Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wintercamp






Feb. 16, 2012

On Thursday night, the students of the Grade 10 & 11 Outdoor Ed classes spent the night sleeping out in the cold. The lead up to this year's wintercamp was quite interesting, as the snow was covered by a layer of ice that made it difficult to get the Quinzhees piled up high enough. This lead to some last minute (some late into the night) work to complete the Quinzhees and others making a variety of different winter shelters.





The night promised to be a good one with warm temperatures and some light snow. It was fairly warm, but the flurries only lasted about 15 minutes before it turned into a steady drizzle for most of the night. With memories of last year, where we cancelled the overnight because of heavy rains, students were determined to make this evening happen. There were some adjustments to waterproof the shelters further and others realized that they would be spending a night in a Quinzhee that would feel damp.




For the most part the evening went quite well, with nice fires, good food and a solid game of manhunt. There were a few that were challenged in starting their fires and keeping them going to cook their dinners. A few students were also not careful enough in keeping their sleeping stuff dry. Bouncing around like penguins in their sleeping bags in the rain didn't make for a good start to a night of sleeping in a Quinzhee. Needless to say we had a few people head home that evening.





The night itself proved to be quite challenging for some, as the dampness of the night made for a chilly night, while others had a great night sleep. We will let the students tell their stories and the lessons they learned during our wintercamp in the comments attached to this post.

51 comments:

Jordan said...

Although we did not have normal February weather building up to winter camp, we were fortunate enough to be able to go through with it. There were a lot of lessons to be learnt from there being a bad environment that night.

I have never stayed over night in a Canadian winter. I had no previous experience before so it was an interesting night. I learnt a lot that night. I did not know what a quinzhee was until a week before I had to stay in one. I learned from the experiences of others that it was good to stay dry. I was glad I had my dry warm clothing because others who didn’t suffered from the cold. We had figured that we would start the fire when we wanted to cook the food, which was a big mistake because the weather went for the worst when we went to start the fire. It was a difficult time to start the fire with rain coming down. Also the wood we had gathered was wet so it was hard for it to catch on fire. Another thing I learnt was to be done adding snow to the quinzhee before the day you start to dig out because it will give time for the snow to harden. I learned that we started the fire too late so it took a lot of fire supply to get it started. We also learned that when it’s wet outside we need to find a way to keep the quinzhee dry. In the end there was a lot to be learned from the wet weather.

What I would have done differently would have made the night a much easier time. In order to keep the water out of our quinzhee we should have put a tarp on top of the quinzhee. This would have allowed us to have a much warmer and dryer night. Another thing which would have helped us would have been to have dry wood or gathered wood on an earlier day and covered it up. This would have made it much easier to start our fire. Another problem for me was that we were expecting to have 1 more person in the quinzhee but we didn’t which meant the inside was too big. When the change in temperature occurred there wasn’t enough warm air circulating around to counteract the cold air. It would have been better if it was smaller inside. Had we done these things it would have made the night much warmer and easier to be able to have a good night rather than working all night.

The stuff I liked doing the most was cooking over a fire and building the quinzhee. It was more enjoyable cooking on an open fire then cooking on a stove. I liked building the quinzhee because no one in my group had done it before so we were all on the same level for building and no one could say that you were doing it wrong. I like the fact that we built our quinzhee from scratch and we were able to stay in it for the night. On the other hand, the things I enjoyed the least is the change in temperature overnight and how wet it got inside the quinzhee. I didn’t enjoy how wet it got because it made the night just that much worse. I didn’t enjoy the change in temperature because it froze everything that was wet. Despite the cold and wetness, the night was great.

In the end, I enjoyed the night and I would do it again as long as it was not raining and the temperature was colder throughout the night so the quinzhee would not melt.

Debora Fieberg said...

Last Thursday I was able to sleep in the outdoors once again. Together with all the Outdoor Ed classes we were Winter Camping!!! :)

This time though, the weather conditions were a lot different than last time. Instead of snow we had rain and ice. This caused our first problem: We did not get the snow pile big enough for 5 people. Even though we worked hard, the pile was too small so that we had to come up with a plan B: We used the snow that we collected to make a lean-to which is built with a skeleton out of branches, 3 snow walls, and a tarp on top. At 7pm our shelter was done: Well built, located on a hill, protected from the wind, and with enough firewood, we were ready for the night.
After I helped some other students a bit building their shelter, it was cooking time! I really enjoyed sitting around the fire in new dry cloths eating soup, pizza, and drinking hot chocolate as it warmed us up after all the hard work. It was a good idea to save my warmest stuff to hang out. In my opinion I did a better job than last time with the clothing as I also put the liners of my shoes, and a sweater for the morning in my sleeping bag so that I did not have to put on frozen shoes in the morning.
While sitting around the fire it started to drizzle, but we could enjoy our fire anyways. This is one advantage of a lean-to: you can sit around the fire while being protected by your shelter. I also was happy that we had enough firewood to keep a good fire going until 2am. As I collected the upstanding branches from the one-man-shelter that we built in the fall, our firewood was dry. To keep it dry we covered it with a tarp.
Unfortunately we recognized that the tarp of our shelter was not really waterproof when we were going to sleep! As it was too late to change the tarp, we decided that we would use another tarp as a blanket over our sleeping bags. That helped a lot: I did not get wet and I was not cold. In my warm sleeping bag next to the fire I was able to enjoy a deep sleep. Only at 5am I woke up because the winds were blowing stronger. In my opinion we could have built higher walls around the entrance to reduce the wind coming in our shelter.
In the morning I helped to clean up until 9am. Of course this was not as much fun as the night in our shelter, but it is something that had to be done.
Ultimately, I can say that I really enjoyed this winter camp! Even though we did not have as much snow as last time, we had a lot of fun. The higher temperatures and the lack of snow gave us the opportunity to test out another kind of winter shelter. It was really interesting to build a lean-to. In my opinion this is a great shelter for temperatures that are not too cold, because it is easier and way-faster to build than a quinzhee. You also have more room in it, you can see the fire and the stars the whole night, and you can use the extra time to collect more firewood. If it is colder though, I would prefer a quinzhee because it is warmer. The only thing I would improve next time is a waterproof tarp, and higher protection walls.

This winter camp experience was AMAZING even though the weather conditions were not perfect! I just loved it and I would do it anytime again.

Miranda Lindsay said...

Winter camp was an awesome experience for me and all of us, thanks to Mr. Brouwer. At first I was a little nervous because of claustrophobia, but I had an open mind to it. I love to camp and for me, this is just another experience. (That’s why I took Outdoor Ed.) Plus, Sammi told me all about it so I was mentally prepared. I was nervous in the beginning but excited for this new and soon to be adventured experience. Anticipation rose and by last period, I couldn’t wait!
First day came and it was time to pile the snow for our quinzhee, but the snow was hard and stiff. It was hard to loosen up and to pile. My group (Janic, Alexs and Jenny) found this a bit discouraging, but I told them we could do this and that put a smile back on their faces and we made it happen.
Since the classes from last semester had built their quinzhees and collapsed them, our group had used someone else’s, and continued to build and pack and pile snow on top. The end of the first day came and we headed back in.
The second day came and we were all ready to go out to pile some more snow, but once we got out there, we saw what the other classes had done! Our group had lost a total day of hard work! Some people from the other classes had come to our quinzhee and taken a bunch of snow from ours and put it to theirs! We had told Mr. Brouwer and yes he told us he saw some people doing that but he told them not do it. So we had to start pretty much all over again, I was so proud and happy that my team had pushed through and gotten a tonne done that day. The end of the second day came and we headed back in.
The third day had come and we knew we had to try and finish it, but there was no snow because of the other two days and we were worried that it might not be packed enough for it to be stable. To our surprise, when we got outside it was snowing! Nice, light, fluffy and it was packing snow! We were able to pack our quinzhee down very nicely. The end of the third day came and we headed back in.

Miranda Lindsay said...

Thursday! Thursday was the day of winter camp. All my things were packed the night before and ready to go, making sure I was wearing the right things for winter camp that morning. I went about my normal day, thinking about that night and how exciting it’s going to be. Outdoor Ed was last period of the day, which meant that we could stay out there the entire rest of the day to build and build.
Night was coming faster and faster, it was getting really dark out and we were all working hard to get this quinzhee done so we could eat. It was getting to about 8 o’clock and we weren’t nearly finished, but excited that we had gotten that far already so I asked Mr. Brouwer to come take a look at how much we had built, however, to my surprise he had come to help us out and get things going, block after block of ice chunks and snow were coming out, we couldn’t believe how fast and easy it looked for him.
I was helping him take those ice chunks out of the way of the door for him while the rest of my group got dinner ready. Alexs had brought some very yummy hamburgers as well as some condiments and marshmallows. Jenny and I brought some buns and snacks for later that night. We made a trip to metro and Janic bought some drinks and snacks for us. We cooked the hamburgers over the fire while we switched out working with Mr. Brouwer on the quinzhee. We later went in to wash the dishes we had used for dinner. We all got back and we all sat around and talked near the fire.
Someone had organized for everyone to play man hunt out in the field. I didn’t par take in that activity because most of us were still talking near the fire.
After a long day it was finally time for bed. My group and I had all gone inside to change, go to the bathroom and get our sleeping stuff. We all went into the quinzhee with our stuff, but what we learned was to put the tarp down before we put anything else into the quinzhee because not every single one of us had a mat to sleep on. We also didn’t block our front entrance with anything so our quinzhee was kind of cold.
The next morning we all got up at 7 am-ish and headed into the school with all of our things and got organized inside. We had breakfast and pretty much right away we all had to get picked up. But the sad thing is, is that we didn’t get a chance to destroy our quinzhee. Someone else had done that for us but it would have been fun to destroy ourselves.
Winter camp came and went so fast! I had a blast, except for the steady drizzle we had all night long. The drizzle made things pretty damp especially since we didn’t shave or round out the quinzhee before putting our stuff in, so the heat from our bodies melted any points of snow and made it drip on top of our things! But other than that, a good time was had. If I could do it again next year, I totally would and fix those minor things to make it a better experience.

katherine95 said...

On Thursday, February 16th I got the chance to sleep in a quinzhee overnight. Last year I did not get the chance to because of the weather, so I was excited. Although the sleeping part was not very comfortable, the whole experience was fun.

One of the things that was hard was that the temperature was a bit too high during the evening and the night. In the evening it started to rain, which was not very pleasant. Our quinzhee has been melting during the night, not enough to be dangerous but just enough to drip on us quite a bit. We were both not very warm at all during the night. We made our quinzhee big enough, but did not have enough time to dig it out all the way. We were a bit squished, touching the sides of the quinzhee. I think that if we had dug out more, and if the quinzhee was not dripping on us, we would have been more comfortable.

A problem we had was that two of our group members were not there the first day we started building the quinzhees, and one member did not sleep in it with us and was not there the last day and night, which was ok because she had a reason. We did not have as much time as we needed, which was our own faults. Even though our quinzhee was big enough for the two of us to sleep in, it could have been bigger to make it more comfortable.

I really enjoyed the whole night. I enjoyed sitting around the campfire talking, and eating my dinner. Last year, heating up my dinner did not work very well but this year it worked very well, which I was happy about. I was not very cold in the evening, except for my gloves getting wet from digging the quinzhee. Our fire was very strong and warm, which was good and we put our gloves on sticks next to it to dry them. The evening was a lot of fun.

I overall quite enjoyed the experience. Building the quinzhee, sitting by the warm fire, and eating was fun. I can't wait to do it again someday. Next time I will do some of the things different though.

Michaela said...

I was very excited to participate in Winter Camp, more so since last year’s attempt was cancelled due to rain. Canadian Winters can be so unpredictable. On February 16th, my group and I slept in our structure, and despite the rain and dampness, had a great night. I was just glad it didn’t get cancelled a second time, however there are some things that I would change if I were to do it again.

We had to change our building plan on the day of the overnight experience. As a result one of the things I would change is building a better snow pile to work from for our quinzhee. Making a last minute change was difficult and took us a lot of hard work and effort, but we pulled it off and had a great time doing it. Our tarp didn’t work as well as hoped in holding off the rain and in the morning it felt like the wind was blowing directly at us, even though it was coming from the west with our shelter facing south. However, we kept our spirits high, persevered and had a great night.

With luck and the right attitude the good times rule over the bad times and there were many good experiences throughout this trip. Being well prepared with my warm sleeping attire and having the proper materials to build our quinzhee with made my trip much more enjoyable. Our group also had prepared some especially delicious and nutritious food to eat. Having a toasty warm fire for most of the night was an essential item. Without this fire, I think certain circumstances would have been completely different.

This experience taught me many things. I learned it’s better to be over prepared than underprepared, especially when we had to rebuild our structure on short notice. I also learned it is better to plan for things that could go wrong (rain, wind, etc.) and keep to a schedule. If we had kept ourselves on schedule, maybe we could have finished the quinzhee or if we had thought ahead, we could have built a shelter in the first place instead of changing our mind last minute.

