I was very cold and decided to get outside and try to warm up by walking around. So from about 6:30 to 7:30 I walked around to stay warm (after patching up the hole).

My group was very cooperative and easy to work with, although an unwanted hole had to be patched up, and we put too many vent holes in fear of getting carbon monoxide poisoning, we got along well and were able to get work done effectively.

In conclusion this wintercamp experience was positive, and I’m glad I went. I haven’t slept in a quinzhee in about 4 years. Although not everything went as planned, it was definitely a great way to spend my Friday night.

Josh Switzer said...

Sleeping over night in a quinzhee on Friday the 13 was very scary! But fun. When Mr. Brouwer first said we were going to do some winter camping, I thought it meant we would be setting up a tent and sleeping in that. Then I realized we actually had to build one. Although building the quinzhee was successful, I was very nervous to sleep in it because I thought it would collapse. During the night, I woke up twice because I had a dream that it was time to wake up. But when I opened my eyes I realized that I was dreaming. In the morning, was by far the coldest part of the experience? It was the coldest part because we use my stuff to make to door and I ended up all outside. So I had to pick up all of my stuff and inside. The best part of this experience was when my parents picked me up and brought me some McDonalds. Although sleeping in the quinzhee was chilly and stressful, I have started to make one at home and I hope to sleep in it sometime soon. Over all I really liked this experience and hope to do it again.

Ben said...

When I first heard that we were going to be sleeping outside for winter camp, I thought that it was crazy and I would freeze. When we researched winter shelters in class, I still couldn't believe how warm these shelters could be. I can't tell you how wrong I was!

Some people told me in the morning: "it was so cold!". Well, that is probably because their shelters weren't build correctly. The building of our shelter went very well. I was happy that some members of our group brought in large shovels, because that made the building a lot faster.

The day of Friday the 13th, I was very happy to see that we had great weather and nothing that could cause winter camp to get cancelled. The digging out of our shelter was finished by around 4, so we had lots of time to relax before making dinner. Our dinner could have been more nutritious, but it was fun to cook the burgers and hot dogs over the fire. The only problem was that all of our food was kept outside, so it all froze overnight.

I was happy that I was over prepared instead of under prepared, since if my clothes got wet I could go in and change in to some warm dry ones. I was afraid that if I got wet before going to sleep, I would be freezing during the night.

Unfortunately, since our quinzhee was the biggest and pretty warm, a lot of people decided to stay in it. Because of this, I didn't get to sleep as early as I was hoping to. This taught me to come prepared and make sure you make things correctly, since most of these people came to our quinzhee because theirs was too cold.

All in all, this winter camp was a lot of fun. I loved learning about how to make the quinzhees and learning that sleeping outside is not as cold as it seems if you have a good shelter!

MCarter said...

Winter Camp Reflection

I was in grade 10, second semester, Outdoor Ed last year. Our winter camp was totally prepared. Then, unfortunately, the camp had to be cancelled due to some very unwanted rain. That is why this year’s winter camp was special to me. It was the first time I had slept in a quinzhee.

After the disappointment of last year, I was very excited to hear that winter camp was coming up soon. I made sure I packed everything that I would need to enjoy the night. While the quinzhee was being built, I had a lot of fun. We’d enjoyed ourselves by dumping snow on each other. We even joked that we should have built the quinzhee beside the school so that we could use the school’s wi-fi inside it. The construction process was a lot of fun. Eventually we ran into a snag. While digging the quinzhee out, we reached a point where we had dim light coming in through all the walls and still did not have enough room for all three of us to sleep comfortably. We realized that we had dug too high in the quinzhee and we had room to dig into the floor.

With our quinzhee finished, and up to our standards, we were very happy. It was then time to start making dinner. We hadn’t put much effort into our meal. I had brought Kraft Dinner and Shaehan brought hamburgers. We were feeling quite tired after building our quinzhee and couldn’t find a working microwave in the school so we decided to skip the Kraft Dinner. This was not a huge concern to me. I did not mind skipping it because I was also tired. I was perfectly happy with eating only hamburgers. So for our meal choice and preparation, I was satisfied.

The rest of our evening, after clean up, was spent enjoying ourselves. We relaxed around the fire and had some fun. We eventually let our fire die out because we had run out of wood and saw no need to keep the fire going while we had planned to visit another camp for a while. We left to visit the teachers’ camp where they had set up very high walls to keep heat in and wind out. We spent the rest of the night playing Mafia with a large group of people. Between Mr. MacDougal’s hilarious death stories and the group laughter, I forgot that I was slightly cold and had a fun night.

When it came time for bed I was very curious as to how comfortably I would sleep that night. I was very surprised to feel the temperature difference between the quinzhee and the outside. I set up my sleeping gear and crawled into bed. I made a wise choice by sleeping only in my long johns so that my body heat would warm the sleeping bag. In the end it was a very comfortable night and other than waking up with no feeling in my toes, I was completely comfortable.

