Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wintercamp - Feb. 20 & 21, 2013

The wintercamps this semester were a great success. The weather was perfect, we had lots of snow, and the shelters were of high quality. A perfect scenario for the many first time winter campers.

 
This semester we decided to split the group in two and have two nights out. This was a great advantage to all, as each Quinzhee was able to be used twice, which meant double the amount of people to build and to dig out the shelters. Most groups decided to do this and it resulted in large and well designed Quinzhees, which is key to a good nights' sleep.
 
 
The temperatures for both nights hovered around -10 C, which is perfect for a night out in the snow. Cool enough to ensure people don't get too wet and not too cold. The Wednesday night crew did have quite a bit of wind mixed with some snow blasts, which made it seem much cooler, apparently -27 C with the wind chill. That didn't stop our crew from enjoying the night. We knew the winds were coming and walls were build around the campfires, where many hot dogs and marshmallows were roasted. The students also played games like manhunt to keep themselves warm, but most importantly, once inside the Quinzhees, the winds were not even noticeable. On Thursday night, there was very little wind and a quite mild -4 C and you could tell as students hung around the fire a bit longer than the night before.


 
Most of the students this semester had never spent a night out in winter and with only a few exceptions, the majority had a great warm night.
 
I will let the students tell their stories in the comments below.
 


40 comments:

Ben Wilson said...

Winter Camp Reflection

This was my first time building a quinzhee and sleeping outside in the winter. There were so many things that I would look forward to again on this trip but also a few things that I would better prepare myself for next time.

My group got off to a very good start because of the abundance of snow on the ground. Because we only had to fit three people, we did not focus on making a giant quinzhee. If there’s anything I have learned from this experience, it would be to make a lot more space for comfort. Austin, Travis and I were as close as we had ever gotten because of how small the space inside the quinzhee was. Luckily this kept us warm even though we had failed to make a cold sink. These were only the few negative things about this experience. The rest were all a lot of fun.

For food, we worked with Matt and Tyler so that we could share different varieties of food and have a central fire. We collected a great amount of firewood before it was dark and cut it in to appropriate sized logs. The fire kept very hot all night which made it easy to get food going if anyone was hungry. Our food selections were a mix of healthy foods such as rice, soup and beans, along with the more unhealthy hot dogs. To drink we had Gatorade and water. After dinner, we gathered some people for a game of manhunt around the field. This kept us warm, even though the weather was already nice. It also made us tired for a good night’s sleep.

I was very anxious for winter camp and it turned out to be even better than I expected. I was very well prepared which made me feel less stressed. If I went to winter camp again, I would focus on a larger quinzhee and a cold sink.

Brandon Hartford said...

Winter Camp Reflection

Winter camp was one of the most enjoyable times that I’ve ever had camping. There were a lot of things that I learned I should have brought and wished that I had to make winter camping more enjoyable.

When I was building my quinzhee it started off very well but it didn't end as well. It was difficult to get a large amount of snow because there were 2 groups very close by who built large quinzhees and took most of the snow. Aaron and I decided to build over a collapsed quinzhee, which seemed like a good idea because the foundation gave us a very large quinzhee. However, when we were digging out the snow for the quinzhee there was a lot of ice because of the pre-existing quinzhee. The next time, I wouldn't build on top of a pre-existing quinzhee because of how time consuming it was to dig out the ice. Another problem we experienced is, when we were almost done digging out the quinzhee, the roof collapsed on us. We made the roof way too thin. As a result, we had to sleep in a quinzhee beside us that was not fully dug but still had enough room for the two of us. The one disadvantage was that we didn't have enough time to level out the bed or make a cold sink, which led to an uncomfortable sleep. This was our biggest mistake and if I were to do winter camping again I would pay a lot more attention to the location and building of the the quinzhee.

The food that I brought for Aaron and I was very unhealthy but quick to cook. I brought juice, chips and hotdogs. I probably should have brought healthier food but luckily Aaron brought potatoes, carrots and onions to cook over the fire. Unfortunately, half-way through cooking the vegetables the fire began to wane and we ended up eating half-cooked vegetables. My group worked with the other groups to collect firewood, build the fire and construct a hangout around the fire. Working together really sped up the process. The fire took a while to get started but when it did, the fire was very hot. The fire started to wane when people were cooking their food and it was a huge annoyance to try and maintain the heat. It was very cold throughout the whole winter camp. To stay warm we played manhunt and hung out around a fire.

I was a bit nervous about sleeping outside during winter but it wasn't that bad. It was a bit difficult at times to stay positive but having other people share the experience and helping out was great. I learned a lot of things from winter camp. You should always be over-prepared because you never know what's going to happen and what you'll need. Also, while food that is fast to heat and eat is great, it's better to have healthy and filling food. Being hungry or thirsty can really ruin the experience. I would definitely do this again as a group. I would recommend winter camping to anyone.

Brandon Hartford

Ross Peverley said...

WINTER CAMP REFLECTION

Winter camp was great. It was maybe a bit chilly at times, but nothing that the campfire or a sleeping bag couldn’t fix easily enough. I knew what I was getting into, because I’ve slept out in the winter a couple times before.

I have so many good things to say. Our quinzhee had a good cold sink, and was more than big enough for me and my group, with even a little extra space on the sides and between us. The fire started without a hitch, and our food cooked quickly over the coals.

I can say, without a doubt that my favourite part about winter camp was that I was working and having fun with people that I normally wouldn’t be doing things with, or even talking to. They were all people I’d known and seen before, but I had never really talked to too many of them before. I was forced to work with people outside of my immediate group of friends, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

Even though the people were my favourite part, some of them were also the most frustrating aspect for me. It could have been a lot better if people would just do little things, like making sure that shared places like the firepit were kept clean, or going out and getting more wood when it looked like we were running out.

So sure, some of the people got on my nerves, but they also made it a memorable experience for me. Other than that, I don’t really have anything else to say about winter camp (except maybe that I need to remember to bring a flashlight next time).

David Watson said...

Winter Camp Reflection
By David Watson

I did the winter camp on Thursday, February 21. My group was Benoit, Brandon, Tommy and me.