I truly enjoyed this experience, and don’t regret a single thing. I would absolutely do it again in a heartbeat, with a few tweaks. Thank you Mr. Brouwer for a great trip. I have so many new memories from this and hope to gain more with the many up coming events.

christian said...

WINTER CAMP REFLECTION (Part 1 of 2)

At first I was really excited that I was going to sleep in a Quincy, but I did not really know just how hard it was to make and sleep in a Quincy, which changed this trip from a dream come true to a living nightmare.

Making the Quincy I found to be pretty difficult. The snow we had was really getting me frustrated. For the first two days of building all the snow was hard and powdery which made it very difficult to break down and pack in making it also really frustrating for me and my group. My group was the only one in our class actually making a Quincy from scratch while everybody else were using old ones, which really makes me mad because while my group were breaking our backs to make a Quincy for 5, other groups were being lazy and most of the time I saw them playing around. My group was the best around because we worked constantly every single day making our Quincy and nobody was complaining about the work even I did not complain which I am surprised and proud of myself for that. Although at the end of Wednesday our Quincy was still not big enough for us all and I felt extremely disappointed and angry because no matter how much we worked at it and how much time we put into it still was never enough. What I learned from building the Quincy is that I need no matter how bad things look and no matter how many things are bringing all you have to do is keep moving forward. If I could go back and do it again I would use bigger shovels so that we could have packed more snow on every day. I would have also brought my dad’s snow blower so that we would not have to work as much.

On the day of the winter camping my group and I went to metro at lunch time to buy food for the night. At first I thought we were going to but a lot of healthy food and a little bit of junk food but in reality it was the exact opposite. We bought pop drinks, hot dogs, sour food, cinnabons for break feast which was Travis’s idea and I have no idea why he would think cinnabons were for break feast but hey they did taste pretty good so I did not care. The only healthy thing we bought was a tray of fruit and that was only because I pushed the guys to buy it. If I could go back and do it again I would have bought way more healthy food and not any pop or junk food. They did taste pretty good even though we were not supposed to eat any junk food.

I was very confident that I had everything I needed for the night. I brought everything on the list and I even brought two tarps for my group to sleep on. Unfortunately we could not use the tarps until we dug out the inside of the Quincy which took forever. It was also hard to start our fire because it was raining and everything was wet and miserable. We were not able to eat until 8 because they fire kept going out. I was so wet and cold at that time and we couldn’t even go into our Quincy to warm up. If I could go back and do it again I would have brought dry wood so that it would be much easier to light and warm up. I also learned from this that starting a fire is one of the most important things you need to do for camping.

When it came to sleeping in the Quincy it was very miserable for me. I was pushed to the wall so my sleeping bag was lying on the snow itself.

christian said...

Winter Camp Reflection (Part 2 of 2)

The Quincy was also too small for us so every time we go up our heads would hit the snow which would make anything we had dry wet and cold which it did to my sleeping bag. The zipper was broken so all the snow got into my bag making it too wet to sleep in. It did not get any better when we let in two girls in our Quincy either. We kept moving around to make room for them making more snow fall on us which I was really getting annoyed from. And if it couldn’t get any worse I realized that we were using our bags with our stuff in it to block the tunnel getting all our things wet which made me mad because all my dry clothes were in their so I had nothing to wear tomorrow. After a while the girls left and we were left with a cold wet Quincy. It got so cold for me that I had to sleep close to someone to warm up. Though it did feel very weird it was surprisingly warm and I actually got some sleep on that night. If I could go back and do it again I would have used first of all garbage bags with paper in it to block the tunnel. Use a sleeping back with a working zipper so snow does not get into it. Make sure you do not get pushed to the side like leftover dinner and make sure to make my Quincy big enough for 5 or 4 in this case because one of the people in our group was not coming. What I learned from this sleeping experience is that a person can quickly catch hyperthermia and if they do not get any warmth soon their health can quickly get worse.

When the light finally came out it was like a light from heaven. When my group got out seeing if anybody else was awake we realized that we were actually on e of the last people to wake up and everybody was waiting at the school doors. This made me and my group feel pretty proud of ourselves that we lasted the longest and made me feel like the winter camping was not so bad after all. When Mr. Brower opened the doors t the school everybody rushed in to get warm again because it was actually pretty windy outside. Me and my group then changed our clothes and ate our cinnabons which I had to say were pretty good and was possibly the best tasting break feast I ever had and at that moment when I was having that cinnabon with my friends I felt so happy and all the hard times and miserable moments I had from the trip went away and was replaced with one big happy memory.

This trip taught me many things and showed me just how hard it is to live without any gadgets furniture and luxuries. This trip also gave me new skills like organization, planning, teamwork, positive thinking and the ability to build a Quincy which is a death trap. All in all this trip that started as a dream came true changed into a living nightmare and then transformed into an irreplaceable memory placed into my head.

Thomas Hubert said...

Wintercamp 2012

Last week we began work on the construction of our quinzhee, three days before Wintercamp. My group, Travis, Christian, Jorden and I was the only group to build our quinzhee from scratch, and I was worried that we wouldn’t complete it in time. Thankfully, we made a lot of progress on the third day when we took apart an entire old quinzhee and added it to our own. When we started to dig the quinzhee out later on the last day, it was coming along slowly and I wasn’t sure if it would be big enough to hold all four of us. Fortunately I was wrong and once I got some space inside the quinzhee the digging went by fast. One time Travis and Christian were inside digging, and the snow had blocked the entrance. Jorden and I were by the fire and we heard Travis yell: Jorden if you don’t get over here in ten seconds someone’s gunna get hurt! TEN! NINE! EIGHT! Jorden ran over pretty fast to say the least, now this moment is known simply as: The Countdown.

The dinner was pretty good, we had hotdogs with ketchup and mustard. Unfortunately, they didn’t react too well with Jorden’s stomach and we had to evacuate the quinzhee halfway through the night. It was fun socializing and playing cards inside the quinzhee, and we almost forgot that it was winter weather outside! Later on in the night, when we were almost asleep, Christian started shivering, so Travis shoved him in between himself and Jorden to keep him warm. Then we were asleep. A while after we fell asleep, I woke up to something heavy on my right shoulder and my left side was cold and damp. I sat up and realized Travis had pushed me to the wall and was on top of me! My sleeping bag was getting wet from touching the snow wall, so I just pushed him back over to his side and he made a sort of grunting sound but then I fell asleep again.

The morning was cold but I was able to get all my gear packed up in time, because I had to leave early to go to my brother’s hockey tournament in Scarborough. I was freezing while I was waiting outside for the doors to open at 7:00, but once I got inside I warmed up quickly.

If I were to go wintercamping again, I would put tarps along the walls to keep the person who sleeps on the outside dry. I would also make it closer to the school, but that’s not important because where our quinzhee was gave it a natural cold sink. And lastly I would make the quinzhee slightly bigger if I were to make it for four people. All in all it was a great experience and I hope to do it again in the future!

MeganF said...

In last year’s PAD2O class, we had an unfortunate winter camp cancellation due to poor weather conditions. This time, it snowed lightly but once again turned into 2.9mm of rain, which lasted most of the night and made us rethink the roof of our shelter. We had another weather scare, but nothing that stood in the way of a great night of winter camping.

My group made a decision late in the week to stop building our quinzhee with useless snow in fear of being unable to finish in time for Thursday night. I was happy with our choice after hearing that some groups spent the night digging, and one group headed home. If I could change anything I would have helped the group that went home finish their shelter instead of playing in the snow, as I was unaware at the time. Because we didn’t build a quinzhee, rather a tent/snow shelter we had the night to cook and have fun. I was decorating the inside of our shelter with shelves for candles when the rain picked up and I quickly realized a large leak in our roof. There were holes in one tarp and the water was able to get through both layers of tarp. I plugged the holes with sticks and my group quickly found a better and bigger tarp before our platform was too damp. The dilemma was solved and therefore we slept dry but missed a game of manhunt. It was not raining when we cooked our dinner, fusilli noodles and meat sauce. I had my group buy extra noodles which made too much pasta but we were able to share leftovers with other cooking groups.

I enjoyed talking around fires and switching between shelters to see how everyone else would be spending the night, as most shelters were creative and different from last year’s designs. A large group of us played games around the fire until 2am when most groups slowly dispersed back into their own shelters. My shelter members and I ignored that our tarp wasn’t sound proof and found out in the morning that the people surrounding us heard our voices all night. I was comfortable and warm during the night as the leak was fixed, there was no wind and my sleeping bag could probably keep an entire shelter warm. I slept with a hat on and peeled a layer of clothing off until around 5am when the wind picked up and I started to freeze. One of our group members left our shelter because I woke up to find three bodies and an entrance that wasn’t fully blocked, this was another factor that added to the cold.

My biggest enemy was the early morning flying tarp. We battled for an hour as the wind picked up. It was noisy and I was worried it would wake up the campers beside us. The metal picks struggled to keep the tarp held down and I threw logs on top of the tarp to hold it down. The three of us, still inside the shelter, held the roof for a half hour trying to keep somewhat warm. By 6am, I ripped the tarp off and started packing up. Camp was messy when we woke up and it took a few of us two hours to organize all of the equipment and trash left behind.

A comfortable sleeping area made my night enjoyable not including my fight with a tarp in the morning. I learned that early preparation makes for an enjoyable time and it’s better to fix problems in the moment than to wait and deal with consequences later. If only I had secured the tarp down efficiently before we went to bed…
I plan to continue sleeping in Canada’s winter at least once a year, unfortunately no longer in Cairine Wilson’s backyard.

brieski said...

Wintercamp Reflection
By Brianna Champagne

My experience with winter camp 2012 was overall really positive! I was quite pleased that we got to stay over night this year, since we couldn’t last year. I was a little skeptical about the weather conditions, but I came prepared for the weather, and can honestly say I stayed dry all night.
We started out the week piling snow on an old quinzhee from last semester. The snow was brittle, and icy and really tough to work with, so we took a different approach on day 3 of piling. We decided to dig it out and make it into a shelter, with logs and a tarp. We finished our shelter on the Thursday before winter camp, and we felt quite prepared.
Our shelter was shared between, Megan, Arden, Alex and I and we all did our fair share of work during our class periods so we could enjoy our night to the fullest! We made our dinner at 7 which consisted of pasta and tomato sauce. We also brought marshmallows, granola bars, juice boxes and water to snack on over the night. Everything was running smoothly until the flurries, turned into rain. We didn’t really think that we’d have any issues with our shelter because the tarp would keep us dry, we were wrong. We went into our shelter at about 9 just to make sure everything was good, and there were two steady streams of water leaking right in the middle.
Now that I look back on it, when we first put our tarp over the shelter we made two mistakes. We didn’t check for holes, and we didn’t have leverage in the middle of the tarp so the water could flow off. We realized our mistake and fixed it right away. We found a new tarp and a dead tree in the forest that we put in the shelter in the middle of the tarp so our roof had a peak the water could flow off, l so it wouldn’t flood our shelter. This mistake helped us (even though it was unfortunate) to prepare for weather even if it wasn’t on the forecast. But we’ll know for next time!
We continued our night but finishing it off with a nice warm fire, and good chats. We went into our shelter to sleep and it was surprisingly warm. I wasn’t cold at all, until about 5:30 AM when the wind picked up and the tarp flew off. At that point, there was no chance we were going to go back to sleep so we put the tarp back on, and made the best of our rude awakening. We packed up our gear and got ready to go into the school at 7, to get picked up. I had a great experience with winter camp, but mainly because I stayed dry. I learnt to come prepared for damp conditions, after experiencing it last year, and that really made a huge difference for me. I had a great time at winter camp, and I hope others did too!

Sam said...

Winter Camp Reflection – Sam Loveridge

I have never actually had the experience of building a quinzhee yet. After last year getting cancelled due to rain, I was excited to actually get to have wintercamp this year. Though our quinzhee wasn't really a quinzhee as much as Quin-Lean-Gloo, I still managed to have one of the best nights. I learned lots about outdoor camping (which I lacked much prior knowledge about), got to know people a little bit better, and had a great snow fight in the process (luckily I brought extra clothes!) In hindsight, however, there are probably a few things that I would go about changing.

Building our Quin-Lean-Gloo was quite the interesting experience. Having a group that knew way more about the outdoors than I ever had helped so much when planning what to build. We took the shell of an old quinzhee and stacked up ice blocks like an igloo. We then laid trees across the top and threw pine needles and a tarp over the top, leading to a perfect Quin-Lean-Gloo if I've ever seen one! The shelter was very well built and only got a little bit cold towards 5:30 in the morning, but everyone had a sleeping bag and blankets over them so we were nice and toasty the entire night. At one point we had 11 people sleeping in it, so it was quite big.