Now that I look back on that camp, I see that I could have done better to keep myself warm. However, I was only slightly cold. I did not suffer at all that night. Now all that I can think about is how amazing next year’s trip will be. I look forward to it immensely.

jonathonmurrin said...

out door ed refletion
staying over night in the quinzee was really interasting night for me. we started to Dig it out on the night that we were staying in them. by we i mean kjell tyler and i, josh was also in our groop but some how josh had his finger coucht inside the geroge and broke his finger that night so he had to go to the hopatel to get his finger fixed up. we other then josh breaking his finger the hole camp was ok for me.for supper tyler had some mr.nudels that he had on the camp. he had enough for every one so we just had some mr. nudels for supper. after supper kjell, tyler and i were tired so we desited to just hangout inside our qunzzy and fall asleep after words. after we had fell asleep i didnt really get a good nights sleep and i also had a curling game in the morning. i would wake up every houre i was in the qunzie and my feet were cold the hole night and i also had to use the washroom the hole night. i didnt wanna get out of my quinzy because i knew that it was cold out side and i didnt want to be cool. finaly i whent to the wash room and it was 4:45 i had to wake up at 6 :30 to head out for my curling game. i came back inside my quinzy and tryed to get back asleep but tyler and kjell had woken up and i sayed up with them intell 6 :30 then i had to leave. when i whent out side it was really cold and i had to wait for my dad to pick me up. as i was wating my fingers and my toes were really cold. then my head and my stumack started to hurt felt like i was about to be sick and throw up but i didnt. then my dad picked me up so i could go to the curling game. over all the night was ok but what iv learnd is that to were much wormer gloves and also leard that i had to put on my wool sockes on first before puting on my normal sockes

Justine Maiz said...

Winter camp was so much fun, I had a blast. It's my first year being in outdoor ed and experiencing all these events, winter camp is definitely my favorite one.

I enjoyed building the quinzhee and building the walls around the campfire, sadly we had made a nice wall and bench when we realized the wind was coming from the other direction. We had to move all of the snow from one wall to the other as we had connected 3 quinzhees together to make a "village". But because it was so late into the evening everyone was hungry so we didn't finish our wall building.

We were freezing while cooking our dinner because of our lack of walls. We had planned a wonderful feast of Caesar salad, spaghetti and garlic bread. The spaghetti noodles took longer to cook than we thought, and we also had made too much for the little amount of sauce that we had. We were all to hungry that as the noodles were cooking we opened a bag of chips.
Finally the noodles had finished but from the time it took for to serve ourselves, sit down and start eating the spaghetti was already cold. As for our garlic bread we didn't have a knife and none of us wanted to get one so we settled for ripping pieces from the loaf, which was also cold.

After the dinner, dish washing and a nice hot chocolate. The snow plow had went by and left giant mountains of snow so we played on those, took pictures and created slides. Then we decided to go "check out" the Mr. Brouwer's campfire. It was so much better than ours so we abandoned our campfire and headed over to his, we brought snacks as an offering. It went from just us four girls to pretty much the entire PAD30-40 class. We had a great game of Mafia, except that awful police officer and the nurse who killed himself for a hotdog.

After a great day of working and playing we were quite tired, so we headed back to our quinzhee. A little small for four people but we were cozy. It was warmer than I had expected. We woke up the next morning by Mr. Brouwer and headed outside, little did we know how cold it was. Something i would have changed about this is using something besides our coats,mitts and boots to block the doorway as they were icicles in the morning.

Overall, it was a great experience. I'm so happy I got the chance to do it. I'm sure its something I'll be telling my kids and grand kids.

Debora Fieberg said...

Winter Camp Reflection
Debora Fieberg

Did you ever sleep outside in the crazy Canadian weather? Did you ever build your own quinzhee to sleep in it while it is -30° outside? Well, I did now! During the night from Friday the 13th of January to Saturday the 14th of January, I got this real Canadian experience!!!

The whole past week my group, Sammy, Julia, Sarah, and I, have been working on this quinzhee. We also got some help from Justine. Together we spent hours shuffling snow to create a huge snow pile. All we did was shuffling snow, compressing it, and shuffling more snow, which was fun but after a while a bit boring. When we decided that our snow pile is big enough to fit four people in it, I was very excited that we could start to dig it out now. Starting to dig out the entrance we thought that it would take hours to dig out the whole quinzhee. Coming forward was pretty slow as the entrance was so small that you could barely move in it, but once we came to our platform digging out the quinzhee did not take as much time as I thought. The digging was one of my favourite activities during winter camping. In the darkness you shuffled out snow, dig further in the quinzhee, and created more space like that. At first we created a really high sleeping platform inside. When we realized that there was not enough place for all the four of us with the sleeping platform, we decided that we have to destroy this platform. Usually it could become very chilly without a sleeping platform, but as our quinzhee was located on a hill, our sleeping place was above the entrance naturally, and we did not have to worry about it. At around 8pm on Friday our quinzhee was done: nicely located on the hill, with a natural sleeping platform, enough space inside, and the entrance perpendicular to the wind, additionally protected by a huge snow-wall around it! Now, we wanted to put the tarp inside. Julia brought a huge tarp for our quinzhee… almost too huge! When we spread it out inside the quinzhee, we had troubles spreading it evenly. We had to fold it three times and with three people inside a small quinzhee this became a huge mess but finally we managed this problem as well.

Debora Fieberg said...