BUILDING THE QUINZHEE. We started by piling a massive pile of snow that would fit four to sleep comfortably. This took about two class periods to pile. We finished piling on Thursday and it was a PD day on the Friday and Family Day on Monday so the Quinzhee had 4 days to freeze and set. After the snow set, my group started to dig out the snow inside to make the Quinzhee. It was hard work because the snow was settled and we had to chip out pieces. We also had to make our platform good so we didn’t freeze. We tried to make the platform as comfortable as possible but it was tough to get it completely smooth and flat. Over all, the Quinzhee was fun to make and it was a good experience.

WHAT I BROUGHT. Using the checklist that Mr. Brouwer supplied, I packed pretty much everything on the list. I didn’t bring a thermal insert and I think I should have because I would have been warmer. I also should have had a better tarp to put down on the plat form and more foam mats so it was more comfortable and not so cold.

WHAT WE BOUGHT AND OUR FOOD MENU. We walked to the Metro twice that week and bought some food and supplies. We bought hotdogs and buns, baked potatoes, drinks, watermelon and the ingredients for smoors, although we didn’t make the smoors. We cooked our supper over the fire on the grill and it was pretty good. We lost a hotdog and bun here and there in the fire but still had enough for the 4 of us. Overall we had enough food.

SLEEPING IN THE QUINZHEE. After school we went outside to work on the Quinzhee and fire pit and got the wood we needed. Then we went into the school and watched the basketball game – CW vs. Rideau. It was a good, long game. We then went out and had our supper. After supper we put the fire out and got ready for the night. I prepared my bed before supper. When in the Quinzhee, we played cards for about 45 minutes until about 11:00 p.m. We were tried so we tried to go to sleep. I was tired so I feel asleep fairly fast. I slept for the night but woke up at about 4:00 a.m. and couldn’t fall back to sleep after that because I was cold. I wasn’t cold throughout the night though.

THE NEXT MORNING. In the morning, I got up at 6:30 a.m., got dressed and went and cleaned up around the Quinzhee and our fire pit. The rest of the group got up around 7:00 to 7:15 a.m., and we all went in to shower and for breakfast. The breakfast was very good and a great way to top off the experience.

WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENT. There are a few things that I would do differently. I would make a better cold sink, bring healthy food, bring a thermal insert and use a better tarp and mats to sleep on, and bring more card board and drier wood to start the fire.

Overall, I really liked this activity and can’t wait to do it again next year. It was the first time to sleep outside in the winter. I might even try to build a Quinzhee at home with my brother because there is still a lot of snow.

Rhiannon said...

Winter Camp Reflection – Rhiannon Davies
On Wednesday, February 21st, 2013, my fellow classmates and I stayed overnight at the school and slept in a quinzhee as part of our Outdoor Education Class. We were required to make our quinzhees from scratch so that they were fit to sleep in. We were also required to entertain and feed ourselves until the next day of school.
I thoroughly enjoyed nearly all aspects of winter camp; being surrounded by kind people in the light-hearted atmosphere that it was, felt truly gratifying.
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed digging our quinzhee, despite the fact that very few of our group members actually assisted. Our group ended up having a very warm and spacious quinzhee.
To no shock to me, my least favourite part of the winter camp was the fact that we needed to get up in time for school the following morning! Well, I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the post-camp cleaning, but it’s just one to those things that needs to get done.
One thing that I have learned throughout our over-night quinzhee stay is that it is always a good idea to pack spares of everything. I found that, no matter how careful I was, the clothing layers that I wore had a tendency to get quite wet. I even ended up wearing a garbage bag to make certain that my layer of wicking would remain dry and comfortable!
If given the opportunity, I would do this trip again in a heartbeat. However, in retrospect, there are a few things I would do differently. For example, instead of each individual of the group providing their own food, I would probably try to organize something that involved more communal snacking or a warm dinner, as all I ate was a sandwich.
Although at times during our overnight adventure there were some more difficult and less pleasant times, the experience as a whole was quite positive and enjoyable.

Jessica Wilkes said...

I had a great experience on winter camp night. I learn how to build a quinzhee, what a quinzhee needed to be warm and what warm winter clothes I needed. The quinzee was hard to build and was a lot of work, I thought it would be easier to build a quinzee when working with another group but they didn’t do much to help build. I think my quinzhee was good as far as quinzhees go. It was strong and warm and big enough to fit my group and me comfortably.

What I really enjoyed about winter camp was sleeping in the quinzhee because my paranoid mother would have never let me sleep in a quinzhee, so it was my first time doing something like that and it was really fun. I also really enjoyed sitting around the fire with my group cooking our dinner, since our fire wouldn’t start.
What I would do differently is clothing, I took the less is more rule a little too seriously and wore less when I should have worn more. So I would defiantly bring warmer clothes and more layers. I also wouldn’t build a fire pit at the last minute because it didn’t work very well and are wood was very wet so the fire would not start.

Our food could have been more nutritious because all we brought was hotdogs and chips when we could have brought more healthy stuff. I would do winter camp again because it was hard work but it was worth it in the end because it was really fun.


Briana Day said...

Winter Camp Reflection

Since I have a father who is an outdoor enthusiast, this wasn't my first time building a quinzhee. It was just for fun and we didn't intend on sleeping in it so we didn't consider crucial components of a good quinzhee.

This time around, I learned a lot about building a good, stable quinzhee. We were a group of 5 girls, and the group who went on wednesday night was a group of 6 girls so we knew that our quinzhee had to be big. This was a bit intimidating because it was more work that we had to do in little time. It was far easier than we thought it would be to build a quinzhee so ginormous because we had 11 girls working on it.

For food, most of the girls had hot dogs while I had a hamburger because I don't like hot dogs. We also had rice and a variety of vegetables. We decided to share a fire with another group so that it was less work for us all. But after numerous failed attempts at starting a steady fire, we joined another group to cook our food.

Before getting ready for bed, we managed to fit about 16 people in our quinzhee sitting down. It was quite surprising and the quinzhee was really warm. This changed after the five of us girls were left to sleep because our cold sink wasn't very effective and we were mostly cold the whole night.

As a group, we definitely learned a lot, and will bring our new found knowledge to other activities that we will be doing throughout the semester.

Going into this experience, I didn't know what to expect, but at the same time I wasn't very nervous at all because I do quite enjoy the outdoors and adventure. I would definitely sleep in a quinzhee again, but next time would focus more on building an effective cold sink, and collecting more wood.