Cooking supper actually proved to be a near impossible feat as we cooked 9 boxes of Kraft Dinner in one pot. If there is one thing that I'd for sure change about Winter camp, it's that I'd bring a strainer along. We had quite a challenge draining the water from our pot after cooking it. But, when we finally got around to getting the water out, it still turned out to be a good meal. We also had some hot dogs and some marshmallows.

Another thing I'd probably also change was to be a bit smarter about my clothing choice. I brought a few changes of clothes, but none of them actually proved to be that waterproof, leaving for most of two sets of my clothes to be damp before we even climbed in to our quinzhee for the night. Thankfully, my third set of clothing lasted the entire rest of the evening. It wasn’t so much the actual clothing which was a problem, but shoes, I didn’t bring the right footwear which made for a couple of blisters on the back of my heels. Now I know, and I’ll be sure to be smarter about it next time.

All in all, winter camp was a SUPER fun night. I’m not one who’s usually inclined to stay in the outdoors, but this night turned out to be great and I can’t wait for more in the future. Hopefully next time I’ll sleep a little more.

Will said...

Wintercamp Reflection


Last Thursday night , Outdoor Ed Students from Grade 10-12 slept outside in Quinzhees. My group had a difficult time getting snow for the most part of the week of because the ground was all ice or hard snow. I think my group was one of the only ones that had started from scratch, because many other groups started their Quinzhees on the ones from last semesters, so they already had a decent base, which my group didn't have unfortunately but we made our Quinzhee work. Their were only three of us so their was no reason why we couldn't make a big enough Quinzhee. My group was KJ, Nick and I.

Since for most of the week was icy snow and only snowed once on the day of, my group was behind most groups so we only started digging the Quinzhee out the night of. I had a basketball game so I came to help out my group very late around 6:30, but thankfully KJ and Nick got most of the digging out done by the time I got there. It took us maybe another two hours to finish so we got it done just in time. There was a slight drizzle throughout the whole night and because of last years misfortune of having the night canceled because of rain I was praying for the weather to not pour on us which it thankfully never did. For dinner my group and I had sausages with buns which were cooked perfectly, (even if they did fall into the fire and snow a few times).

For the rest of the night I went to Mr. Brouwers fire because I gave up on the one I had cooked on because the wood I got would just never catch. Most students played Man-hunt which I wasn't part of but it seemed like they had a good time even if they got a little wet. To sleep, my group all had their own sleeping bags and because of the small size of our Quinzhee we had to cuddle up closer then what we would have liked but it kept us warmer so it worked out fine. We could see some light coming through our Quinzhee so I know that for next years winter camp, I'll have to work a lot harder in order to make our Quinzhee bigger.

I had at least five hours of sleep which is a decent amount for sleeping in snow, so I had an okay sleep. No rain came through into our Quinzhee which was perfect. Our cold sink was made well because our platform was above the entrance so as a whole it was a pretty well made Quinzhee. Things I'd do differently next year would be to make a bigger Quinzhee and make a wider variety of food, for dinner and breakfast.

-Will J.M

Kayaker said...

WINTER CAMP REFLECTION
Part 1

At first I was really excited that I was going tosleep in a Quincy, but I did not really know just how hard it was to make andsleep in a Quincy, which changed this trip from a dream come true to a livingnightmare.


Making the Quincy I found to be pretty difficult. The snowwe had was really getting me frustrated. For the first two days of building allthe snow was hard and powdery which made it very difficult to break down andpack in making it also really frustrating for me and my group. My group was theonly one in our class actually making a Quincy from scratch while everybodyelse were using old ones, which really makes me mad because while my group werebreaking our backs to make a Quincy for 5, other groups were being lazy andmost of the time I saw them playing around. My group was the best aroundbecause we worked constantly every single day making our Quincy and nobody wascomplaining about the work even I did not complain which I am surprised andproud of myself for that. Although at the end of Wednesday our Quincy was stillnot big enough for us all and I felt extremely disappointed and angry becauseno matter how much we worked at it and how much time we put into it still wasnever enough. What I learned from building the Quincy is that I need no matterhow bad things look and no matter how many things are bringing all you have todo is keep moving forward. If I could go back and do it again I would usebigger shovels so that we could have packed more snow on every day. I wouldhave also brought my dad’s snow blower so that we would not have to work asmuch.


On the day of the winter camping my group and I went tometro at lunch time to buy food for the night. At first I thought we were goingto but a lot of healthy food and a little bit of junk food but in reality itwas the exact opposite. We bought pop drinks, hot dogs, sour food, cinnabonsfor break feast which was Travis’s idea and I have no idea why he would thinkcinnabons were for break feast but hey they did taste pretty good so I did notcare. The only healthy thing we bought was a tray of fruit and that was onlybecause I pushed the guys to buy it. If I could go back and do it again I wouldhave bought way more healthy food and not any pop or junk food. They did tastepretty good even though we were not supposed to eat any junk food.

By Christian

Kayaker said...

Part 2

I was very confident that I had everything I needed for thenight. I brought everything on the list and I even brought two tarps for mygroup to sleep on. Unfortunately we could not use the tarps until we dug outthe inside of the Quincy which took forever. It was also hard to start our firebecause it was raining and everything was wet and miserable. We were not ableto eat until 8 because they fire kept going out. I was so wet and cold at thattime and we couldn’t even go into our Quincy to warm up. If I could go back anddo it again I would have brought dry wood so that it would be much easier to lightand warm up. I also learned from this that starting a fire is one of the mostimportant things you need to do for camping.


When it came to sleeping in the Quincy it was verymiserable for me. I was pushed to the wall so my sleeping bag was lying on thesnow itself. The Quincy was also toosmall for us so every time we go up our heads would hit the snow which wouldmake anything we had dry wet and cold which it did to my sleeping bag. Thezipper was broken so all the snow got into my bag making it too wet to sleepin. It did not get any better when we let in two girls in our Quincy either. Wekept moving around to make room for them making more snow fall on us which Iwas really getting annoyed from. And if it couldn’t get any worse I realizedthat we were using our bags with our stuff in it to block the tunnel gettingall our things wet which made me mad because all my dry clothes were in theirso I had nothing to wear tomorrow. After a while the girls left and we wereleft with a cold wet Quincy. It got so cold for me that I had to sleep close tosomeone to warm up. Though it did feel very weird it was surprisingly warm andI actually got some sleep on that night. If I could go back and do it again Iwould have used first of all garbage bags with paper in it to block the tunnel.Use a sleeping back with a working zipper so snow does not get into it. Makesure you do not get pushed to the side like leftover dinner and make sure tomake my Quincy big enough for 5 or 4 in this case because one of the people inour group was not coming. What I learned from this sleeping experience is thata person can quickly catch hyperthermia and if they do not get any warmth soontheir health can quickly get worse.


When the light finally came out it was like a light fromheaven. When my group got out seeing if anybody else was awake we realized thatwe were actually on e of the last people to wake up and everybody was waitingat the school doors. This made me and my group feel pretty proud of ourselvesthat we lasted the longest and made me feel like the winter camping was not sobad after all. When Mr. Brower opened the doors t the school everybody rushedin to get warm again because it was actually pretty windy outside. Me and mygroup then changed our clothes and ate our cinnabons which I had to say werepretty good and was possibly the best tasting break feast I ever had and atthat moment when I was having that cinnabon with my friends I felt so happy andall the hard times and miserable moments I had from the trip went away and wasreplaced with one big happy memory.


This trip taught me many things and showed me just how hardit is to live without any gadgets furniture and luxuries. This trip also gaveme new skills like organization, planning, teamwork, positive thinking and theability to build a Quincy which is a death trap. All in all this trip that started as a dreamcame true changed into a living nightmare and then transformed into anirreplaceable memory placed into my head.

By Christian

Jenny Weinkauf said...

I wasn't sure what to expect sleeping in the quinzhee, but judging by what people told me from last semester, I was expecting; to be really cold, not be able to sleep at all, and to be soaking wet with no extra clothes. I was also expecting my quinzhee to collapse in the middle of the night. These were just a few things that people told me, but they only talked about the bad things that happened that night, not the good ones.

I wasn't there the first day that we started building our quinzhee but the second day when I got there we went outside and saw that someone had dug out all the snow we started to make our quinzhee with. We started working right away because we had already lost a whole day of work and we didn't want to lose another one. By Thursday, our quinzhee was about 2/3 built and we still hadn't started to dig it out even though we had to sleep in it that night. We went to metro first to get more food and drinks and when we got back to the school around 3:45, we started working right away. When it started to get dark out, Mr. Brouwer came and dug out pretty much our whole quinzhee for us because we weren't even close to being half way done. With out Mr. Brouwer's help, I don't think that we would've been done in time to sleep in it.

Throughout the night we just hung around the fire and cooked our hamburgers and hotdogs. We shared a fire with the group beside us, so there were more people getting wood and sharing the workload. I think this was a smart thing to do because then it saved us time and we didn't have to do as much work as one small group. When it when we got tired we went in the school and got our sleeping stuff. But when we put it all in our quinzhee and got comfortable, none of us wanted to get up to block the doorway. So we left it open the whole night.

Overall, I wasn't too cold during the night, but the zipper on my sleeping bag broke so it was open and let cold air in. I think it would have also been warmer if we blocked the doorway to our quinzhee, but in the end I had a good experience and a fun time.

Tonisha Rusk said...

This was my first time ever doing winter camping. My group members were Hannah Witmer and Meagan Godfrey. When I first found out I was going to be sleeping in a quinzhee, it was something I had never heard of before and I was very excited to try something completely new. I was sure that this was going to be an amazing experience, but unfortunately the night wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be.

I had my foot appointment the morning of the 16th, but I honestly had no clue that they would be operating that day. Even though I just had the surgery, I did not want to miss out on this experience or let my group down, so I decided to stay for the night.

When we first started building the quinzhees, there was hardly any good snow to pile up. It was all really hard to break up and get enough to build the pile high enough. If I did this again I would defiantly take extra time after school or during lunches to ensure we would be done in time. Our quinzhee ended up being dug out the night of the sleepover and it was harder than we expected. I couldn’t do much because of my foot, but I still wanted to help out as much as possible. Since my foot was wrapped in a plastic bag, it got numb very fast but I didn’t feel it getting cold because of the freezing I had earlier that day. Later that night when the freezing and numbness wore off, I was in SO much pain. I didn’t get any sleep that night and I couldn’t sit still for more than 30seconds because of the agony.

Within our cooking group, we didn’t plan ahead for our food. We ended up winging it and bringing our own food to share. Even though it was very last minute, I was still satisfied with what I ate. It was yummy, warm, easy, and worked out perfectly for me.

We had okay weather for the most part. Since Meagan Godfrey and I ended up sleeping outside on the pavement, I was so glad I had packed well. I packed double or triple of everything and I also borrowed one of the -50 sleeping bags from a family friend who is in the army. If anything, I over packed for that night but I’m really happy I over packed than under packed like some of the people that had come. I feel like I was well prepared clothing wise. I was good and warm till until around 4am when the temperature started to drop and I was so overtired I just wanted to go home.

When morning finally came around, I was so relieved! The night couldn’t have gone any slower and it felt like I was laying there forever. I was crying the whole night because of the pain but I didn’t want to leave because I didn’t want to give up and I also didn’t want to leave Meagan Godfrey outside, alone by herself.

This was truly an unforgettable experience and (even though it was arguably the worst night of my life so far) I am glad I got to experience this. I learned that as much as I always want to persevere, sometimes I need to recognize my limitations about when to say no. Since I tortured my foot that night, I really messed up the healing of it and it is going to take a while longer to heal. I learned that I am very stubborn but able to pull threw and even though I went through an excruciating amount of pain, I wouldn’t change my mind about staying over that night.

Thank you so much for letting us have this unforgettable experience!

Burtchy said...

Wintercamp 2012 was my first winter camp experience. Hearing nothing but good things from my friends from last semester, I was very excited to start building our quinzhee. My group decided to collapse a quinzhee from last semester and work from there, but late in the week we didn't think that we would be able to dig it out in time, so we decided to take a different approach. We decided to dig out the inside and make it into a shelter, with a tarp and logs as our roof. We finished our shelter during class on Thursday.
Our shelter was shared between Arden, Brie, Megan and I. We felt pretty prepared and weren't too worried. We all put the same amount of effort into the making of our shelter. We made our dinner around 7 o'clock, which consisted of pasta and meat sauce. We also brought some snacks like granola bars, juice boxes and some marshmallows to snack on during the night. We were sitting around another groups campfire when the snow turned into rain. Everyone got kind of worried that we were going to be sent home, but soon enough the rain lightened up. At around 9 o'clock we went to check on our shelter and saw that there were two holes where water had been leaking in, so we quickly plugged the holes and when on a search for a better tarp. Thankfully, we found one and we found a dead tree that we were able to stick in the middle so our roof had a peak that water could flow off of.
We went back to enjoying our night, playing games and talking around the campfire. When we went into our shelter it was actually pretty warm and everything went great. I was not able to sleep so I went for a walk and didn't end up coming back to our shelter. However, at around 5:30 am, the tarp flew off of our shelter waking up my three group members.
The only things we would change about winter camp are making sure to double check our tarp the first time to make sure there is no holes, and to make sure it is secure to our shelter so it will not fly off. All in all, winter camp was a great night and I'm so glad I was able to share it with all of my friends!