Proud of our work we went inside to change and prepare our supper. The combination of English muffins, pasta vegetable sauce, salami, and cheese made some delicious and nutritious mini-pizzas. The whole grain English muffins provided us with carbohydrates, the cheese gave us dairy, and the salami meat with protein, and the vegetable sauce covered the fruit and vegetables category with all its vitamins, carbohydrates and complex sugars. These pizzas were warmed up over the fire where we sat toasty warm together in dry cloths. Additionally we ate some leftover soup we made in our foods class earlier in the morning. I really enjoyed this meal, even though everyone was so hungry that we decided to eat the pizzas half cold. The soup was hot though and together with a hot tea it warmed me up. Together with the others we sat around the fire playing “truth or dare”. This was a lot of fun, but after a while I got a bit cold sitting on the snow, and having the freezing wind blowing right in my face. When we went inside again to change and get ready for the night at 10pm, I was happy to get in my really good cloths for the night. After we packed and organized everything, Julia and I ran around in the locker bay and around the school to warm up for the night. That was funny and really effective! Then, we pushed all our stuff in the quinzhee. Surrounded by 4 sleeping bags and a lot of other stuff, we had a hard time to organize ourselves in our shelter. After a while everyone was lying in their sleeping bag, the entrance was blogged, and the night could begin. I was happy that all the work was done now. With 3 candles we started to heat up our quinzhee. I was a bit afraid that the candles would burn our stuff because it was so messy inside, but in the little shelves we made for the candles they were safe. We played card games and we talked a lot. Together we had a really good time. From time to time a cold wind came in from the ventilation hole that was a bit too big, but all in all our quinzhee was pretty warm. In a -40° rated sleeping bag, with a hat, a neck warmer, mittens, and long underwear, I did not feel too cold. Just my feet were freezing from time to time because somehow my socks became a bit wet. When I tried it completely without socks it was much better. Eating snacks, like banana chips, nuts, chocolate, and fruit lettuce, playing cards, talking, and cuddling together, we totally forgot the time so we went to bed at 3am. This gave me exactly one and a half hours until I had to get up. Since I had a daily ski trip to Mont Blanc the next day I had got picked up from the winter camp at 5am. Waking up and going outside was the worst and coldest experience during the winter camp. It was freezing cold outside and I just wanted to go back into my sleeping bag. I took all my stuff which was frozen at that time, and I left. I was a bit tired but also sad that winter camping was over now. Sleeping in the bus I could enjoy skiing even though I had an amazing but also exhausting night outside. At the end of the day I fell to bed, all snuggled up in my sheets and very tired. I was unbelievable happy about the two past days: I went skiing and I got the experience of sleeping in a quinzhee which makes my stay in Canada complete. This was just amazing!!!

Debora Fieberg said...

I just can say that I really enjoyed winter camping even though it was sometimes a bit cold. The next time I go winter camping I will take better cloths for hanging out around the fire, and we should not make the ventilation hole as big. Our entrance could have been a bit bigger but with a small entrance we did not lose as much heat, which is good. The size of our quinzhee was a bit small for four people, but again this gave us more heat as it is easier to heat up a small shelter. The insolation power of snow really surprised me: you could not hear anything from outside, and it was not too cold in our quinzhee. Running around the school might look a bit crazy but I would do it again as it really warmed us up before we went to bed. I also liked the dinner and the snacks. Digging out the quinzhee was my favorite part and I cannot wait to do it again next semester. This winter camp experience was great!

PHILosopher said...

Winter Camping

The superstitions about Friday the 13th proved to be complete lies. The night was warmer than I would have expected, especially in Canada, a country known for it's winters. I had never done anything that seemed this crazy before, but I was excited for it.

When the last class ended, our quinzhee was a pile of snow with a tunnel in the side of it. We quickly got to work, and despite the few bathroom and warm-up breaks, our temporary home was erected for the night. Our quinzhee was big enough to sit up in the middle, and had a waist high wall blocking the entrance from wind. Our quinzhee had been built on a hill, so the tunnel was sloped downwards for a natural cold sink. The opening was too high, which was my fault. As I was digging out the tunnel on the first day, I dug too far upwards. To solve that problem, we propped up a sled in the doorway.

After the short celebration of completing our quinzhee, it was already time for dinner. Dinner was excellent. Our group had pepperoni pizza on tortillas. We had supplies for our entire group to have two pizzas, but we each only had one. The main reason for this was that we couldn't make pizza with gloves on, and with our gloves off was way too cold. Despite that, we ate enough to satisfy our hunger. I was proud of the fact that our group was one of the groups that went inside the least. After dinner, we had the campfire. This was the best part of the night. Most of us sat on benches made out of snow. It was warm, and everyone had a good time.

Sleep didn't come easy for me. I normally take a longer time to fall asleep in a comfy bed, let alone a thin inflatable pad and sleeping bag. I knew that I would have trouble falling asleep, so I went to bed earlier than most other people. As I crawled up the tunnel to go to bed, I was too tired and cold to bother organizing myself. I simply wrapped my sleeping bag around myself, still wearing my coat, snow pants, and boots. This was my first mistake. My socks were wet, and so were the inside of my boots. I didn't realize it until I was unable to get out without waking anyone. At the time, I thought that taking my boots off would just make my feet colder, so I didn't do that. If I had taken my boots and socks off, and replaced them with a dry pair that I should have brought into the quinzhee with me, then I would have slept much easier.

All in all, the night was fun. I had a good time, and I hope that everyone else did too. Next time, I'll be sure to bring a dry pair of socks with me everywhere. Also, if the temperature is the same or worse, I would prepare the food inside before cooking it. In conclusion, I highly recommend having a night like this. It might be cold, but if you prepared properly, you'll have no trouble at all.

Julia said...