Alex Dupuis said...

I have never been camping in the winter and did not know what to expect. There were 5 of us in our group and we knew that we had to all do an equal part to have a successful quinzhee.



The process of building our quinzhee was slow as we often got distracted. At first we started off strong but halfway through the period we were often sidetracked and left it. Since we were one of the only groups to not share our quinzhee with another group, the process was naturally slower. On the last two days of construction we started to panic and we realized that the five of us would not be able to fit in it. Luckily one of the other quinzhees broke down the first night and they were forced to sleep in our quinzhee and decided to speed up the process of digging it out. Our quinzhee also had a solid wall to block the cold wind and put a fireplace. It was hardly used so we found the building process to be pointless in a way and decided that next year the quinzhee should be the main priority.



The biggest let down of the night was the food. We ate cold hotdogs and my selection of food was limited due to lent (giving up something for religion). Half the hotdogs I ate weren’t even on a bun either. This was because of lack of firewood found because we waited until the middle of the night to find some. One of our biggest successes was after when we ate, a group had extra firewood and decided to lend us some. This made us warm all night and we were satisfied with the heat.



Sleeping in the quinzhee was a bit difficult because of how compact we were. We had a good cold sink and it was warm. One of our members did not enter the quinzhee until we were already asleep and he had a hard time managing to fit in which woke everybody up. Luckily, me being the smallest in the group, I managed to find enough room to sleep.


I was nervous going into winter camp because of all the things that could happen to us (cold sink going wrong, claustrophobia and our quinzhee collapsing on us) but it turned out to be a good night. Now that I know what we did wrong, I can improve upon it next year!

Tristan Allaire said...

Wintercamp Reflection
By Tristan Allaire

From hearing about past wintercamp experiences from other classes, my expectations for the night were low. My idea of what wintercamp is, was very cold weather, wet quinzhees, and claustrophobia. Luckily, all of that was completely opposite of my experience.

The quinzhee itself was well built and perfectly suited for five people. Of course, we all had doubts as to how we would all comfortably sleep in the small place we had dug out, but it turned out to be just enough space to keep us close together and warm. We were all definitely happy to get a full seven hours of sleep that night. The cold sink and tunnel also seemed flawless. It felt as if there was absolutely no wind that night because of the well sheltered entrance. The biggest luxury our quinzhee offered was our firepit area. The 5-foot high half circle wall kept us, as well as the fire out of the wind. It was a perfect place for multiple groups to come and sit down for a while. Overall, our quinzhee was very solid and comfortable.

I felt as if my group was well prepared in terms of supplies also. I brought just the right amount of clothing. I was always warm enough and always had the option to change into an entirely different set of clothes if I had gotten wet. Although some of my group seemed to not be happy with our food, I never had a big problem with it. After our small supper of hot dogs, we all had the option of eating fruit and other healthy snacks. At no point in the night was I feeling hungry or too cold.

Overall, this was a great first wintercamp experience. I honestly don’t feel like there was much room for improvement as we were well prepared and the weather was perfect. I am definitely looking forward to next year’s wintercamp.

Thomas McDonald said...



This was the first time I had ever gone winter camping and it was so much fun. There was a lot of work involved pilling snow, digging out the quinzhee, building a fire pit and collecting wood for the fire. But I have to say it was totally worth it.
My group members where Benoit, David, Brandon and I. We decided to combine forces with Kaylie and Debbie so that we could build a bigger quinzhee more easily and faster. They stayed in the quinzhee on Wednesday and we stayed on Thursday night.
Building the quinzhee at first was not very fun as it was a lot of manual labour. The first 2 days where spent just pilling snow. This was not that much fun but all of our hard work those first few days really made our overall experience a lot better because we had a huge pile of snow that we could work with the following week. The next thing we had to do was dig out our quinzhee and because I am the smallest person in our group I got voted to be the one to start the tunnel and make the platform. At first I was reluctant because of fear of it collapsing on me and the fact that I knew there was not going to be much room to work in. I managed to make a decent tunnel which then allowed for enough room for David to work inside the quinzhee, so I took a brake and he started digging. Him and I alternated like that until we had made a platform big enough for two people to work in, we then both worked simultaneously and we actually created a lot of space inside our quinzhee. There was more than enough room for the four of us to spend the night.
The actual night was really fun even if a few set backs had occurred. After school we collected a lot of fire wood but the wood we collected was a little bit damp so when it came time to light the fire it was not easy. It took us I good 45 minutes to light the fire and get it to stay lit. Once we had the fire going we cooked hotdogs and potatoes. The hot dogs didn’t take long to cook however the potatoes took forever and they never really cooked fully. The outside edges of the potatoes where good but the middle didn’t really cook well and was rock hard. I would not recommend potatoes unless you want to wait a long time to have your dinner. For desert we had brownies and smoores. We tried cooking jiffy pop but it caught fire and burned. After we ate we went into our quinzhee and played several card games and chatted. We then went to bed.
Our quinzhee was really warm for most of the night it might of actually been a little to warm because it started to melt and the walls were allot thinner in the morning when we got up. This probably explains why it got really cold in the middle of the night. If I where to do the winter camp again I would focus on piling lots of snow for the quinzhee and also I would bring a extra pair of boots or shoes that I could keep dry to wear to school the next day. Also I would focus on collecting dry fire wood to easily start a fire. The winter camp was amazingly fun and I would gladly do it again next year.

Kelsea McKay♥ said...

This has been my first experience with building a quinzhee and with sleeping outdoors during the winter. Coming into outdoor Ed, I had been very nervous about Wintercamp from what I have heard from others about how you will be very claustrophobic; however I highly enjoyed the experience.

Building the quinzhee started off very slow since we built it in an area without lots of snow, so we had to walk further than the other groups to retrieve any. However once we had gotten started we worked quite fast since we had 11 girls working on it.

The night of the Wintercamp was a lot of fun and we made a lot of great memories. Our menu was a little bland. We shared a fire with another group and we cooked hot dogs over it, however we did not bring any condiments. As well as hot dogs, we had rice and vegetables. We had a little trouble with our fire since we had not collected nearly enough.