Burtchy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Treasure said...

The lead up to wintercamp was quite exciting. My group and I had decided to improvise to make a great shelter this year. We had a quinzhee/igloo/tree-fort which ended up working perfectly for us and had 9 of us in it during the night, keeping us nice and warm.

Even though we had drizzling rains all night, fires we’re going strong through out the night and while our supper of pasta kept us warm inside. A lesson I ended up learning this wintercamp was how to make good ├ęclairs. I tried treating my group as well as other people to these pastries it was the first time I have ever made them and they didn’t turn out so well. I now know to properly spread out the dough so it doesn’t taste a raw pancake next time.

Even with a little rain it didn’t damper our spirit around a fire, resulting in a game of chubby bunny that I came out as the victor with 12 marshmellows. The great night continued with a game of manhunt played by all which died out pretty quickly though, but was fun while it lasted.

Although people went home that night, I had a great warm dry night, with good memories and great laughs shared by all of us. Our shelter had a great part in this fun since it held up great and had tons of room for lots of people. The night was a great experience overall and would love to do the night over again, whilst only changing my cooking techniques of the dessert I made.

Treasure said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren Firkins said...

I am so glad I got the chance to experience winter camping this year. When I first heard that I had to sleep in a quinzhee, I was afraid of the small space and wasn't too sure how my claustrophobia was going to go. I ended up having a great night that I will never forget.

Since we are in the second semester, I got to hear all of the first semester’s stories and work around what they did well and what didn't go so well. I knew we needed big shovels to pill the most snow we could and I knew we had to spend all the time we had making it even if we thought it was done.

The problem we had was there wasn't a lot of snow; therefore it was hard to find snow to make the quinzhee. But we were smart and decided to go find fresh snow and pill it in an empty garbage can, and then bring it to our quinzhee. It made it easier to get a lot of snow at once and it seemed to be helping because once we started to use the can, pilling of the snow went a lot faster. We ended up finishing building our quinzhee the day before we had to sleep in it.

On Thursday our group went out at lunch and started to dig out the quinzhee. I wasn't much help at the beginning because I wasn't comfortable with digging out the start of the quinzhee, therefore I went out to get some fire wood for the night and took out the extra snow we didn't need in the quinzhee. By the beginning of class we had enough room for one person to sit in the quinzhee and that's when I started to help dig out the quinzhee. I wished I helped before because I felt like I wasn't helping out enough.

Around 5 we finally finish and it's now time to start dinner. We weren’t very prepared for dinner which was a mistake. Through miscommunication we didn't have any milk to make the K.D. with, plus none of us thought to bring a strainer which made it difficult to strain the noodles. We ended up using a plate that wasn't big enough; therefore we lost a few noodles on the way. Also we didn't bring everything we needed to bring the first time so we had to constantly go back to the outdoor Ed. room to get what we were missing. I think our cooking part of the night could have gone a little smoother.

I had a great time playing man hunt, but then it started to rain and I got soaked. What also didn't help was Katie and I didn't know the game was over and sat in the snow while it was raining for an hour even though the game only lasted about 20 minutes. We finally decided to go in which was a good idea because it was almost time for the school to close. We got changed in our stuff and then went outside to set up our beds. Next time I would definitely set up the beds first because we ended up standing outside in the rain for 25 minutes trying to get everything set. Also when it came time to set up our beds we found it would be a little tight for 5 girls but we didn't think there would be a problem.

We ended up sleeping in another quinzhee because we were afraid ours was going to melt overnight. When I woke up I was nice and warm in my sleeping bag, but as soon as I was outside it was really cold and my jacket was still a little wet from the night before. I really wished I had brought a windbreaker or something of that sort for when I woke up in the morning to keep warm. I went outside to help clean up my quinzhee and the one I slept in. When everything in my quinzhee and most of the stuff in the other quinzhee was brought in and put in its proper place I had to go. I wish I could have stayed longer to clean up and help out other groups but I had to leave for Toronto. Winter camping was a great experience and I will never forget it.

Lauren Firkins said...

I am so glad I got the chance to experience winter camping this year. When I first heard that I had to sleep in a quinzhee, I was afraid of the small space and wasn't too sure how my claustrophobia was going to go. I ended up having a great night that I will never forget.

Since we are in the second semester, I got to hear all of the first semester’s stories and work around what they did well and what didn't go so well. I knew we needed big shovels to pill the most snow we could and I knew we had to spend all the time we had making it even if we thought it was done.

The problem we had was there wasn't a lot of snow; therefore it was hard to find snow to make the quinzhee. But we were smart and decided to go find fresh snow and pill it in an empty garbage can, and then bring it to our quinzhee. It made it easier to get a lot of snow at once and it seemed to be helping because once we started to use the can, pilling of the snow went a lot faster. We ended up finishing building our quinzhee the day before we had to sleep in it.

On Thursday our group went out at lunch and started to dig out the quinzhee. I wasn't much help at the beginning because I wasn't comfortable with digging out the start of the quinzhee, therefore I went out to get some fire wood for the night and took out the extra snow we didn't need in the quinzhee. By the beginning of class we had enough room for one person to sit in the quinzhee and that's when I started to help dig out the quinzhee. I wished I helped before because I felt like I wasn't helping out enough.

Around 5 we finally finish and it's now time to start dinner. We weren’t very prepared for dinner which was a mistake. Through miscommunication we didn't have any milk to make the K.D. with, plus none of us thought to bring a strainer which made it difficult to strain the noodles. We ended up using a plate that wasn't big enough; therefore we lost a few noodles on the way. Also we didn't bring everything we needed to bring the first time so we had to constantly go back to the outdoor Ed. room to get what we were missing. I think our cooking part of the night could have gone a little smoother.

I had a great time playing man hunt, but then it started to rain and I got soaked. What also didn't help was Katie and I didn't know the game was over and sat in the snow while it was raining for an hour even though the game only lasted about 20 minutes. We finally decided to go in which was a good idea because it was almost time for the school to close. We got changed in our stuff and then went outside to set up our beds. Next time I would definitely set up the beds first because we ended up standing outside in the rain for 25 minutes trying to get everything set. Also when it came time to set up our beds we found it would be a little tight for 5 girls but we didn't think there would be a problem.

We ended up sleeping in another quinzhee because we were afraid ours was going to melt overnight. When I woke up I was nice and warm in my sleeping bag, but as soon as I was outside it was really cold and my jacket was still a little wet from the night before. I really wished I had brought a windbreaker or something of that sort for when I woke up in the morning to keep warm. I went outside to help clean up my quinzhee and the one I slept in. When everything in my quinzhee and most of the stuff in the other quinzhee was brought in and put in its proper place I had to go. I wish I could have stayed longer to clean up and help out other groups but I had to leave for Toronto. Winter camping was a great experience and I will never forget it.

Lauren Firkins said...

I am so glad I got the chance to experience winter camping this year. When I first heard that I had to sleep in a quinzhee, I was afraid of the small space and wasn't too sure how my claustrophobia was going to go. I ended up having a great night that I will never forget.

Since we are in the second semester, I got to hear all of the first semester’s stories and work around what they did well and what didn't go so well. I knew we needed big shovels to pill the most snow we could and I knew we had to spend all the time we had making it even if we thought it was done.

The problem we had was there wasn't a lot of snow; therefore it was hard to find snow to make the quinzhee. But we were smart and decided to go find fresh snow and pill it in an empty garbage can, and then bring it to our quinzhee. It made it easier to get a lot of snow at once and it seemed to be helping because once we started to use the can, pilling of the snow went a lot faster. We ended up finishing building our quinzhee the day before we had to sleep in it.

On Thursday our group went out at lunch and started to dig out the quinzhee. I wasn't much help at the beginning because I wasn't comfortable with digging out the start of the quinzhee, therefore I went out to get some fire wood for the night and took out the extra snow we didn't need in the quinzhee. By the beginning of class we had enough room for one person to sit in the quinzhee and that's when I started to help dig out the quinzhee. I wished I helped before because I felt like I wasn't helping out enough.

Around 5 we finally finish and it's now time to start dinner. We weren’t very prepared for dinner which was a mistake. Through miscommunication we didn't have any milk to make the K.D. with, plus none of us thought to bring a strainer which made it difficult to strain the noodles. We ended up using a plate that wasn't big enough; therefore we lost a few noodles on the way. Also we didn't bring everything we needed to bring the first time so we had to constantly go back to the outdoor Ed. room to get what we were missing. I think our cooking part of the night could have gone a little smoother.

I had a great time playing man hunt, but then it started to rain and I got soaked. What also didn't help was Katie and I didn't know the game was over and sat in the snow while it was raining for an hour even though the game only lasted about 20 minutes. We finally decided to go in which was a good idea because it was almost time for the school to close. We got changed in our stuff and then went outside to set up our beds. Next time I would definitely set up the beds first because we ended up standing outside in the rain for 25 minutes trying to get everything set. Also when it came time to set up our beds we found it would be a little tight for 5 girls but we didn't think there would be a problem.

We ended up sleeping in another quinzhee because we were afraid ours was going to melt overnight. When I woke up I was nice and warm in my sleeping bag, but as soon as I was outside it was really cold and my jacket was still a little wet from the night before. I really wished I had brought a windbreaker or something of that sort for when I woke up in the morning to keep warm. I went outside to help clean up my quinzhee and the one I slept in. When everything in my quinzhee and most of the stuff in the other quinzhee was brought in and put in its proper place I had to go. I wish I could have stayed longer to clean up and help out other groups but I had to leave for Toronto. Winter camping was a great experience and I will never forget it.

HannahW said...

My overall experience with wintercamp was a good one, although there were some challenges.

One problem was a simple matter of experience, or in this cas a lack there of. Without ever having built a quinzhee before, my group members and I didn't realize just how big we had to make our snow pile. Because of that, we didn't end up having a big enough pile on the day of wintercamp and we ended up having to pile more snow before digging it out.

The other prominent problem I had, was that for a fire, we were sharing a pit with another group. When the time came to cook, the fire was too small, and we had three groups trying to cook at once.

The highlights of wintercamp were the time spent talking to classmates as we piled the snow, and being able to stay warm and dry in my quinzhee despite the drizzling rain.

Next year I hope to better my wintercamp experience by working harder during class time and possibly staying after school in order to ensure that my quinzhee is big enough. I also plan on having an individual fire because cooking at a crowded pit wasn't very easy or enjoyable.

Lauren Firkins said...

I am so glad I got the chance to experience winter camping this year. When I first heard that I had to sleep in a quinzhee, I was afraid of the small space and wasn't too sure how my claustrophobia was going to go. I ended up having a great night that I will never forget.

Since we are in the second semester, I got to hear all of the first semester’s stories and work around what they did well and what didn't go so well. I knew we needed big shovels to pill the most snow we could and I knew we had to spend all the time we had making it even if we thought it was done.

The problem we had was there wasn't a lot of snow; therefore it was hard to find snow to make the quinzhee. But we were smart and decided to go find fresh snow and pill it in an empty garbage can, and then bring it to our quinzhee. It made it easier to get a lot of snow at once and it seemed to be helping because once we started to use the can, pilling of the snow went a lot faster. We ended up finishing building our quinzhee the day before we had to sleep in it.

On Thursday our group went out at lunch and started to dig out the quinzhee. I wasn't much help at the beginning because I wasn't comfortable with digging out the start of the quinzhee, therefore I went out to get some fire wood for the night and took out the extra snow we didn't need in the quinzhee. By the beginning of class we had enough room for one person to sit in the quinzhee and that's when I started to help dig out the quinzhee. I wished I helped before because I felt like I wasn't helping out enough.

Around 5 we finally finish and it's now time to start dinner. We weren’t very prepared for dinner which was a mistake. Through miscommunication we didn't have any milk to make the K.D. with, plus none of us thought to bring a strainer which made it difficult to strain the noodles. We ended up using a plate that wasn't big enough; therefore we lost a few noodles on the way. Also we didn't bring everything we needed to bring the first time so we had to constantly go back to the outdoor Ed. room to get what we were missing. I think our cooking part of the night could have gone a little smoother.

I had a great time playing man hunt, but then it started to rain and I got soaked. What also didn't help was Katie and I didn't know the game was over and sat in the snow while it was raining for an hour even though the game only lasted about 20 minutes. We finally decided to go in which was a good idea because it was almost time for the school to close. We got changed in our stuff and then went outside to set up our beds. Next time I would definitely set up the beds first because we ended up standing outside in the rain for 25 minutes trying to get everything set. Also when it came time to set up our beds we found it would be a little tight for 5 girls but we didn't think there would be a problem.