One of the many reasons I joined the Outdoor Ed class was because my cousin had taken it when he was in highschool and had told me all about the Quinzhee and how fun it was. But once we started hearing about it, how we were going to build and sleep in it, I began to get a little worried. I was mostly worried about the roof collapsing on us from the candles melting it or the walls not being thick enough or whatever else could possibly go wrong. I really shouldn't have been worried!
Every day when we were building, we would talk before we went outside and make a plan for how we were going to work that day. I think that our group worked really well together, but it was too bad that Debra (who was also in our group) was in the other class so we didn't really get to work with her until Friday. But we definitely got all the work done that we needed and our Quinzhee worked out really well.
We were really excited to get back to working after school, but we got soaked through quickly and that made working more difficult. When we dug enough so that two people could be in the Quinzhee, we realized that we could see blue on the all the walls, and we started to get nervous. What if there wasn’t enough room for all of us inside? But when Mr. Brouwer came to check it, he said we could keep digging and that was definitely a relief for all of us. We built our Quinzhee on a hill, and made our cold sink go down one side of the hill. When we started digging the platform, it got kind of missed but it ended up being ok because we were on a platform anyways.
After we got everything ready and pulled the tarp into the Quinzhee, we went to get changed and get our food. Putting warm, dry clothes on has never felt so good! We made mini pizzas and soup for dinner and we had so much fun sitting around the fire with the other groups around us who were sharing the fire. The pizzas didn’t work out as well as we had hoped but the soup was really warm and definitely made me feel warmer.
When we got into the Quinzhee, we laughed and talked and ate (a lot!) I couldn’t have asked for a better group. We all sort of took turns sleeping because I was nervous about the roof collapsing and I didn’t want to sleep if no one else was awake.
Debora had to leave at 5 am because she was skiing the next day so I agreed to get up with her and help her get all her stuff together. This is definitely when I started feeling the cold. As soon as I got out my sleeping bag I started shivering like crazy. It was also really hard to pull the stuff in the door back into place properly so I think that was also part of the reason I was cold when I got back in. I didn’t really sleep after that even though I tried and was so excited when I heard people outside going into the school.
Next time I do a Wintercamp, I will make sure to bring a fleece lining for my sleeping bag as Mr. Brouwer mentioned because I thought I would be fine with my minus ten sleeping bag, but it wasn’t enough for me. I will also not let myself get too cold. When we digging out the Quinzhee, I didn’t realize that my pants weren’t waterproof and I thought I was just getting cold when I was also getting wet. If I had used better pants or had gone to change earlier, I wouldn’t have gotten so cold and would have been able to warm up faster. Another thing was the pizzas which were tasty, put it was too cold for the cheese to melt out in the winter air. Next time I would bring a cover for the pan so the heat would stay inside and the cheese would melt.
This was a wonderful learning experience for me and I’m glad that I got to try it! I would definitely do this again with only a very few changes!

Julia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William.Fyfe said...

Four years ago, before I came to Canada, I would never imagine that I would spend build a snow shelter, let alone spend a night in one. Though, through valuable research time, my group and I were able to build if I could say so myself, the best shelter in the camp.
Our group consisted of eight lads, seven slept in the shelter and unfourtnantly one was unable to spend the night. We spent the first two days piling a gigantic mound of snow, so we would be able to fit all of us in. Then the final days before the night were spent gutting the inside out. This was pretty hard work it was quite far up the entrance tunnel to dig out though we overcame all obstacles using team work and were able to complete the shelter in time.
Luckily our clothes weren’t soaked as we pretty much finished the shelter on the Thursday (the day before) as there was a tremendous amount of misery from many other groups on how cold they got.
The night time activities commenced as soon as everyone put a new set of clothes on, as everything was a little bit wet. Peter had built a camp fire area for us, so the cooking rotation started off with my group cooking our ridiculous amount of burgers and sausages (60 hotdogs, 24 burgers is what I seem to remember the number being).
It was a pretty good night and I’m definitely looking forward to doing it next years!
Cheers Mr Brouwer!

Josh McKelvey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh McKelvey said...

PAD30 Winter Camp Reflection
Josh McKelvey
For the short time I had at the winter camp, I had a lot of fun. I was in a group with Tyler, Kjell, and Jon. We built our quinzhee in a very good spot. Jon, Kjell, and I decided to build our quinzhee a few feet from the forest, on a slightly downward slope. Because of this, it would be harder for the cold air to get into the quinzhee. Unfortunately, Tyler was not present for the building of our quinzhee until the day of the winter camp. This meant more work for the three of us. Since most of the time there were only three people working on a quinzhee made for four, the finished product was a bit smaller than we would have hoped. Although it was slightly smaller than we wanted, we did have a very good platform, which was about one foot and a half or two feet high, which could keep our quinzhee relatively warm. While one person worked on the tunnel into our quinzhee, the rest would build walls around the entrance.

Once the day of the winter camp came, we were already starting to hollow out the quinzhee. Once it was hollowed out, all four of us got inside to see if it was big enough. With all of us packed inside, we just needed a little more room. So while some worked on additional hollowing out of our quinzhee, I got one of the giant plow-like shovels and started adding a lot more snow onto the sides. Once that was done, we were all able to fit inside pretty well. We used all the snow we extracted from inside our quinzhee to build up our existing walls around the entrance a bit higher, and made some more walls, and designated a fire pit.