Our quinzhee was gigantic and that night we fit 16 of us in there at one time. However the size was a huge challenge for us, as well we also did not make a cold sink, so we were very cold that night. We used a tarp to cover the entrance and it moved in the middle of the night. Since I was the closest to the entrance I was freezing all night even though I had sufficient equipment and clothing, and I had less than an hour of sleep.

Our group learned a lot that night and there are many things that we would do differently next time. We would build a smaller quinzhee with a cold sink and cover the entrance with bags during the night. As well we would probably try to plan a meal with more variety and we would find more fire wood earlier on in the evening.

Other than my lack of sleep and how cold I was, the night was great and I am looking forward for it again next year.

Sarah.Fitzy♥ said...

Winter Camp Reflection
Building a quinzhee was definitely a new experience that I would love to try again. My sister previously attended Cairine Wilson and built a quinzhee so I was able to get some advice from her. The night went well, but there are still some things that I would do differently next time.

When we first started to build the quinzhee, I was very determined to finish the task. After one class of building it, the process seemed very slow and a lot harder than I had anticipated. We decided to share with another group so that we could finish sooner which ended up being a very good plan. The quinzhee quickly came together after about two or three classes. After letting the snow set for the weekend we began to dig it out. It was quite difficult to get the entrance started but once we made it up into the larger part of the quinzhee it became easier. We were finished the building process the day before our campout so we had the entire night to enjoy ourselves.

As our meal we had hotdogs, vegetables, rice and some not so healthy snacks. If I were to do this again, I would plan out a better meal. We shared a fire with another group but had quite a bit of difficulty getting it started so cooking our meal became a struggle. We eventually got it started and were able to cook our food.
Our quinzhee ended up being the “hangout” spot fitting around 20 people in at one time. It was very cozy and it helped the group bond. We were very lucky because the weather was very nice. There was little wind and the temperature was not too far below zero. I unfortunately got my socks and pants wet which made me quite cold. By the time I realized, the school was locked and I was stuck with some wet clothes. Next time I would definitely bring a small bag into my quinzhee with extra emergency clothes just in case.

Most of the groups went into their quinzhee’s at around 11pm but me and a few others stayed up by the fire. At this point we were quite cold and our fire was only blowing smoke in our faces. We did not mind much, we had each other’s company and that is all that mattered. As it became to be early in the morning we decided it would be good to get some rest. Since the other three members of our quinzhee were already asleep I was stuck sleeping in the entrance.

If we ever do this again, we will have to rethink a few things. Our entrance was not long enough which allowed for the cold air to easily come in. Also the entrance and the place where we were sleeping were on the same level which also allowed for cold air to come in. We would have to make a platform next time that is higher than where the entrance is. At first we thought that our quinzhee would be too small for six people, but it turns out that it was too big. Since it was too big, it was harder to get warm.

I got around 30 minutes of sleep since it was very hard to sleep in the cold. At around 6:30am Kelsea and I decided to clean up our things and to head inside. We were dressed and ready by around 7am. It was nice to have the hard part done and out of the way. Since we were ready so early, we went and helped prepare breakfast which tasted great!

Personally I thought it was a great experience. Sure it was cold and we did not sleep well, but in the morning it didn’t seem to matter. We had lots of stories to tell and we were surrounded by people that made the night fun no matter what. We now know what we need to do differently next year so that the experience will be even better.

Andrew Buist said...

Andrew Buist
Wintercamp Reflection

The night of my first winter camp ended up being the perfect temperature for the experience. There were five people in our group, and we knew that we'd have to work together if we wanted a comfortable night. Wintercamp this year was split into two different days, we decided to go on the second day, which worked out great because the weather ended up great and allowed us more time to work on our Quinzhee. Due to our extra time, we were able to completely finish digging out our Quinzhee on time, since we hadn't shared it with another group.

To help us stay warm, we decided it would be a good idea to make a wall to block the wind. This in addition to the platform, cold sink, and blocking the cold sink, allowed us to have a pleasant sleep while staying warm throughout the night. It also worked well because while three people worked on the Quinzhee, the other two would be building up the wall. This lead to us being able to have a great fire pit area, to make our food and hang out in peace, away from the wind.
Though we made a perfect area for our fire, and even got it going, the lack of enthusiasm to collect extra fire food made it so we were not able to maintain it. So we left and used another groups fire to relax and cook our food, while being able to hang out with them as well.

All in all my first winter camp, had perfect weather, we slept well, and learned that extra fire wood really helps if you want your fire to keep going for the night. After that great evening, I cant wait for my next winter camp to come!

Matt Gomes-Reissmann said...

As with most of the class, this was my first time sleeping 'outside'. I had been camping in chilly weather before, but nothing compared to this.This was probably the best time camping that I've ever had.

For the building of the quinzhees, there was a lot of great weather and snow available. Also, since one of our group members (Bradley) left for Costa-Rica after shoveling. So, we essentially had an extra builder. This resulted in a potentially large quinzhee.

On the day of the camp, it was just Tyler and I in our group. We had just finished hollowing out our quinzhee to be just large enough for the two of us. We had a nicely sized quinzhee that was very sturdy and equally warm. We included all of the key features to make it warm such as a large heat sink, a elongated entrance extending away from the wind, a small, but functional air hole, and a nicely enclosed fire pit that directed some heat into our shelter as well as providing seating for many people.

On the night of the camp, mine and Ben's group collaborated to gather fire wood and food supplies. Both of our combined groups gathered enough fire wood to easily last through the night as well as providing more wood for the groups that hadn't gathered enough. The other members of our groups brough our our dinner, which was soup, wild rice, crackers, fruit, peanuts,beans, gatorade and hot dogs, while I made the fire. I was the only one in our group to have any experience lighting a fire, so they left it to me. We ahd a large fire that cooked our meals as well as a few other group's.

After a game of manhunt, we all headed to bed. The inside of our quinzhee was very warm and suprisingly spacious. But at around 3 in the morning, the zipper of my sleeping bag ripped, exposing my to the cold for the rest of the night. I was still warm in the morning though.

I was not expecting the camp to go as well as it did, based on the stories of previous campers. It was a great time, with even greater people. I would do another winter camp like this anytime.

Matt Gomes-Reissmann

Jack Guthrie said...

Winter Camp Reflection
By Jack Guthrie

My first winter camp experience was fun and enjoyable! I’ve never done anything close to the idea of sleeping in a mound of snow, and I was a bit skeptical about it. But in the end it turned out to be a pleasant surprise!