We ended up sleeping in another quinzhee because we were afraid ours was going to melt overnight. When I woke up I was nice and warm in my sleeping bag, but as soon as I was outside it was really cold and my jacket was still a little wet from the night before. I really wished I had brought a windbreaker or something of that sort for when I woke up in the morning to keep warm. I went outside to help clean up my quinzhee and the one I slept in. When everything in my quinzhee and most of the stuff in the other quinzhee was brought in and put in its proper place I had to go. I wish I could have stayed longer to clean up and help out other groups but I had to leave for Toronto. Winter camping was a great experience that I will never forget it.

Mallory said...

Winter Camp Reflection
By: Mallory Champagne

Winter camp sounded great to me, and I was really excited. I still think it was a really fun night, except now I also know about the sheer coldness that comes with 4am winds. Everything lived up to expectation but it was the unexpected that ended up getting you by morning.
 

We finished piling snow on our Quinzhee and started to dig out the day of winter camp. Looking back, if we'd had had more time we probably could have started to dig out a day or two before the actual camp and would have realized that it was a bit too small for five people, and have been able to do something about it, like making it bigger or opting for a lean-to type thing instead.
 

I think I was well prepared for all the melting snow. We went in through out the night and changed to dry clothes and dried our wet clothes, what I was not prepared for was our Quinzhee melting on my sleeping bag, making a -40 useless in -6 weather. If there was a water proof layer you could get for a sleeping bag I definitely would have. I also would have tried not to lose my hat half way through the night because, as I know know,when hair gets wet and half freezes all your heat goes really fast, and then you are really cold.
 

Our fire and food was really good and it fed the people it had to with leftovers, the one difficulty we had was when it came to straining the noodles for our kraft dinner and we didn't have a strainer, and using plates is good for a funny story after but not so much if you want to actually keep noodles in the pot. 
 
In the morning, after we all went inside to get warm and clean up started, I went and got my stuff outside and then mainly stayed inside, aside the few times I went to get garbage and stray items. I definitly could have done more with the clean up and got changed out of my boots too fast, therefore making me useless when it came to collapsing the Quinzhees. We had done all our dishes the night before so we were good the morning of.
 
I had a good time at winter camp and probably could have done more during clean up so others wouldn't be the only ones doing the harder work. I felt that it was a good team effort and it made it a good camp asides from the cold. If I were to do it again I would rather have tempratures at -20 or -25, becasue at -6 the Quinzhees felt colder inside then out.

Mallory said...

Winter camp sounded great to me, and I was really excited. I still think it was a really fun night, except now I also know about the sheer coldness that comes with 4am winds. Everything lived up to expectation but it was the unexpected that ended up getting you by morning.
 

We finished piling snow on our Quinzhee and started to dig out the day of winter camp. Looking back, if we'd had had more time we probably could have started to dig out a day or two before the actual camp and would have realized that it was a bit too small for five people, and have been able to do something about it, like making it bigger or opting for a lean-to type thing instead.
 

I think I was well prepared for all the melting snow. We went in through out the night and changed to dry clothes and dried our wet clothes, what I was not prepared for was our Quinzhee melting on my sleeping bag, making a -40 useless in -6 weather. If there was a water proof layer you could get for a sleeping bag I definitely would have. I also would have tried not to lose my hat half way through the night because, as I know know,when hair gets wet and half freezes all your heat goes really fast, and then you are really cold.
 

Our fire and food was really good and it fed the people it had to with leftovers, the one difficulty we had was when it came to straining the noodles for our kraft dinner and we didn't have a strainer, and using plates is good for a funny story after but not so much if you want to actually keep noodles in the pot. 
 
In the morning, after we all went inside to get warm and clean up started, I went and got my stuff outside and then mainly stayed inside, aside the few times I went to get garbage and stray items. I definitly could have done more with the clean up and got changed out of my boots too fast, therefore making me useless when it came to collapsing the Quinzhees. We had done all our dishes the night before so we were good the morning of.
 
I had a good time at winter camp and probably could have done more during clean up so others wouldn't be the only ones doing the harder work. I felt that it was a good team effort and it made it a good camp asides from the cold. If I were to do it again I would rather have tempratures at -20 or -25, becasue at -6 the Quinzhees felt colder inside then out.

Bigfoot said...

Winter camp reflection



I had done winter camp the previous year, so I had a good idea of what to expect. My

group got lucky by digging out an existing snow bank, instead of making one for our quinzhee, this gave us a lot of free time to work on side projects like gathering wood, helping other groups, making stairs and benches. This was a much more enjoyable experience than spending hours shovelling snow.



When Friday finally came, my whole group was excited to get out there and we set about

finishing our quinzhee. Once Mr. Brouwer said that the fire permit was active we forgot about our quinzhee and started working on our bonfire, which was huge

because of all the free time we had to gather wood, even with the wood we gave away. We made a tent out of a wooden frame covered with a tarp to keep our wood dry, it did a great job of blocking the wind to. This large fire brought different groups around to cook on it and resulted in the funniest experience of the night. Kyle had decided he wanted to cook a steak on our fire, so he took his pan and just threw it into the middle of our fire and for some reason he left. By the time he came back his pan had turned a bright red, and he realized that he had no way to take his pan out of the fire. While we were all laughing at him, he decided to simply kick his frying pan, so it went spinning through the air in a ball of flames. Once it was done steaming, he picked his steak off of the ground to find one side burnt black and the other side raw, so he simply threw it into the woods. His next attempt at cooking was just as unsuccessful. Kyle tried wrapping bacon three layers deep in tinfoil before throwing it on the grill we had placed there. After about five minutes he checked it to find that it hadn’t cooked at all so once again his supper ended up on the ground. This time though it was covered in tinfoil so we all grabbed some of his bacon and stuck it on a stick to cook.



After we were done cooking on our fire, we had the bright idea to see how big a fire we

could make. By the time Mr. Brouwer came around to tell us our fire was too big, we had

stacked the wood to chest height. It was a good thing he came when he did because we were just about to throw the benches we had made on as well. We were all having a good time, but when the fire died down we headed back to our quinzhee to play cards. When we woke up in the morning I was the only one who didn’t wake up wet.



By the next morning my group had learned a few important lessons for the next time. It is important to remember to put air holes before you go to sleep and to properly plug your tunnel or you will wake up freezing. Finally, the last thing that we learned was that there is no point in getting up until the school is open, unless you like standing around outside in the cold morning air.

Bigfoot said...

Winter camp reflection



I had done winter camp the previous year, so I had a good idea of what to expect. My

group got lucky by digging out an existing snow bank, instead of making one for our quinzhee, this gave us a lot of free time to work on side projects like gathering wood, helping other groups, making stairs and benches. This was a much more enjoyable experience than spending hours shovelling snow.



When Friday finally came, my whole group was excited to get out there and we set about

finishing our quinzhee. Once Mr. Brouwer said that the fire permit was active we forgot about our quinzhee and started working on our bonfire, which was huge

because of all the free time we had to gather wood, even with the wood we gave away. We made a tent out of a wooden frame covered with a tarp to keep our wood dry, it did a great job of blocking the wind to. This large fire brought different groups around to cook on it and resulted in the funniest experience of the night. Kyle had decided he wanted to cook a steak on our fire, so he took his pan and just threw it into the middle of our fire and for some reason he left. By the time he came back his pan had turned a bright red, and he realized that he had no way to take his pan out of the fire. While we were all laughing at him, he decided to simply kick his frying pan, so it went spinning through the air in a ball of flames. Once it was done steaming, he picked his steak off of the ground to find one side burnt black and the other side raw, so he simply threw it into the woods. His next attempt at cooking was just as unsuccessful. Kyle tried wrapping bacon three layers deep in tinfoil before throwing it on the grill we had placed there. After about five minutes he checked it to find that it hadn’t cooked at all so once again his supper ended up on the ground. This time though it was covered in tinfoil so we all grabbed some of his bacon and stuck it on a stick to cook.



After we were done cooking on our fire, we had the bright idea to see how big a fire we

could make. By the time Mr. Brouwer came around to tell us our fire was too big, we had

stacked the wood to chest height. It was a good thing he came when he did because we were just about to throw the benches we had made on as well. We were all having a good time, but when the fire died down we headed back to our quinzhee to play cards. When we woke up in the morning I was the only one who didn’t wake up wet.



By the next morning my group had learned a few important lessons for the next time. It is important to remember to put air holes before you go to sleep and to properly plug your tunnel or you will wake up freezing. Finally, the last thing that we learned was that there is no point in getting up until the school is open, unless you like standing around outside in the cold morning air.

Bigfoot said...

Winter camp reflection



I had done winter camp the previous year, so I had a good idea of what to expect. My

group got lucky by digging out an existing snow bank, instead of making one for our quinzhee, this gave us a lot of free time to work on side projects like gathering wood, helping other groups, making stairs and benches. This was a much more enjoyable experience than spending hours shovelling snow.



When Friday finally came, my whole group was excited to get out there and we set about

finishing our quinzhee. Once Mr. Brouwer said that the fire permit was active we forgot about our quinzhee and started working on our bonfire, which was huge

because of all the free time we had to gather wood, even with the wood we gave away. We made a tent out of a wooden frame covered with a tarp to keep our wood dry, it did a great job of blocking the wind to. This large fire brought different groups around to cook on it and resulted in the funniest experience of the night. Kyle had decided he wanted to cook a steak on our fire, so he took his pan and just threw it into the middle of our fire and for some reason he left. By the time he came back his pan had turned a bright red, and he realized that he had no way to take his pan out of the fire. While we were all laughing at him, he decided to simply kick his frying pan, so it went spinning through the air in a ball of flames. Once it was done steaming, he picked his steak off of the ground to find one side burnt black and the other side raw, so he simply threw it into the woods. His next attempt at cooking was just as unsuccessful. Kyle tried wrapping bacon three layers deep in tinfoil before throwing it on the grill we had placed there. After about five minutes he checked it to find that it hadn’t cooked at all so once again his supper ended up on the ground. This time though it was covered in tinfoil so we all grabbed some of his bacon and stuck it on a stick to cook.



After we were done cooking on our fire, we had the bright idea to see how big a fire we

could make. By the time Mr. Brouwer came around to tell us our fire was too big, we had

stacked the wood to chest height. It was a good thing he came when he did because we were just about to throw the benches we had made on as well. We were all having a good time, but when the fire died down we headed back to our quinzhee to play cards. When we woke up in the morning I was the only one who didn’t wake up wet.



By the next morning my group had learned a few important lessons for the next time. It is important to remember to put air holes before you go to sleep and to properly plug your tunnel or you will wake up freezing. Finally, the last thing that we learned was that there is no point in getting up until the school is open, unless you like standing around outside in the cold morning air.

Bigfoot said...

Winter camp reflection



I had done winter camp the previous year, so I had a good idea of what to expect. My

group got lucky by digging out an existing snow bank, instead of making one for our quinzhee, this gave us a lot of free time to work on side projects like gathering wood, helping other groups, making stairs and benches. This was a much more enjoyable experience than spending hours shovelling snow.



When Friday finally came, my whole group was excited to get out there and we set about

finishing our quinzhee. Once Mr. Brouwer said that the fire permit was active we forgot about our quinzhee and started working on our bonfire, which was huge

because of all the free time we had to gather wood, even with the wood we gave away. We made a tent out of a wooden frame covered with a tarp to keep our wood dry, it did a great job of blocking the wind to. This large fire brought different groups around to cook on it and resulted in the funniest experience of the night. Kyle had decided he wanted to cook a steak on our fire, so he took his pan and just threw it into the middle of our fire and for some reason he left. By the time he came back his pan had turned a bright red, and he realized that he had no way to take his pan out of the fire. While we were all laughing at him, he decided to simply kick his frying pan, so it went spinning through the air in a ball of flames. Once it was done steaming, he picked his steak off of the ground to find one side burnt black and the other side raw, so he simply threw it into the woods. His next attempt at cooking was just as unsuccessful. Kyle tried wrapping bacon three layers deep in tinfoil before throwing it on the grill we had placed there. After about five minutes he checked it to find that it hadn’t cooked at all so once again his supper ended up on the ground. This time though it was covered in tinfoil so we all grabbed some of his bacon and stuck it on a stick to cook.



After we were done cooking on our fire, we had the bright idea to see how big a fire we

could make. By the time Mr. Brouwer came around to tell us our fire was too big, we had

stacked the wood to chest height. It was a good thing he came when he did because we were just about to throw the benches we had made on as well. We were all having a good time, but when the fire died down we headed back to our quinzhee to play cards. When we woke up in the morning I was the only one who didn’t wake up wet.