I learned a lot through the experiences we had in the next hour. First, we were going to put our candles inside the quinzhee. Then we realized that I was the only one who brought candles, and I only brought one tall candle. So Tyler went on a mission back to his house to get some more. I learned that we should have come prepared with candles, because the time spent getting more candles was time we could have spent improving our walls. The next lesson I learned was from the fire, and our walls. Although our walls were tall enough to keep wind out of our quinzhee, they were not tall enough to make building our fire from becoming infuriating. Because of their lack of height, any fire we could get going was quickly extinguished. But after using the rest of the fluid from my lighter and going through at least twenty of Jon’s matches, we finally got our fire going. Because of the height of our walls, the gusts of wind sent smoke in many directions. This made tending to the fire an extremely uncomfortable experience, and anyone who would try to add wood to the flames would end up with eyes full of smoke.

For food, we were going to eat lots of Tyler’s ramen noodles. We got a seatless chair and a metal grate to put over our fire. We filled a pot up with snow, melted and heated it over the fire, and then threw in many packs of noodles and waited until they got soft enough to eat. After what seemed like an eternity, the noodles were ready!

We went to borrow some forks from the outdoor Ed room. On the way out I went to close the garage door. I put my finger in what I thought to be a gap in the panels to pull it down. Unfortunately it wasn’t a gap. It was a space on the articulated panel door. As I yanked the door down, it closed on the end of my left index finger, and squished it like a pancake. Although initially it did not hurt, after a few minutes it hurt pretty badly. It looked really gross. Mr. Brouwer told me to leave and get it looked at by a doctor, because it would be very susceptible to frost bite.

My dad picked me up, we went to CHEO and, after an x-ray, it turns out my finger was broken. I learned a lot. For example, I now know that the walls around a quinzhee must be much higher to be effective. I also learned that for any outdoor adventure, you should always come prepared. I had a lot of fun, even though my finger got squished. The worst part was that I didn’t get to eat the noodles!

Dan said...

The first idea that came to mind when my group was building the Quinzhee, have it really close to the school which was a great idea because while we were building, I could take frequent breaks.

The first part was really easy, just pile snow. Then came the tricky part...digging the snow out.Once the entrance was done, it was time to dig up and create the actual platform where we would sleep. It took two days to finish and when we did, it was a very historical moment. While everyone worked under stress, I was walking around, having a good time but little did I know that my Quinzhee was gonna be the worst shelter to sleep in.

So during the fire, we ate, talked and played a very odd game of Dare. I was looking forward to sleeping. I get into my sleeping bag and the zipper breaks. Then I realized a few things like there's too many holes in the Quinzhee, the platform was not very well built, the entrance was too big, there was no tunnel, and the Quinzhee could have been way bigger then it was.

I was frozen the whole night and i couldn't feel my feet for a few hours. I did not sleep at all and my sleeping bag was wet(from the snow!) I realize now that its better to do something slow but right instead of fast and wrong. I learned from my mistakes and there were some high points. I would enjoy another opportunity to build a Quinzhee but i would do it right the next time.

b-hood said...

Long, tough, hardworking days and possibly the worst night of my entire life. And if I might add, it was Friday the 13th. But believe it or not, it was all completely worth it.

We started out confidently shoveling snow into one humungous pile which took a lot longer than we expected it to take. My group and I did not finish building and shaping it until the Friday during class. We were sure we would not be finished by the time night came around, but we were. We were very proud of ourselves.

Night was not at all what I anticipated would happen. A bunch of us were hanging around the boys fire until the smoke going into our eyes was too much to bear. We went inside their quinzhee and just talked and chilled around until 3 AM when we all left to our own quinzhee's. When Mady and I got to ours, the rest of our group told us that we could not come in because we would not all fit. Frustrated, Mady and I went to ask any others if we could bunk with them for the night. We were forced to split up. I went with Michelle and Mackenzie, but when we left the boys quinzhee, it was way too cold because it was not properly built. So we begged and pleaded that the boys would let us sleep with them for the night, when they finally accepted.

I woke up about every half an hour during the night checking the time, praying that it would be 7 AM so I could go back into the school and warm up. My toes felt like they were going to fall off. When I finally woke up at 7, everyone said I was snoring loudly throughout the night. I ran back into the school to warm up. I immidiately went to the heater in the backroom to warm up my feet. I fell asleep on the floor in there because I was exhausted.

When I got home, I went into my warm cozy bed and slept until 3 PM. Even after I woke, my left foot last three toes were numb, and still are to this day when I put pressure on them. I am not sure why this is the case still.

This experience may sound extremely horrible and may turn you off from sleeping outside in the winter forever, but bare in mind it creates memories that are unforgettable. I will never forget the bonding's that I made with everyone I hung out with and all the memories that were made, made this experience amazing. It was the worst, yet best night of my entire life so far.

b-hood said...

Long, tough, hardworking days and possibly the worst night of my entire life. And if I might add, it was Friday the 13th. But believe it or not, it was all completely worth it.

We started out confidently shoveling snow into one humungous pile which took a lot longer than we expected it to take. My group and I did not finish building and shaping it until the Friday during class. We were sure we would not be finished by the time night came around, but we were. We were very proud of ourselves.

Night was not at all what I anticipated would happen. A bunch of us were hanging around the boys fire until the smoke going into our eyes was too much to bear. We went inside their quinzhee and just talked and chilled around until 3 AM when we all left to our own quinzhee's. When Mady and I got to ours, the rest of our group told us that we could not come in because we would not all fit. Frustrated, Mady and I went to ask any others if we could bunk with them for the night. We were forced to split up. I went with Michelle and Mackenzie, but when we left the boys quinzhee, it was way too cold because it was not properly built. So we begged and pleaded that the boys would let us sleep with them for the night, when they finally accepted.