Going into winter camp I wasn’t confident about the idea of sleeping in a quinzhee. There were so many things that could harm or hinder my winter camp experience. But once we began building our mound of snow I could see it start to be put together. With four people working on it in the morning and three people in the afternoon, we were able to be very productive. Having two groups in separate classes’ was a good idea, seeing as we had double the amount of time to work on it.

Throughout the entire night I was able to stay warm and dry. I packed enough clothes so that I was able to change out of wet ones and into dry ones. I even had dry clothes to wear to school the following day. One reason for me being so dry might have to do with staying inside for two hours to watch the varsity boy’s basketball team lose in triple overtime!

For dinner we had a nice meal of hotdogs, macaroni and cheese, and pizza! We were able to cook the hotdogs over the fire and I brought buns to put them in. We boiled the macaroni and cheese in a pot with hot water and when it was cooked, drained out the water. Luckily, someone from another group brought all the ingredients for making pizza, which turned out delicious!

One problem we encountered was the size of our quinzhee. While we piled enough snow to fit all of us, we didn’t hollow it out enough. We knew we had a lot more room to hollow ours out, but we thought we had enough room and elected to start collecting firewood and building our wall. This was a mistake, because when the time came for us to sleep in out quinzhee we were squished and uncomfortable.

I managed to stay completely dry over the whole night! When I woke up the head of my sleeping bag was wet, but luckily neither I nor my clothes got wet! A big part of this was the decision to bring a tarp and lay it down under our sleeping bags. It kept a dry layer between us and the ground.

The next morning when we woke the first thing we did was rush to go take a nice hot shower. Then it came time to clean up our things from the night. We started with packing up all our sleeping bags, excess food, and our tarp from inside the quinzhee. We then moved onto cleaning up our campfire area, we were able to collect all of our garbage from the previous night. But in the future we could have collected all the garbage from the fire to save another group from the work. We went inside for a delicious breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and fruit! Again, I could have played a bigger role in cleaning up, instead of relying on others to do it.

Overall, my winter camp experience was a great one! It was a fun experience and I had a wonderful time, and I would definitely do it again!

Megan Foy said...

Winter Camp Reflection
By Megan Foy
Winter Camp was a new and different but fun experience for me. Our group worked hard for three periods to gather enough snow to build a large enough quinzhee to fit six people comfortably. If I were to do this again I would build a bigger cold sink because even though the door to our quinzhee wasn’t facing the wind there was still a breeze coming in through the door. We had also built a wall in front of the door to block the wind. The temperature that night was -15 with the wind chill.
The day before winter camp, our group met up at lunch time to discuss what we were each going to bring for supper. We decided on hotdogs to roast over the fire, a vegetable platter of carrots, cucumber and broccoli, along with our white rice all together was substantiating. We also had some other baked goods, packaged snacks and juice boxes.
After we ate our dinner our group hung out around other group’s fire and quinzhee’s until bed time. It was a clear and chilly evening but we were all dressed warm and the fire was nice and relaxing after all the hard work of building our quinzhee’s.
Once we were tucked inside our quinzhee for the night and the door was sealed up with our backpacks I found staying asleep hard because even though my sleeping bag kept my legs and body warm, my face was still really cold. It seemed to be that I woke up every hour of the night to check what time it was.
In the morning we were treated to a nice big breakfast of bacon, eggs, pancakes and fruit and then we returned to our quinzhee’s to tidy our things.
It was a really fun experience and a lot of good memories were made!

Dominic said...

Winter camp was definitely one of my main experiences I wanted to do in outdoor ed. I've camped in cold weather before(Yukon), but this is something completely different as it's much colder and in a shelter made out of snow. I had high expectations and wintercamp didn't disappoint.

With five guys our snow mound came together much faster than I had anticipated, and 30min through the first period of work we had a large pile of heavy, wet snow. Because volume increases faster than surface area as the mound gets bigger, the bigger the snow mound got, the slower our progress seemed. We quickly became bored when our progress slowed and did other things.
As we started to dig out our quinzee the next day other people worked on making a large wall to stop the wind. This gave our quinzee a unique look and served as a hang out spot during the night.
Progress was slow digging out the quinzee, especially since we were the only group sleeping in it unlike the others who shared with 2 groups. As we continued digging it became easier and easier to do because we had more room to maneuver the shovel. A couple hours of hard work later, and as the sun set over the school we were done.
For dinner we had a very basic menu of hotdogs. We also had chips, crackers, soda, water, and some vegetables as snacks. I think a more thought out menu would have been beneficial, as ours was high in sodium and carbs. Our fire burnt very well for half an hour, but once we ran out of wood we were left with only darkness. Not even the 5$ offered to James if he restarted it were enough to get it going.
All was well as we settled in to sleep. We went to bed relatively early at about 11:30pm. I fell asleep in only under armour and long underwear but I was nice and cozy. Sadly I was interrupted at around 2:30am by Jared who only just came in, waking everyone up and pushing me off my mat. After yelling at him I quickly fell back asleep. I woke up at 6:30 in the morning feeling like I was in a sauna. It was crazy how hot I was, sleeping in a shelter made of snow. I guess our cold sink worked really well, coupled with the fact we were a bit squished. Pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast were a great way to end our experience at wintercamp.
Although we had some shortcomings, overall I loved wintercamp and can't wait to do it all over next year.

Amaresh Parameswaran said...

Winter Camp Reflection.

Being someone who does not enjoy the cold very much, I must say that I had a wonderful time that night. It was my first time building a quinzhee and sleeping outside in the winter. We were all prepared, but we could have done more to ensure our comfort level was higher.

To begin with, the construction of our quinzhee was made easy due to the fact that we had multiple people from both classes helping us. Having all the proper tools, including the heavy layers of snow, made building it much easier. We were sure that our quinzhee was going to be perfect for all of us! Unfortunately, this is where we encountered some problems. Though our quinzhee was big enough to fit us all, we were not all comfortable, and we could have been more comfortable if we had dug our quinzhee out more. The size of our quinzhee made the task of sleep much more cumbersome, leaving us with a disturbed and restless sleep. We had all the right properties of the quinzhee, except for the fact that we should have made it bigger.