By the next morning my group had learned a few important lessons for the next time. It is important to remember to put air holes before you go to sleep and to properly plug your tunnel or you will wake up freezing. Finally, the last thing that we learned was that there is no point in getting up until the school is open, unless you like standing around outside in the cold morning air.

Graham McArthur said...

About one month ago I was able to stay overnight in an igloo like structure called a quinzhee. For the whole first semester I had to listen to the first semester class tell me about their quinzhee and hear about how they were building them. They even let me go into one to see what it was like inside, and from their stories it seemed like it took awhile to build them. And when we were told that we only had one week to build them I didn’t know what to do. A lot of groups were stuck building the finishing touches on their quinzhee unless you were in my group and still had to finish digging it out. Since we didn’t finish a day before they snow didn’t have a chance to harden and it was raining out so that didn’t really help out the situation.

That whole week you told us that we needed to bring clothes to keep us dry and warm. So I packed to meet those requirements but since we weren’t done building my dry clothes got wet and it just made the night even worse. My group also waited to long to get fire wood so all the wood that we got was wet so we had a very bad fire and we ended up sharing a fire with another group. But that group started their fire early and our fire didn’t last very long because the rain started again and put out our fire. So at that point we had wet clothes but we didn’t want to go into our quinzhee so we had to sit in wet clothes and we had no fire to keep us warm. We would look around and see that one group had a huge fire going and we wished that we had a fire like that to keep us warm. When we decided to go into our quinzhee we went and changed into our last pair of dry clothes. Since it was raining outside the snow was wet and the water was leaking through the quinzhee. So when we went to get in the quinzhee our clothes would get wet which made us cold once again. And then with the fact of having four guys in a quinzhee breathing it made it seem like the quinzhee was melting because the water was non stop dripping on us. So by about 10:30 my group decided not to risk it and go home.

What I would have done differently would have finished building the quinzhee before they day of, because that would have kept most of my dry clothes dry and would have gave us more time to do things like find wood and help out other groups that were struggling. I would have also made the inside of our quinzhee bigger because we had four people in our group and our quinzhee only fit about three people so fitting in that extra person was very uncomfortable for the time that we were in there. Also I think that we should have put a tarp on top of our quinzhee to stop the water from dripping on us which would have made it a much dryer night for all of us and we would have been able to spend the whole night.

What I enjoyed doing was being with all of my friends and being able to stay with them for the night, it was a fun filled day even though the weather wasn’t on our side we made it as fun as possible. I also enjoyed cooking our food on an open fire, it was something that I haven’t done before so it was a pretty cool thing. It’s a lot different then cooking in the oven.

In the end I wish that I would have stayed the whole night. I would do it again as long as it was much colder outside and it wasn’t raining so it wasn’t wet outside and inside the quinzhee. But overall it was a fun night.

Shannon Vezina said...

This was my second time being able to experience winter camping with our schools Outdoor Ed program. Unfortunately for this time we weren’t blessed with the type of weather in previous years, we still managed to have a good time but with a little but more of a struggle.

I was in a group of seven girls for the building process and only five stayed the night. We began by making a pile of snow, which was going to be our Quinzhee, but on the final day of building we were notified that we had not collected enough snow for our Quinzhee to be big enough. This was only one of the minor speed bumps to what felt like the longest night of my life. One thing that I would have changed to make sure we could have built a better shelter was for myself to put a little more work effort into building up the pile and spent more then just class time building our pile.

So instead of making a Quinzhee we built a lean tent, which would have been more successful if the weather cooperated with us and did not rain. With the amount of rain we had the tarp we used became completely useless and non water-resistant. The weather in the morning did clear up so we were not being drenched the whole night.

We know for next year if we want to make a better Quinzhee to start building earlier and maybe pay more attention to detail. We needed bring more of our owntools so we can always have it so we don’t have to use others and that way we could focus on our own shelter.

We did end up having a dinner that exceeded my expectations, we had a mixture of two soups which warmed me up immensely. We had multiple healthy snacks like apples and dried apple chips that gave us energy to maintain our fire and keep active in conversation.

Even though we experienced multiple difficulties through out the night we still managed to have a warm and healthy meal and managed to keep our fire strong enough to withstand the rain. We also managed to keep ourselves entertained and enjoyed each other’s company, an over all fun night.

Jspice said...

My second time doing wintercamp was very different from last year's, but turned out to be just as fun. It was a lot warmer... But also a lot wetter. Our group had some struggles when it came to building our shelter and when it came to sleeping, but overall I'd say that I had a great night. 
Leading up to the wintercamp, my group had planned and started to build a Quinzhee. But on the day of the camp, we realized that our little pile of snow was never going to fit te five of us. So we demolished our mound, and built a lean-too shelter. My group worked quickly throughout the day, and I believe that we managed a pretty great shelter in just a few hours. I only wish that we had planned the lean-too shelter ahead of time, so then we could have made an even stronger (and more waterproof) shelter. 
Although it did start to rain by the evening, we were still able to build a fire and have a deliciously hot dinner. After dinner, I hung out mostly outside. I had tons of fun, but I ended up getting completely soaked. When I finally went to bed, I realized that the tarp we used to cover our shelter was definitely not waterproof, and had a couple of major leaks. It made for a pretty uncomfortable sleep, that I really wish we had better prepared for. 
All in all, it was a fun night. I learned that it's always important to come prepared for all kinds of weather, and to plan ahead. Wintercamp this year was a great experience.

Andes said...

Last year's winter camp didn't go so well in the second semester, as we had rain, so we didn't have the chance to sleep in the quinzhees last year. Naturally, I would be excited to sleep outside in the snow, especially when I usually sleep with the window open anyway. I also thought it would be easy.

Things were quite the contrary, and very little was easy. Yes, I was in the group that got the already built pile of snow, but we figured if we had so much time, let's go get firewood for people who won't have fires and ourselves. I would stay behind after school and work on friend's and others quinzhees to help them along.

I personally love digging the quinzhee out, but I ran into a few problems while I was digging. It was after school and No one was really paying attention to me, so I dug, and dug, and dug and dug. Then I went to leave and I noticed I had filled the entrance up with large boulders of snow. I ended up getting some help getting out, but it was then I realized we should put some more air holes in the side of the quinzhee.

Another problem was getting the sleeping platform to be even and high enough with a cold sink. We had dug out the quinzhee with a slight incline, so that was evened out and freed up a lot of space for us to maneuver inside.

Surprisingly though, we didn't have as much room as we thought we were going to have. I could not sit up in the middle of the quinzhee without hunching over. Turns out our walls were over two feet thick, so we could have dug out a lot more, but in hindsight, it was better to leave the walls thick.

Now, it turns out our entrance was way to big, and we had more of a ramp rather than a true cold sink, and our ramp was very long. This made our quinzhee very cold (or at least me very cold) during the night. I had volunteered to sleep sideways in front of the quinzhee because I thought I was more accustomed to cold air than the others were, so I would be moderately comfortable and not make anyone else suffer. We didn't have a bag large enough to cover the entrance completely so the cold blasts of air would hit me.

At around one in the morning I started dozing on and off for the next four hours, from being cold to being uncomfortable to trying to breathe. I thought I had put more air holes in the quinzhee.

I did sleep, but it wasn't very good sleep. I am unfortunately the kind of person that can't go to sleep or stay asleep when the sun was up so the next night in my own bed was long and restful.

In the end though, it was fun and I would do it again. Like Mr. Brouwer I enjoy situations that are difficult to get through. I see it as something challenging my character and I always look to win. If I ever made another quinzhee, I would make the entrance much smaller, the cold sink larger and sharper and more air holes. I think that while I was uncomfortable, I was enjoying myself. I hope everyone else did as well.

Meghan Bryson said...

Winter camp was such a great experience! It was a night full of yummy food, warm campfires, bonding, and lots of rainy weather. Overall it was such a great evening and we took away many unforgettable memories.

Before we started building our quinzhee’s, we knew that we were going to have it a lot easier then the first semester classes for a few reasons. First off, we got to use the leftover snow from their quinzhees, which probably eliminated 2 or 3 days of piling snow. Secondly, we got to learn from the mistakes they made while building their quinzhees and got many tips to having a good night.

We thought that since half the work was already done for us we would have our quinzhee ready before the day of winter camp for sure. We learned very quickly that pilling snow is a lot more time consuming then it looks, especially when you do not have much snow to work with. Due to the bad weather, there was a lack of snow to use for our quinzhee. We started coming up with the system of pilling snow from other areas into a garbage can and using it on our quinzhee to work faster. We finished building up our quinzhee Wednesday at the end of the period after 3 long days of work.

Friday, the day of winter was our first day digging out our quinzhee. We knew that we were really behind so we decided to come in at lunch and work on it for as long as we could. We took turns digging it out since not all of us could help at the same time. We surprisingly got it done a lot faster than we had expected earlier that day. Our quinzhee was done by around 5:00 on Thursday, just in time for the fun to start! The most important thing I learned from building the quinzhee was to bring a lot bigger shovels and to work a lot harder and faster throughout the whole week!

After finishing our quinzhee Thursday evening we changed out of our wet clothes and prepared for the damp night ahead of us. By the time we came outside it was time to start our dinner. We made a deal with the boys group that if they maintained the fire for the evening, we would make their dinner. We decided to have the same meal for dinner so that we would only have to cook one large meal instead of doing two separate ones. Nine boxes of Kraft dinner was definitely a challenge to cook, especially when missing a strainer. We came up with the idea to use a plate to strain as much of the water out as we could. It was a very difficult process but in the end it wasn’t too bad. Our meal for the evening was not too nutritious aside from the strawberries for desert but I must say it was really yummy!

Meghan Bryson said...

The rest of the evening was such a blast. Once dinner and dishes were out of the way, spending time by the campfire and trying to play a game of man hunt in the rain was how we spent the rest of our evening. It was also lots of fun getting to spend the evening with friends from outside of the class, who came to visit for an hour or two.
Around 10:30 was our last chance to go inside, get warm, get changed and prepare ourselves for a long night outside. I listened to Mr. Brouwers clothing choice advice and was very happy I had. I decided to wear long johns, wool socks, long john shirt and a wool sweater. He advised us to not wear too many layers because to receive warmth from the sleeping bag, you must give some. I stayed pretty warm during the evening aside from a few times when my sleeping bag opened up. I know that many others were very cold, most likely due to all of their layers.
The quinzhee we had made was finished and ready to sleep in once we were done our last pit stop in the school. We set up our mats and sleeping bags and quickly discovered that the five of us were going to have a rough night sleeping in a three man quinzhee. We decided that we would be fine if we slept closely. Once all of our sleeping bags, mats, pillows and candles were set up, we headed off to the fire to spend a bit more time with the other groups before heading to bed.
When we returned to our quinzhee from the campfire, we found that we had an extra person in our quinzhee taking up all of the room. We knew that five girls in a three man quinzhee was a lot but six was just not going to work. A few of us made the decision to go and hang out in the grade 11 boys quinzhee and ending up spending the rest of the night there. Their quinzhee was much bigger than ours and had enough room to hold the extra people who came and joined in.
Sleep was not something I got very much of that evening, tough bonding with my classmates and those in grade 11 was something did get a lot of. Many of the sleeping bags and pillows from our quinzhee were very wet since they were lying on the snow and not on the mats. In the quinzhee we slept in, we ended up sharing a lot of the sleeping bags and pillows since we learned that wet sleeping bags are not useful in any way.
After getting 2 hours of sleep, we woke up to a nice sunny and wet morning. Packing up in the wet wasn’t exactly the best but the rain had passed so all that was left were puddles. I cleaned up my equipment and brought things in from my group’s quinzhee. I helped put away some of the dishes in the morning and then went home to a nice warm shower and a long sleep in my bed. On Monday I realised after hearing from Mr. Brouwer, there was a lot more clean up I could have taken part in. I will remember for next time or on the future trips coming up to stay until absolutely everything is clean.
Winter camp was such a blast and my classmates and I are still talking about it to this day! I not only had a great time and took away many great memories but I also learned many things from the night as well. If I were to do winter camp again I would make certain changes. First off, I would make sure we worked on the quinzhee every moment we could, that includes during lunches, class time, and even after school if we needed too. I would make the quinzhee much larger in width and in height. It was definitely not large enough for five people. Thirdly, I would not bring as much food; there was lots of Kraft dinner, chips, and other food items that went to waste that night. I would make sure to not get my sleeping bag wet and stay as dry as possible throughout the evening. Lastly, I would have helped a lot more in the cleanup of the camp, like many of the other grade 11’s had. Other than those few things, the night was awesome and I can’t wait for another similar experience throughout the semester!

Meagan said...

Winter camp reflection
The day Mr. Brouwer told us about the winter camp I was sort of in shock, and a little bit in denial that we were actually going to be sleeping outside in the middle of winter! Even though it’s not my usual thing to do, I decided to give it a try. You only live once, may as well try as much as you can. We had all the tools we needed to build the quincee, but once it actually came time to start piling the snow, I realized that it was going to be harder than I thought.