I woke up about every half an hour during the night checking the time, praying that it would be 7 AM so I could go back into the school and warm up. My toes felt like they were going to fall off. When I finally woke up at 7, everyone said I was snoring loudly throughout the night. I ran back into the school to warm up. I immidiately went to the heater in the backroom to warm up my feet. I fell asleep on the floor in there because I was exhausted.

When I got home, I went into my warm cozy bed and slept until 3 PM. Even after I woke, my left foot last three toes were numb, and still are to this day when I put pressure on them. I am not sure why this is the case still.

This experience may sound extremely horrible and may turn you off from sleeping outside in the winter forever, but bare in mind it creates memories that are unforgettable. I will never forget the bonding's that I made with everyone I hung out with and all the memories that were made, made this experience amazing. It was the worst, yet best night of my entire life so far.

Nathan Quinn said...

Winter Camp Reflection

This is the first year I've basically seen a quinzee, let alone have to build one. Before we started i thought that the inside would be freezing! I also thought that it wouldn't be too much work. You know, just move some snow into a pile and then just dig out a hole, right? Man was I wrong!

But thankfully my two partners for this project had both already built one the year before and all three of us worked really hard trying to make sure our quinzee was the best we could make. Or at least try. Despite all the hard work and the cold weather and the hours of shoveling, I had an amazing time! There isn't that much i would have liked to change if i were to do it again though, only a few things.

The main things I'd want to change during my experience at the Winter Camp would have to be the fact that i forgot some equipement and wasn't 100% prepared. I wish I had brought an extra pair of gloves because after an hour or two of shoveling the one pair I had were soaked. Another thing I wish I had remembered were the candles and a lighter to help warm the quinzee because all we had was a flashlight. Our group also didn't have any very big bags to block the doorway. Other then that, there isn't much I'd change.

Some people say that the whole digging out the quinzhees part was horrible but I thought it was kind of fun. Piling up the snow for a hill over 7 foot tall got boring, but I liked digging it out. It was fun to see how much snow you dug out and to see how much it got bigger every time. Especially once the sun went down and it started to get very cold, we appreciated just how much work we put into the quinzhee. Although we probably could have done better with our fire and built walls to block the wind. But that's okay, because there was enough room over at Mr. Brouwer's quinzhee for everyone!

This experience showed me that just because a task LOOKS easy, definitly does not mean it is easy. And of course that hard work pays off! Overall this experience was so much fun and I'd definitly love to do it again! Sleeping in a quinzhee, hanging out by the fire, playing mafia, and just being with friends. It was such a great time, I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Nathan Quinn

Taaylor :D said...

As a first time winter-camper I wasn't really sure what to expect, sleeping in the cold wasn't something I was familiar with. I didn't know whether or not to the quinzhe would be warm and I had no idea how it would hold up in the cold wind. Noone in my group had ever built a quinhze before, so for a first try I would say we did a pretty good job.

As far as builing went, it started out well. Although we weren't sure how big to make our snow pile so we just guessed, a mistake we payed for later. Our quinhze needed to be wider then we made it, to fit our whole group comfortably inside. But since it wasn't, one of our group members had to pay for it by sleeping on a slanted ledge, very uncomfortably, while the other two had to be squished tightly together, also uncomfortably.

When building the quinhze itself, a feel like I really improved throughout the process. At first I was too nervous to enter the narrow hole in which we were digging out the middle, but by the end I would find myself entertained for long periods of time, squirming around and carving the inside away. I feel asthough the work was split fairly evenly between my group members, and we managed to all the things we needed to such as finishing out shelter on time, and gathering wood.

The night was very cold for us, despite what we were told because of a few errors we had made and hadn't corrected. Our walls were too thin, because we needed to make room for us to sleep, and our original pile wasn't wide enough. Another error in our ways was that our "ledge" to sleep on wasn't fully above the height of the door like it was supposed to be, so we had a slight draft. The biggest error made by my group was that while digging it out a hole was made in our roof, and although we somewhat patched it, we accidently left it party open, which caused a horrible draft in our quinzhe, which caused us to get increasingly colder thoughout the night.

I did enjoy myself on this trip but I think that if we were to do this whole Wintercamp over again, my group would have spent more time on buidling our snow pile larger to give us more room on the inside and our quinzhe would have been much better to sleep in, making it a more enjoyable experiance overall.

Alicia Beaudoin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia Beaudoin said...

When i first heard we were building our own shelters and were sleeping in them i was unsure of what the outcome would be. In my mind i was thinking "I don't trust myself to build something solid so it won't collapse".

As we started piling snow we thought it would take forever at the rate it as going. When Wednesday came along (two days before winter camp) we thought our pile was big enough until Mr. Brouwer(yourself) told us it wasn't large enough. In my mind at that point in time was "oh my gosh, were never going to be able to finish in time!" But sure enough we got the "boys" (Nick, Ben, Sam and Will) to come help us make our shelter bigger, so that we could start digging it out Thursday.

As Friday came along, we were finished digging out our shelter around 5:30-6pm. We were a bit behind most groups, but at least we finished it in time.

As supper came along, my group and I didn't end up cooking our hotdogs because we couldn't start our own fire, and everyone was using theirs. So myself i ate what the boys had; a hamburger. The night went by pretty slow, but seating around the campfire, and sitting in shelters was a pretty fun thing to do.