I was able to stay warm and dry because of the amount of clothes I brought, and the different types of outerwear. It made my night less arduous and more comfortable.
For our meal, we had a variety of different foods. We began with hot dogs, then we made macaroni and cheese, and ended our meal with pizza, all cooked over the fire. We put the macaroni and cheese in a pot over the stove, expecting it to turn out miserably, but luckily; it was above average for a last minute meal. As for the pizza, another group had all the proper ingredients, and were nice enough to share with us.

The next morning we did something we anticipated ever since the school opened. We rushed in to take a nice warm shower! After getting cleaned up, we went back to our quinzhee, cleaning up excess food, our tarps, sleeping bags, and any trash we left behind at the fire pit. We could have done a better job in cleaning our fire pit, and we should have been more considerate, but overall, we did a pretty good job. After ensuring everything was cleaned up, we went inside to have a delicious breakfast which was prepared when we walked in. It consisted of pancakes, eggs, and fruit. All of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The entire process of the quinzhee building, sleeping and cleaning was very memorable. I had an amazing time, and I would do it again.

Teia Miracle said...

Winter Camp Reflection

A few friends and I participated in winter camp on February 21st. At first, I heard many stories that winter camp was not an enjoyable experience for most people in the other classes so I prepared myself for the worst. The entire group took apart of the quinzhee as much as possible, and there was hardly an arguments between any of us.

I was decently prepared for winter camp. Extra clothes, food, blanket, mitts, hat, and other supplies were brought along. I did not have the proper sleeping bag, unfortunately. Dinner was not of the healthiest kind. It consisted of popcorn, crackers, chicken, hot chocolate, and chips. We did not have a true meal plan for the group.

Between the time period after dinner till’ when we went to bed had to be my favorite part. All the groups together decided to play a couple games of manhunt in the dark. I got the experience of being taught how to make a fire.

Sleeping in the quinzhee was not as cold as I expected it to be. There were 5 girls (including myself) in our quinzhee which made it quite warm before going to sleep. Also, I shared a sleeping bag with a friend which helped combine our heat. It was a really good sleep, and not too cold of a morning.

My overall experience in the quinzhee was actually pretty good. I would do it again for sure. I got to have that experience with people I normally wouldn’t hang-out with, and it brought me closer to them. Outdoor Ed is giving me so many chances to experience things I wouldn’t normally take the time todo, and I love it. Of course if I was to do winter camp I would change many things (ex: be more prepared, make a meal plan) just so my experience could be a tad better.

Debbie_art said...

This was my first time doing winter camp and I have learned a lot from this experience. At first I wondered how we would be able to build a quinzhee.

I had no idea what a quinzhee was before wintercamp. My group consisted of 2 people, so there was a lot of room in our quinzhee to move around and sleep in. Our quinzhee was shared by two groups, and we decided to sleep on the first night.

It took a quite a while to pile the snow to make a large hill, but we managed to do it in a few days. Everyone cooperated to put in their effort to pile all the snow and it made the process quicker than if it were 2 people piling the snow.

The best part about building the quinzhee was digging the hole out, The first time going into a freshly dug out quinzhee was the best part of the building experience.

On the day of wintercamp, there were many preparations that needed to be made, so we spent most of the day preparing for the night. Fitting all of our equipment into the hole of the quinzhee was a bit of a challenge but we managed to put everything inside.

Once everything was organized, we relaxed inside our quinzhee and played games. Once night have arrived, everybody started making their fire for the food. I had to say that was one of my favorite parts of wintercamp.

Our dinner consisted of the usual hot dogs with ketchup and Juice. Other people around the fireplace had hamburgers and rice. After everyone was well-fed, we decided to play a game of man-hunt in the park. It was very fun, especially in the dark.

When it was time to sleep in the quinzhee, I fell asleep pretty fast. It was warm at first, but throughout the night it got colder and colder. In the morning, We woke up refreshed, but with a stuffy nose. We gathered our things and headed inside to help make breakfast. After we ate breakfast, we helped wash the dishes and headed to class at 9:15 A.M.
Overall, This wintercamp was a fun experience and what I would do differently, would be to prepare and organize my equipment properly and bring more equpiment.

tarasuprunchuk said...

Wintercamp was a new experience for me. At first I was a little hesitant but it went well.
The making of the quinzhees was difficult work, and I definetly did not think that we were going to finish in time, but our hardwork paid off and we finished early. I enjoyed the time after dinner the most, playing games and talking with friends.

Our dinner wasn't the best We had 6 people in our quinzhee, so it was a little crowded, but we made it work. Our quinzhee was a good temperature throughout the night. Everyone brought the right equipment and was able to stay warm.

Overall,winter camp was a great experience and i would definetly do it again

James Aufleger said...

Wintercamp Reflection


In summary, Wintercamp is fun yet challenging. Cooking a good meal for 4 people and trying to stay dry and warm is harder than it looks .It’s almost like crashing a plane in the arctic but with food, fire, friends and school the next morning.

There were plenty of learning experiences during Wintercamp. For instance, when Ryan felt sick we had to think fast and make him food and keep him warm. This meant making a quick mac n’ cheese for the group, which was quite challenging since we had to boil the water for a while. We ended up putting the pot directly on the fire which sped up the process ALOT.

Our Quinzhee was really well built in my opinion.We probably could have made it 2x bigger than it was but it was plenty big for 4 boys. During the night I was very warm but around 6 I somehow woke up (Amaresh kicks) and suddenly got very cold and could not manage to get back to sleep. My sleeping bag was great; a nice sleep for the most part.


The morning was not the funnest time I’ve experienced. The meal was great (thank you Mr. Brouwer) and the warm shower was probably my favourite part. Clean up was horrible. Everyone was tired and had no will power to step forward and do the work. School wasn’t bad but I needed lots of little naps.



Wintercamp was a great experience. My first camping trip to be exact. I had great partners, a well built built quinzhee, decent food and a bunch of friends to hang out with. A solid 9/10 for fun.

Benoit Fortier said...