The first day of building my group and I had all brought a shovel to use and we thought we had all the tools necessary, but we soon realized that three small shovels were not going to make a pile of snow very quickly. Luckily we found a big shovel we could borrow from one of the other groups. That was a good idea, but after about 3 times pushing the shovel up a snow pile, I felt like I was going to die. Not only was the snow very wet, but there were also chunks of ice in it, which made it even harder to shovel. Even though we only had four days to build the quince, my group and I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be. We all sort of thought that we had more time than we actually did, which left us having problems later that night. The day that we were supposed to be sleeping outside, we spent over 3 hours working on our quincee! After an hour, we started to dig out the middle of it, but then got the devastating news from Mr. Brouwer that it wasn’t tall enough, and we had to keep piling the snow on top before we can dig it out.

After we spent some time working on our quincee we decided to take a break from building because we were all hungry. We went to start making dinner, but realized our group had not communicated, and there were two different meals planned for the night. I was a little bit confused, but I decided that I was going to eat the hotdogs that Tonisha had brought. I definitely think that we should have planned a little bit better because we sort of forgot about the food, and it was very poor last minute planning. After we took the time to eat, we went back to working on the quincee, because it still was not dug out. I was very nervous as to what would happen the rest of the night.

I started to get really worried that we wouldn’t have anywhere to sleep because we were still working on our quincee well into the night. After about 8:00pm we decided that our quincee was not going to be done for the night, and decided to go to option B: find someone else’s quincee to sleep in. Hannah had already had an offer from another group, but that still left Tonisha and I with nowhere to sleep. Travis and his group were nice enough to offer for us to stay with them, but after about an hour, I was getting really uncomfortable because they had no room to move in their quincee. At 2:00am, Tonisha and I decided that we could sleep in there, and tried to find somewhere else to sleep. Everyone else was already asleep, so we decided to sleep outside on the pavement. During the night all my stuff had gotten wet, and I didn’t plan for that, so I was forced to sleep in wet clothing, in the cold. That’s not such a great mix! We also left all the snacks we had brought in the boys quincee, which left us hungry as well. Looking back on that, I really wish we hadn’t slept on the pavement because by the time the morning came, we were completely frozen, and just wanted to go home.

As I look back on that night, I wish I had done some things differently, such as taking the quincee building more seriously right from the beginning, brought more snacks and definitely more clothes, so I could stay dry. Overall, even though I had some major obstacles to face that night, I ended up having fun. I would definitely do the winter camp again, because this time was a lesson to learn from for the next time.

Gesykah said...

After the trip being cancelled the year before, I was super excited to get started on my quinzhee this year. Even though the sleeping part of this trip sucked, it was overall a really fun night.

We had a total of 4 days to complete our quinzhee. On the first day, two people were absent and the third person in our group decided to help out another group instead of starting on ours. A little annoying but understandable. The second day proved as a challenge as most of the better spots were taken and our group had to start from scratch. We decided to take an old quinzhee and move it a little to the side in order to mix old and new snow together. Unfourtunatly, there was no "new" snow. We left that day very dishearted about the quality of our quinzhee.

The third day a friend of mine mentioned that there was a half finished quinzhee near his that no one was using. My group jumped at the chance and started to build on that one. One of the members didn't show up until half way through the class but I stayed at lunch and after school to finish building so it was all ready for the next day.

Now I should mention that I love digging out. However this year was torture. I was soon soaked through and had to change. I was planning on having to change, however not as much as I should have and I soon ran out of clothes. My group found out that one of the members wasn't sleeping over so it only had to be big enough for two people. This ended up being a good thing because we barely had room for us two in the end. This day I was extreamly thankful of the group next to us. Not only did they point this quinzhee out, they helped build it at lunch and after school and then helped dig out. They also collected a lot of fire wood and shared ther fire with us. With out them I do not think Katherine and I would have had any fun that night. It would have just been us attempting to dig out in time to go to sleep.

Since the boys did so much for us, I graciously shared my food with them and our supper became more of a potluck. I also found out that one of the boys did not have a sleeping mat and there were no more in the class. I broke the rules a little and contacted my mom so that she can bring my mat over for him. (I had forgotten it that morning.) She also brought a messed up deck of cards that we played with for the rest of the night.When Katherine and I went to bed, we realised just how bad that night was going to be. We had a tarp and a comforter under our sleeping bags and the comforter was already damp. My feet were touching the wall and the ceiling was dripping. I took out another comforter and placed it on top of the sleeping bag to absorb some of the water. I was not prepared for the intense claustrophobic feeling at all and that took a lot of the adventure out of sleeping outside, I was constintly making sure my phone was next to me in case the roof collapsed. The second factor that ruined my sleep was the cold. I was sick all week with a really bad cold, in fact I was missing the first day because some believed I had pneomonia. So being wet and cold didn't really make me feel the greatest. I thankfully was wearing lots of layers so all in all the moisture never got to my skin but you could feel it in the air which drove me crazy.

The worst possible wake up call is getting a pile of snow in your face. No, my quinzhee did not break, the boys wanted to wake us up since we were one of the last groups to leave. How did they wake us up? By hitting the top of the quinzhee with a stick. They are genuises. We climbed out and I called my mom to pick me up. The rest of the morning was spent trying to warm up and dry off.

The day of wintercamp, I cursed the day I was ever excited for this. Thinking back on it I realised through the pain, the wet, and the cold. It was really fun and something I would definitely do it year after year. With more clothes and when it isn't raining. ;)

Nick said...

Wintercamp Reflection
Day one; right off the bat, KJ, Will and I choose the spot for building our quinzhee. Out of all the places to build we choose the middle of the field where we have to dig for snow rather than near the edge of the forest where we can literally get shovelfuls anytime we want. After about 20 minutes of useless digging I suggested we move our quinzhee near the forest for better wind protection and for the ability to get more snow but Will didn’t want to have our 20 minutes wasted and thought we’d be blocking a pathway to something, I really don’t know why he thought that, especially since there was no pathway we could’ve possibly blocked by building our quinzhee closer to the forest. In the end we didn’t budge and kept digging for snow.
Even though our quinzhee building site was kind of in the middle of the field, there were still the sad remains of a previous quinzhee. What we should’ve done was build right on top this warning sign and cut what would have probably been about a day’s worth of work; instead we built right next to it and dug away the ruins of all previous civilization. We didn’t completely dig away the rest of the old quinzhee though (due to tiredness and a better source of snow) so we had a nice ‘snow bench’ to place equipment, food and clothing. Our plan for the bench was to turn into a fire pit but it was facing the quinzhee and would’ve melted it.

The second day was just digging and piling, it was the least amount of thinking I’ve done throughout the course of this building project; it was also the day I decided to wear warmer mittens.
The third day was a mad rush to get everything finished. KJ, Will and I were getting creative with where we got our snow; instead of digging for it we found a nice area in the forest where the snow was soft and easy to get chunks, the only problem was that it wasn’t the closest thing to our quinzhee. We did eventually find a nice reserve for snow near our quinzhee (which was ironically right where I had originally suggested we build our quinzhee two days earlier). It also finally snowed which made gathering even easier. This was the first day our pile of snow seemed like home to us.

Will was worried we wouldn’t have enough time to dig it out and insisted we start early but we didn’t have enough snow piled to dig it out so we just kept piling. Once school was over it was just KJ and I working on our shelter, Will had a basketball game to play and wasn’t going to be back ‘till six (he ended up getting back at six thirty). We made a lot of progress in the time Will was gone mostly ‘cause Andrew had come over to help pile snow. He was working on it for a good half hour to forty-five minutes, without him our quinzhee would not have gotten done. As KJ and juggled piling snow on the back of the quinzhee, digging it out at the front and occasionally gathering the odd amount of twigs for a dinky fire Andrew was there piling snow like mad, we thanked him with some Doritos that KJ’s mom had dropped off but he said he didn’t want any ‘reward’ so I ate them.

Continues on next post

Nick said...

Continued from last post

Digging out the quinzhee is what I was looking forward too; I thought it’d be the easy part but it still required a lot of effort. For one, starting off is the hardest ‘cause it’s really awkward to dig out the snow. You’re sort of half in the quinzhee and half outside the quinzhee, it’s like you’re constantly battle to try and maybe fit your whole body in next time you empty the snow. By the time I was able to fit my entire body in the little shelter KJ and I dug, it was probably 6:00 pm and Will still wasn’t back. A half hour of digging and most of the awkward positioning required to dig was no longer necessary, you could almost fit in sitting up, this was perfect timing because Will had just returned. I asked Will how far he thought we’d be by the time he came back and he said that this was pretty much it. Will and I squeezed ourselves in to dig out the rest while KJ made sure we didn’t block ourselves in with snow, it finally got done with enough space for all three of us to lie down in and it felt like home.
Finally when it came time to sleep in the quinzhee I wanted nothing to do with it. I was proud enough of our quinzhee to feel I had accomplished something without needing to actually sleep in it, it was the end of the day and I just wanted to sleep in an actual bed. I followed through and slept in the quinzhee despite no need for any extra pride. It was really warm in the quinzhee while we were working on it (literally to the point where I took my winter coat off) so when I went to ‘bed’ I slept in my underwear. I had actually brought a mat, and so had KJ, but Will hadn’t. He came up with the genius plan to share the two mats amongst the three of us leaving me split between them. Apparently there were spare mats for people, but there were none left. By the morning I didn’t even have a mat. Having no mat and sleeping practically naked made for a cold, miserable and wet night.

Overall it was a great experience; I’d love to do it again. Next time I’m going sleep in long johns.

Steven said...

The Wintercamp this semester provided some challenges, and difficult tasks, but it turned out to be a great time. The major difficulty I found was trying to keep dry, and more importantly, warm. The Quinzhee itself was fine, actually, pretty well built if you ask me. Incorporating a lean to and igloo into the quinzhee allowed easy build and take down. One downfall to the design would be the amount of cold air allowed to make its way through the tarp, branches, and snow. The amount of rain that fell encouraged dampness to the air, which soaked everything, which froze in the morning, providing an awful wakeup call in the sleeping bags. The Kraft Dinner was good but dinner was better the second time around. I didn’t eat much; snacks weren’t exactly the healthiest choice but definitely provided a distraction to issues in and out of the quinzhee. Preparedness was lacking, not only in the clothes we brought but in the quinzhees themselves, leaks and heat were an issue in the quinzhee, also trying to figure out where other quinzhee members would spend the night. By the end of the night our quinzhee was full with about 9 members sleeping with us.
Some things I learned not to do would be don’t forget to cover the exit with bags and do not be the one to sleep there because it gets cold pretty quick We didn’t have enough candles to last throughout the night but with nine people in a quinzhee it wouldn’t have made a difference I think. Snacks included a delicious chocolate log cake that was passed around many times. Not enough fire wood to last the night, although it looked like enough it was used very quickly.
The games were a blast and the chatting and work was worth every raindrop. There wasn’t much complaining but people had their doubts whether it was going to be a repeat of last year’s wintercamp. All in all it is a definite do again the people were great and cheerful the weather left something to be desired and the food topped it all off. What a great night!

Steven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ariana said...

This January, the Outdoor Ed classes took part in winter camp at our school, Cairine Wilson. My group (Shannon, Michaela, Debora, and Jessie) started out our shelter building with the construction of a quinzhee. Unfortunately, the day of the event we realized we wouldn’t have enough snow or time to finish our original design. So with a little guidance from Mr.Brouwer we decided to build a lean-to, which made better use of the snow we had already collected. It made our work significantly more efficient to build the open-sided shelter. It turns out we had just the right amount of snow.
By the time it got dark, around 5:30, we finished up building our lean-to. It was very spacious, and enough room for each of us to sleep. After working long and hard on our shelter, we went inside and collected our stuff to make dinner. We had vegetable/chicken soup, homemade mini pizzas, vegetables and apples. The warm soup was, satisfying and warmed our cold hands. For most of the night I sat around the fire, as it was raining and didn't want to get soaked more than I was. At 10:00 we went inside and got change into pajamas and got ready for bed. We brought out our sleeping bags and once inside our lean-to, talked for a couple hours. By the time I was falling asleep, my sleeping bag had already been affected by the wet weather. I could feel my feet getting wet from the steady stream of water pouring through our not so waterproof tarp.
In the morning I woke up freezing cold after a pretty uncomfortable sleep. My entire sleeping bag was drenched because of the rain we had throughout the night. I woke up at about 6:30, so I had to wait in my sleeping bag for a while before I could go inside. We pulled out the tarp with everything on it out, and we dragged all of our belongings back into the school. It was very cold outside and we were all pretty cold at this point. Once we got inside, we organized our stuff and helped to clean up. I had a great time at winter camp, and I enjoyed the experience, that I was lucky enough to share with great friends. Next year I will make sure to be more prepared for any type of weather. Bearing through the damp and cold night was not a very nice experience, but the lessons I learned and the fun I had made up for it. Once again, I cant wait for next year!