I enjoyed the experience of learning how to survive in the winter/cold if you have no where to go. Also i enjoyed my night; Friday 13th!

Thanks for letting me have the experience Mr. Brouwer !

BillaBong said...

When Mr. Brower told us we were going to sleep outside in quinzhee, I was worried something would go wrong because it was on Friday the 13. After we had done some research in class I was less worried that it would be freezing at night because quinzhees are warm on the inside. It took us most of the week to pile the snow into a huge snow mound. We use one of the big scoops and a sled to carry snow over to our quinzhee. By Thursday we had a pretty big pile of snow then we had to make it even bigger because we got an extra member last minute. We had to work twice as hard to be able to fit all of use in.
On Friday we finished pilling up our snow mound and started digging it out. It took use until sunset to dig out our quinzhee, but we should have made the snow mound bigger because we all didn’t quit fit comfortably inside. We were a bit squished inside. Our ceiling was a bit too low and we could not sit up inside.
When it was time to get a fire going it took us a long time to get it going because the wind kept blowing it out. After we got the fire going we let some of the other groups we were sharing the fire with go first, then we made pizza for our dinner. Our dinner turned out great. After dinner we had some cookies and cream chocolate, some marshmallows and some chips.
When it was time for bed our stuff inside was cold and covered with snow from us hitting the ceiling when we got inside. The night was cold. We had made our entrance way to big and it was letting all of the cold wind in. We also made our ventilation hole to big and it let all the hot air out. Around three in the morning the temperature dropped and it got very cold.
I was so happy when morning came, I had left my boots near the entrance so that I could find them in the morning but they got squished and froze in a weird position making it hard to get them on. I still could not believe how cold it got that night and how fast it did. But I still enjoyed the experience and I hope I can do it again.

Sean said...

Winter Camp Reflection
Sean Rivard - Morton


The winter camp this year, was in comparison to last year’s, a huge success. Being the first year with a decent enough winter to build quinzhees that we could sleep in winter camp was possible. This year in winter camp i got to experience the biting cold of sitting outside and cooking dinner and the regret of not staying for the night to experience what it would be like to sleep outside during the winter.

For the most part winter camp was, we could say, an interesting experience. I learned that winter footwear is vital to an enjoyable winter camp. I found it somewhat counter productive to be sitting outside around a fire in the freezing cold, while i’m freezing my but of in the cold. I probably would have been warmer if i were moving about. I was somewhat annoyed with Cory and Rhys who were both in my Quinzhee but neither showed up until late at night leaving me to finish the Quinzhee.

At the end of the night however i decided that it would be best for me if I went home for the night due to the fact that i had been fighting a brutal cold and started to develop a head ache.

reesespiecesman said...

On Friday 13th three outdoor ed classes went into the fields of Cairine Wilson. I had a group of six. Plus three unexpected visitors. Our group was me, Nick, Ben, Peter and Curtis. Our sixth person was Yannick. He helped us make out Quizhee, but unfortunately he had could not sleep in it. We all worked very hard on the Quinzhee the week before our amazing trip. We had to make our Quinzhee very big because we had 5 people sleeping in it at once. When we were working on the Quinzhee we also worked on a fire pit so we could stay warm and cook out food. We bought burgers, hot dogs and sausages for our food. While we were making our fire pit we had to make a wall out of the snow to block the wind from blowing out our fire.

Once the day of the trip came, its started to get cold and dark really fast. We had to start the fire and keep it from going out. We had a massive fire pit, so we had at least three different groups there at once cooking their food also. We cooked the food by getting a metal framed chair and placed it over the fire. We then put the grill over the chair and put the burgers and hot dogs on it. It worked pretty well, but because it was so windy, it was hard to keep the fire going all night. The food was cooked well, but some of the burgers were still under cooked. Once we finished dinner, all three of our groups were getting cold so we all decided to go in our Quinzhee. It was really warm with all the people in it at once, but it was pretty crammed. Our group mad e the Quinzhee big enough for 5 people. Not 15 plus people. For extra warmth, we dug little holes in the walls, and placed candles in them,. But we could not have candles in the Quinzhee with out air vent because of the carbon monoxide.

Around 2:30 am we got really tired and decided to go to sleep. The other groups left the Quinzhee and we finally had room to sleep.. until the three unexpected people came. They came around 3:00 am, and it began to become crammed again. But because of them, the Quinzhee became a bit warmers again. We blew out the candles and fell asleep. I slept quite well. My sleeping bag was very warm and and I wasnt cold at all throughout the night.
This trip was an amazing experience for me, and I hope to do it again in next years class.

Michelle said...