Quinzee Reflection
During my experience with making the quinzhee I learned a lot of things about how to build a perfect quinzhee like creating a cold sink, adding air holes, sticking sticks of 30 cm in length around the quinzhee, so we would know when to stop digging out our quinzhee.
I also relearned how to make a fire. It’s been awhile since I made one myself from scratch. The group and I decided to make a log cabin with the sticks we gathered up. It took us about 10 – 20 minutes to start the fire and to keep it burning.
Over the fire we baked potatoes which we just put on the grill. They took a very long time to cook. We had some guinea pigs in our group that tested them to see when they were ready. We also had popcorn, hot dogs, hot dog buns, smores, orange crush and juice boxes. The popcorn was in a foil container to cook over a fire. Only half of the popcorn popped and it didn’t taste very good probably because it didn’t cook properly. I started the toasting of the hot dog buns trend in my group. Overall the food and drinks were delicious.
David’s matches, my tissues, Brandon’s graham cracker box to help make the fire. The tissues burned too fast. The cardboard box worked much better to help start the fire Fire Building: It was easy to make the fire because we were able to work together and we used. Thank goodness, we spent 1 ½ hours collecting firewood. It’s better to have too much than not enough. Some groups ended up not having any firewood to make a fire and some were not able to start a fire.
It was great fun and exciting in many different ways. I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. I learned how to build a fire, how to make a quinzhee, what not to bring in with me in the quinzhee. I enjoyed playing manhunt, sleeping in the quinzhee, making it, and hanging out with my friends. It was exhausting digging out the quinzhee especially digging out the opening. It was cold sleeping on top of mats instead of having a tarp underneath me. My fellow quinzhee group members borrowed it.
Make sure you are the first one to go into the quinzhee because if you are the last which I was, there’s not much room to unpack your stuff and everyone is yelling at you. I would totally do it again. It was a lot of fun! Thank you very much Mr. Brouwer for taking the time for letting us sleep in the quinzhee overnight at school.

Benoit Fortier


Ashley Lee said...

Winter camp Assessment

When I went to winter camp I had heard a lot of stories. I heard that it was not a fun experience and that many people were too cold and unprepared for the night.
So hearing all these stories I wanted to make sure I was prepared for the worst. I made sure that I had all that I need, like; a warm sleeping bag, change of clothes, lots of food and water, etc.

Before we got to sleep in the quinzhee we had to build it. You'd think that it would be easy to shovel a little bit of snow and then dig it out. I thought wrong, it was probably one of the hardest experiences I've had in a while. Mostly because we didn't have that many people to help out. We did our best to build a shelter big enough to fit five girls. One of the problems we ran into was that the people from the other class who were sleeping in it were very short. So the quinzhee ended up looking like it was not going to be big enough but in the end it was actually pretty huge. My partner Rhiannon and I had to work overtime to make sure the quinzhee was going to be finished in time so we ended up digging out the quinzhee for about 3 full periods, including lunch. It took a lot of time and effort to finish it and we were not expecting it to be so time consuming.

At the end of building our quinzhee it was a lot of fun. We made supper, put in our sleeping bags, changed our clothes and stayed in the quinzhee for the night. I wanted to make sure that I was warm for the night so to ensure that I put a sleeping inside my sleeping bag, I also wore some thermal snow pants.
The night was pretty good in my opinion, I had a good sleep and I was warm.
Once we woke up we had to get straight to cleaning out the quinzhee so that we could get clean and make breakfast inside.

Overall I had pretty good time during winter camp, it was definitely an experience to remember. There's definitely not that many people who can say that they slept in the snow overnight.
-Ashley L.

Alistair Rennie said...

Winter-Camp Reflection

By: Alistair Rennie

Our group went on the first night and it was one of the most fun experiences that I have ever had. At first, when we went to select where we would set up our quinzhee, we used one of the old ones from last semester and built using it as a base. This did not work as planned as the old quinzhee was frozen solid and made digging out extremely hard. Other than that, building the quinzhee was very fun and we somehow managed to fit everyone inside. Out side the quinzhee we had a wall built to stop the wind but it was not nearly tall enough and did not do much as a wind-break.

I had borrowed my Dad’s old British military camping gear to use during Winter-Camp. Although the sleeping bag was rated at -40, I still had a cold night. When I woke up, I could not feel my fingers and I was really worried but after some warm air and water I regained feeling in my fingers.

After everyone got inside I had called home and left school that morning. Looking back, Winter-Camp was an experience that I would do again but next time start from scratch.

Jared McWilliams said...

This was my first time attending wintercamp, and it was a great experience. I had a fun night, and i would definitely do it again, with maybe a few minor changes.

We had a very good setup at our campsite, but we sacrificed extra space in our quinzhee for this. Five guys was very snuggly in our little quinzhee, and since by the time I was getting into our quinzhee for the night, my entire group was already tucked in and asleep, I had a hard time settling in. With my head and the opening of my sleeping bag positioned directly infront of the door it was a fairly chilly night, but I slept OK.

Food wise, we didn't make the wisest decisions. We paired with another group and decided to have hot dogs, on a fire that turned out to be non-existent. Our group struggled with getting a fire going, and then by the time we had already eaten a bunch of cold hot dogs we finally had it burning.

All in all it was still a fun night and I really enjoyed the experience!

Ryan Burtch said...

As soon as my sister told me she got to sleep in a snow shelter for outdoor ed, I was really excited to try winter camp.

I haven't camped much before in my life but I have to say winter camp was one of the best times I have had doing it. Although we encountered some problems, it was a great time in general. We had two groups working on the same quinzhee which means we we're able to finish our quinzhee in no time. One of the best parts about building the quinzhee was carving the inside out and pushing all the snow out through the tunnel. At first it feels claustrophobic, but once you kick the snow out through the tunnel, it begins to open up and you never want to leave.

One of the problems I faced was that I wasn't feeling well, but my group members took care of me and soon enough I was feeling better , and having a good time again. Also my boots were getting really wet, but I brought an extra pair which came in handy. For most of the night,. I sat around with friends by the campfire or in a quinzhee. My group brought a variety of different foods like hot dogs, popcorn, fruit etc. We joined with another group by the fire and made a pizza with wraps, tomato sauce and pepperoni. After eating and socializing with friends, my group went into our quinzee and hung out for a while before going to bed. I had a pretty good sleep but we were squished together. Next year we will have to make it bigger so that we all have room.

Overall winter camp was a great experience and I hope to do it next year again. !!!

HannahW said...