Arden.S said...

I have to admit, the week building up to wintercamp, I was a little bit nervous because of the lack of snow. We tried our best to make a quinzhee that would be big enough to dig out, but by Tuesday we realized that that wasn't going to happen, so we had to change plans. So, we decided to dig out from the top, and use tarps and tree branches as a roof for our shelter. Our group planned to make pasta with meat sauce for dinner, because we had done it on previous trips and really enjoyed it, because it is easy to make. However in our meal planning, we forgot fruits and vegetables, so we could have added something in their to make it a more balanced meal.

The night of winter camp was fairly mild, so the snow was melting a little bit, not drastically. We had a small hole in our tarp that was collecting water and dripping into the shelter. Luckily, we realized this before we were in bed, and with a quick change of tarps, any big problems were avoided. Early in the morning, the winds must have become strong, because our tarp was flapping around, and in trying to fix it, we made matters worse and the entire thing fell off. Luckily this was only about an our before we could go back into the school, so we went and joined some others who were awake in a different quinzhee.

What I liked most about winter camp this year was the mild temperature and the bonfires. We organized a big game of man hunt, which was fun. Also, everybody is always hungry come dinner time, and we all enjoyed a hot meal. What I would change next time around is I would always check the tarps for tears and holes before using them. We were lucky enough to notice early, but if we hadn't, somebody could have gotten quite wet during the night. Also, I would always plan ahead knowing that there is a possibility of strong winds, so making sure that the roof is strong is key.

All in all, I had a great winter camp experience this year. With the proper gear and learning from your mistakes, a night out in the Canadian winter really isn't as daunting as it seems!

shawn sernoski said...

I had gone camping many times during the summer but never in a quinzhee or even during the winter. At first I thought it would be a near impossible task due to the lack of snow, but we had a great stroke of luck. We noticed that the ski hill if hallowed out would make a perfect quinzhee but were almost certain the teacher would say no. We were surprised when he told us using the ski hill would be fine, from then on I thought it would be fairly easy. By the second day we already had enough room for four people and we spent the next couple of days gathering firewood, improving our quinzhee and helping others with theirs. We were well prepared to spend the night in our quinzhee, or so I thought.

The final night was great we had a large fire which we shared with other group members and used to cook things such as marshmallows, hotdogs and even bacon. We were also comfortable thanks to the benches we had made the day before and all our firewood was dry because of a small tent that was also set up the day before. Everything was going great until the time came to sleep. That’s when I started noticing the flaws in our design. The first one we had all known from the start our door was too long and too narrow making getting in and out slightly difficult. In the days leading up to this the only things we had to bring in and out were shovels so aside from being a minor inconvenience it was no big deal. When we were getting ready to go to sleep however it was a big problem because our sleeping bags and extra cloths were getting covered in snow. The second problem I discovered after I finished getting set up to go to sleep, before then I had never spent more than 10 minutes inside the quinzhee. We had forgotten to put air holes in our quinzhee making it hard to breath after a while but this problem was quickly fixed by one of our group members who made a large air hole using a shovel. The final flaw with our quinzhee was its massive size, it was far too large for our body heat to worm it up properly making it fairly cold.

Despite all these problems I enjoyed winter a lot and hope that we do it again sometime. I believe it will be much more enjoyable because I will have learnt from my mistakes.

Janic said...

For my first winter camping adventure the weather was not the best. Once school ended my group and I went straight outside to work on our quinzhee that we were working on three days prior. We were done building it but we needed to start digging out the inside. It took a lot longer than we expected but luckily Mr. Brouwer helped us out. We all worked very hard to dig out our quinzhee but towards the end the snow was too dense and hard. My group and I were just not strong enough to break apart all of the snow. We had to break apart all of the ice blocks that had been previously collapsed by whom ever used the quinzhee last semester. Once our quinzhee had been dug out the sun had set and it was time to make our dinner. My group and I had joined with the group in the quinzhee beside us to make a fire. We gathered up fire wood and all pitched in to help make the fire. Then two of us stayed to help keep the fire going as well as start bringing out all our food from inside and the other two people in our group walked to Metro to get more hot dogs before the store closed. We got a metal outline of a chair and put it over the fire, and then we got a metal girl to put over top of the rim. My group and I organized to have cheese burgers and hot dogs for dinner. We had also brought marshmallows, chips, trail mix, vegetables, granola bars, and fruit loops for the next morning. Once dinner was over we hung around the fire with the group in the quinzhee beside us. We talked, had a good time and roasted marshmallows. After that we had a big game of man hunt involving everyone who slept over that night. To finish off the night, the girls and I went inside the school for our last time to go to the washroom, brush our teeth, and change into our pajamas. We brought out all our night gear, such as tarps, sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets, inside of our quinzhee. The only thing I would change that we had done wrong was putting all of our stuff inside the quinzhee before laying down all of our tarps. It made getting comfortable a little more difficult and more crowded. In the end everything worked out fine and we all fell asleep around twelve. Our quinzhee sustained the cold winter night, and my group and I had a good night’s sleep, all things considered. The next morning it was hard waking up because it was so cold and early but by eight A.M. all of our stuff was packed and back inside the school. Then we eat our breakfast and lastly we went outside and we had collapsed our quinzhee. Despite the cold I had a lot of fun and my first winter camp was definitely a success.

Peter Bill said...

On the day of the wintercamp I was excited but I didnt have pretty much any idea about how it would go, people from the last wintercamp told me about how much great fun they had and how they all hung out all night and had a great time, and had a extremely cold sleep. So other then that, I had no idea. One thing I would right away do differently was I would have brought better gloves. I also probably would have gotten better tools to carve out our quinzhee with. We only had a broken garden tool and a shovel too big to be on the inside. Most of the night was spent working on the actual quinzhee because we were behind due to the snow that was very bad the days before, so we had to spend a bit more time working on our quinzhee but in the end me and graham got it done. It was pretty cozy, but it was cramped at the same time. The food that we ate that night was pretty good, me and graham were supposed to have shrimp but firas cooked it while we were working on the quinzhee and gave it to umar and magan who came over, and left none for us which kind sucked for us. But none the less we still ate good, I brought like two two litres of pop and we drank it all that night, along with 2 jugs of juice so we were stocked on the drinks side, But the drinks were next to our quinzhee while our fire was by Jordans and Travis', because Waqqas and Firas were unable to start a fire near ours, so that was also one of the reasons we were unable to get the shrimp because they were cooking it down at Jordans Later in the night when we were going to bed, we all had trouble getting into the qunizhee so we had to go in one at a time, while we were all tired so we were all laughing like crazy. We spent about half an hour in our quinzhee before we all noticed that water was dripping in, and we noticed that the roof was melting. Thinking that it was going to collapse, we decided that we didn't want to stay there so we moved our stuff outside, but it started to poor rain causing all of our stuff to get wet. After it was all wet, and we had nothing else to sleep in, we decided to leave to firas's house, it was unfortunate as I think we would've had a better time after, but it had to be done because we had nothing left to sleep in. I think that we should have definitely not left because after supposedly our roof was one of the more harder ones to break, but it was a split second decision and we genuinely thought that the roof was going to collapse, so we thought it was the right decision. Overall the night was great other then the rain was fairly bad timing, which I believe helped our decision about going home. The temperatures were amazing until once again the rain caused it to drop quite a bit. But other then that I believe that the winter camp was a really fun experience and I enjoyed it a lot, it is definitely a memory that I will remember.

Meagan said...

Winter camp reflection
The day Mr. Brouwer told us about the winter camp I was sort of in shock, and a little bit in denial that we were actually going to be sleeping outside in the middle of winter! Even though it’s not my usual thing to do, I decided to give it a try. You only live once, may as well try as much as you can. We had all the tools we needed to build the quincee, but once it actually came time to start piling the snow, I realized that it was going to be harder than I thought.

The first day of building my group and I had all brought a shovel to use and we thought we had all the tools necessary, but we soon realized that three small shovels were not going to make a pile of snow very quickly. Luckily we found a big shovel we could borrow from one of the other groups. That was a good idea, but after about 3 times pushing the shovel up a snow pile, I felt like I was going to die. Not only was the snow very wet, but there were also chunks of ice in it, which made it even harder to shovel. Even though we only had four days to build the quince, my group and I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be. We all sort of thought that we had more time than we actually did, which left us having problems later that night. The day that we were supposed to be sleeping outside, we spent over 3 hours working on our quincee! After an hour, we started to dig out the middle of it, but then got the devastating news from Mr. Brouwer that it wasn’t tall enough, and we had to keep piling the snow on top before we can dig it out.

After we spent some time working on our quincee we decided to take a break from building because we were all hungry. We went to start making dinner, but realized our group had not communicated, and there were two different meals planned for the night. I was a little bit confused, but I decided that I was going to eat the hotdogs that Tonisha had brought. I definitely think that we should have planned a little bit better because we sort of forgot about the food, and it was very poor last minute planning. After we took the time to eat, we went back to working on the quincee, because it still was not dug out. I was very nervous as to what would happen the rest of the night.

I started to get really worried that we wouldn’t have anywhere to sleep because we were still working on our quincee well into the night. After about 8:00pm we decided that our quincee was not going to be done for the night, and decided to go to option B: find someone else’s quincee to sleep in. Hannah had already had an offer from another group, but that still left Tonisha and I with nowhere to sleep. Travis and his group were nice enough to offer for us to stay with them, but after about an hour, I was getting really uncomfortable because they had no room to move in their quincee. At 2:00am, Tonisha and I decided that we could sleep in there, and tried to find somewhere else to sleep. Everyone else was already asleep, so we decided to sleep outside on the pavement. During the night all my stuff had gotten wet, and I didn’t plan for that, so I was forced to sleep in wet clothing, in the cold. That’s not such a great mix! We also left all the snacks we had brought in the boys quincee, which left us hungry as well. Looking back on that, I really wish we hadn’t slept on the pavement because by the time the morning came, we were completely frozen, and just wanted to go home.

As I look back on that night, I wish I had done some things differently, such as taking the quincee building more seriously right from the beginning, brought more snacks and definitely more clothes, so I could stay dry. Overall, even though I had some major obstacles to face that night, I ended up having fun. I would definitely do the winter camp again, because this time was a lesson to learn from for the next time.

matt mackay said...

Winter camp was definitely an experience that I looked forward to coming into Outdoor Ed for the second time I knew the hardships and problems from the year before and I was ready to learn from them. Still, one of my favorite outings of the year.

The weather conditions for winter camp were not the most ideal. The weather was abnormally warm and we even got some nasty rain. The rain definitely didn’t dampen my spirits. As the night went on I was having a great experience at the school climbing into quinzhees and building make shift fires and improving on the quinzeeh, as many in my group didn’t believe it would withstand the weather.

As the night got later and later the temperature seamed to drop more and more, but the persistent rain just kept coming. This made for an uncomftorble time getting ready for bed as my boots were completely soaked from the rain and wet snow and getting comftorble in our crammed, soaked quinzeeh was not an easy task. In my quinzeeh I had Jon, Umar and Kyle we believed the quinzeeh would be big enough for everyone needless to say it wasn’t the roomiest .Jon succumbing to the cold and cramped space left us in the night to seek warmer shelter at home. This was more or less welcomed as it meant the rest of us had a much more spacious sleep. Getting to sleep for me was quite the task as it got damper I became very uncomftorble and very warm stripping down to my wicking layers I rode the night out with a good sleep.

The lesser part of Jons departure was the fact that I had learned from the year before that bigger was not always better since the extra space also left more room for the cold night air to creep in. Again learning from the year before we built a successful platform were we would stay warm, but still damp. We ended up talking and reminiscing about the great successful day we had just finished.

In the morning I was awaken by Jon yelling into the shelter which wasn’t the best awakening. I realized going down to my wicking layer was not the most ideal thing to have done. The quinzeeh was extremely cold mostly do to the dampness in the air. My group laid in the quinzeeh talking about exactly what was going to happen when we removed ourselves from our wet sleeping bags. I had learned a lot more than I expected from the year before, I decided it would be much more efficient to put all the contents of the quinzeehs on our tarp. Once we completed the task, walking in my soaking boots I dragged the tarp straight into the Outdoor Ed room after returning to the quinzeeh for one final inspection I realized that it was warmer outside the quinzeeh, this gave me a quick reminder of how long we stayed in the quinzeeh believing it would be colder outside .I felt pretty dumb but that was to be expected.

All in all was the winter camping was definitely one of the high lights of the year and I loved every bit of it. I gained much new knowledge and also many great memories. I hope to one day to go winter camping later in life and use the lessens I was taught from this crazy and fun time.