Winter Camp
Sleeping in a quinzhee was definitely an experience I will never forget. To start with, digging out the quinzhee was a workout. We spent about 3 classes plus after school, flattening out the ground in the circle of where our quinzhee would be, pilling snow on to it and eventually digging that snow out into a cavern. And then we had to plan our meals, pack for this adventure, and finally live it.
At first we thought that building the quinzhee would be easy, I thought that all we would have to do is dig a hole in a pile of snow. It sounded easy. But really it was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Figuring out how big we needed to make it was a challenge in itself. Mackenzie and I thought that since we’re small we can have a small quinzhee but then looking at the snow that we had padded down we realized that it would not be a comfortable night. So we made it bigger. And starting piling up the snow. This was a long and boring task and I realized that after just one day my arms were sore. Digging out the shelter was, in my opinion the easiest part. But I didn’t finish it properly. I left the “floor” on a slant resulting in us sliding down to the bottom of our quinzhee.
We brought too much food. We brought soups, hot dogs, marshmallows, carrots, crackers and humus. The only things we really ate were hot dogs and marshmallows. Everything else went to waste. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal that we had left our food outside if we had cared enough to bring it in to the school before it was locked. By morning everything was frozen solid and most of it got thrown out. In my opinion we should have eaten more than we did, this may have been one of the reasons why we were cold during the night.
Packing was not as easy as just packing. I didn’t know what to bring and if I could do this again I would have brought another pair of boots, one for working and one for hanging out, another pair of snow pants, and more sweaters. I would have brought the extra sweaters to wear under my coat, because while my coat stayed warm and dry my sweaters were often wet with snow. My boots were also frozen solid by morning because I left them outside of our quinzhee, something I will never do again! And having another pair of boots would have been nice for the morning.
Winter camp was a lot of fun. Being able to sit outside by the fire with my friends was awesome. We played so many games and had a lot of fun. But going to sleep was another story. I learned that you should take your sleeping bag out of its bag before leaving the school because if not you will twist the different layers and won’t be able to fully get in your bag. I think I only got about three hours of sleep. It wasn’t because I was uncomfortable or cold, I just couldn’t seem to be able to sleep. I also think that having more food would have helped with this. I also would have brought a flash light so that I could see inside the quinzhee.

Justin Sass said...

Winter Camp Reflection
***By: Justin***
so although not being there for wintercamp i still heard allot about it from friends and how it was rough, tough, and fun. I wish i went because i heard about allot of stories such as what people did to stay warm and what they did around the fire...

Such as "Sam Cudmore" who told me "so the building process was fun. i enjoyed digging out the quinzee but it was pretty physically tiring. the food was good, easily prepared, and covered pretty much al the main food groups. thd fire was very fun, chilling with everybody. the sleep was pretty rough. i was pretty coldand uncomfortable. if i were to doit again i would make sure to build a more flat quinzee to sleep on, and also to have a winter sleeping bag." And a couple other people told me around the same thing...Most people i heard had a hard sleep due to either being too cold or not enough room and comfortability. I think i would have personally had the exact same problem, because i dont have a winter sleeping bag, and knowing my preperation skills wouldint have brought enough layers.

i think it would have been a great experience over all and although i wasint there, it seemed like i should have been.

bossman said...

The day and night I spent in my quince was amazing. The time and effort that was put into building the quince was fantastic. An unforgettable night by the fire and a fantastic meal, that night couldn’t have gone any better.

The day we spent after school was very relaxed because our shelter was nearly done, all that was left was some clearing to the remaining snow inside the shelter and getting the meals prepared. After all the snow was out, the quince was big enough to have a game of tag. I poked my head out of the quince and to my surprise the fire was already roaring . We ate hamburgers which were nice and tasty. As night pressed the temperature dropped drastically and the wood supplied became minimal so we made it our duty to find more wood and keep this fire alive. It was a long and cold journey but we finally made it to the forest and gathered enough wood for the rest of the night.

The night was an extremely cold affair but was not noticeable inside the lovely quinces we made. My sleeping bag was nice and warm. The night inside the quince seemed to go by very fast I had a great night’s sleep despite snow constancy falling on my face.

This was an unforgettable experience I always love to try new thing and different challenges for me this is one I will surely never forget.

Tyler Charron said...

Out door Ed winter camp reflection 

This years quinzhee camp was so much fun Im glad we were able to get some snow on the ground  at the last min so that we could build the quinzhee. 
I was unable to come to school on 2 of the 3 days so I didn't really have a group or a quinzhee so I joined one with Jon, Josh and Kjell. There quinzhee was to small to fit 
Me so I had to make the quinzhee bigger.

What I liked: I like that this year I bought more than enough food to keep every one in the group feed. equipment like snow shoes, matches and pocket knife.  As well as clothes to keep me warm and dry, I even brought 2 jackets. 
I also liked the fact that a truck ran on the field and that the teaches thought it was a good idea to run after it.

What I didn't like: even with all my lairs on at night I was still cold even thought I was in my sleeping bag with a winter jacket and snow pants on it was cold.  I was also kind of bored most of the time because nothing was happening like games and activities. 

Next time I would Bring a working lighter and better candles to keep the inside warm as well as  dig the entrance more lower and the platform higher so it doesn't get cold air.

waqqaskhalid said...

When i was first told I was going to sleep in a quinsy I was shocked. I had thought it would be freezing and I would probably not survive through the whole night (at least I was right about one thing! )
When we started to build the quincy I had no clue how to do it and what to do. After a day of building I started to get the hang of it and felt more confident about the design of our quincy. To be honest I never truly trusted the strength of the snow, until the morning after. in conclusion i feel the winter camp was not as good as it could have been for my group, if we had only just stayed the whole night it would have been better.

waqqaskhalid said...

When i was first told I was going to sleep in a quinsy I was shocked. I had thought it would be freezing and I would probably not survive through the whole night (at least I was right about one thing! )
When we started to build the quincy I had no clue how to do it and what to do. After a day of building I started to get the hang of it and felt more confident about the design of our quincy. To be honest I never truly trusted the strength of the snow, until the morning after. in conclusion i feel the winter camp was not as good as it could have been for my group, if we had only just stayed the whole night it would have been better.