This year was my second time participating in Wintercamp, and I can certainly say, it was far better than my first experience.
Last year was a miserable night spent digging outour quinzhee until 8 o'clock then going to bed early and shivering alone in a three person shelter until dawn.
This year however my group and I learned from past mistakes. We threw ourselves more heavily into the work and were rewarded by having our quinzhee completed in time for the first set of campers on Wednesday night. Come Thursday, we were able to kick back and relax until dinner.
Unfortunately, dinner was one of the things that didn't go so well. While we had firewood and new how to start a fire, our wood had become damp and we had difficulty lighting it for more than a few seconds. We ended up joining some neighboutring groups at their firepit. Also, while dinner tasted fine and sustained us for the night, we didn't make enough of an effort to include all of the food groups.
All in all, wintercamp was fun and completely doable for one night, but our plan would have to be changed if a trip lasted more than one night.

Leslie Hunt said...

During our winter camping experience our groups found out there were some problems with out plan for the night. The night got off to a very good start and continued down that good path for most for the night.

Our first mistake occurred before we got to the night of our winter camp. When building a quinzee you are suppose to make a cold sink to minimize the amount of cold air that is allowed into the sleeping area at night. When we started the dig out we saw that we had built it on a slight hill and thought that would be enough of a cold sink, to our surprise that it wasn’t sufficient during a cold night. Also being a large group of people with five sleeping in our quinziee we were concerned with it not being large enough, unfortunately I feel we made it to large in the end. The inside of our quinziee was massive. For people coming in a hanging out at night it was excellent holding around 16 - 20 people sitting, but once night hit and there were only five of us it was hard for all of us to keep the quinziee worm.

When we got out on the night we had found our fire wood early so we wouldn’t have to in the dark and set it in the fire pit. The problem with that was that the wood got wet sitting in our snow fire pit. Also we didn’t have enough small kindling to set the other larger sticks on fire so if something lit it was hard to keep it lit.

When it came to setting up to sleep we had brought two tarps, one for the ground and one for the entrance. The problem we encountered was that the tarps we had brought were two small for us to all sleep on one so the one that was to cover the entrance was brought in to sleep on. Therefore the entrance was virtually uncovered.

Our winter camp experience was filled with challenges and I didn't sleep all that well but I had fun doing it. It was a good experience of team building and testing yourself and I would love to do it again and fix our mistakes.

Henry Nguyen said...

Winter camp reflection
Part 1
I was glad when I found out that we would be making and using a quinzhee over night. I used to go to cadets; they had bush weekends and one of them was a winter camp where they'd use quizhees, but I couldn't make it. There was a lot of things that I wish I could do again soon, but I would bring some extra things that I had forgot.
I was in a group with Ross and Jack Fleming but when it came around to build the quinzhees, James, Jack Guthrie, and Ryan Burch helped us build one that we would share. My group would use it on night one, and Jack's group would use it on night two. Since we had four people working in one period we got a lot done in the very beginning. The only problem is that when it came around to digging it out we realized that there wasn't enough room to work. Eventually we got to the point where two people could work inside the quinzhee at the same time. We soon decide that there is enough room for four people at the same time. We decide that it was good enough even though we could have made it bigger. There wasn't any problems on people not pulling their weight. We were even fighting over who got to continue digging in the quinzhee. Me, Jack Fleming, Ryan, and Ross stayed after school to work where as Jack Guthrie and James worked on a fire pit.

Henry Nguyen said...

Winter camp reflection
Part 2
On the night my group was staying I asked if a friend wanted to hang out with us later. He then comes back in a hour with warm nachos and homemade ice cream. The right thing to do would to probably not accept it, but I did anyways. All four of us worked together to collect fire wood and help others. When it gets darker my group had made a fire. When making the fire we used the log cabin method where you stack wood similar to the game jenga and put fire starters in the center. Cooking the over the fire wasn't too difficult since we had precooked hot dogs, and ground beef for burgers. Other groups joined in as we ate dinner. Other groups came over because of the fire; they didn't help with it all. No fire wood was even offered until the very end. Soon after my friend leaves as it gets later. When the fire died out my group had decided to bring the fire back which we did. It was a lot harder the second time. Me Jack and Ross took turns blowing into the fire, but we managed. Of course when the fire started up again other groups come in not helping at all, and even leave garbage at the fire pit this time. I got pretty worked in my head for a second, but I didn't let it get to me too badly. Me Jack and Ross then grab our belongings from the school and bring it to our shelter.
I had used a summer sleeping bag overnight but that wasn't the problem. It was really cold in the quinzhee when I tried to go to sleep. My back was cold but I had no Idea why. At three in the morning I realize that when I moved over to make room for jack, I had gone off the sleeping mat that I borrowed. Soon after I didn't have a problem with sleep. In the morning I realized that my shoes were frozen, and practically impossible to get on. I brought my mittens and shoes to the bathroom to dry them under the dryer. I then realize that I still need to stay at school for classes. I got dressed and had breakfast with my group in the food room. My group could of helped more with breakfast, but we did help in a bit before and cleaned up after ourselves.
In the end it was a great experience. Sure there were people that got on my nerves, but I guess that it made it a bit more memorable. Maybe next time i'll make sure I'm on a actual mat before I go to sleep too.
(by the way I wasn't sure if the comments were being posted yesterday because I would hit post and I wouldn't see my comment)

Noelle Saumure said...

All week long, the people in our group worked hard each period, at lunch, and even after school so that our Quinzhee would meet our standards. Having six people in our Quinzhee, it was difficult to make it tall enough and wide enough for all of us. When we were finished, though, it was as tall as it was wide, and fit all six of us comfortably. Our group had helped another group to make a fire pit, and also shared our food with them. It was a fun night, but sleeping turned out to be a different story altogether.

When our group finally gathered into our Quinzhee to sleep, it was freezing cold. The candles that our group had not been stuck in the wall, nor had they been lit long enough. All noght long I was freezing cold, even though I had an extra sleeping bag, blanket, and had heating pads in my socks. It was so cold I woke up every hour until eventually, the teacher came to wake us up. I was relieved when I got inside, because it was warm, and also because we had a nice breakfast of pancakes and fruit. It was a fun experience,but if I ever did it again, I would bring my warm, cozy bed with me.

Jordan Lundin said...

Winter Camp Reflection

I really enjoyed the winter camp this year, mostly because I couldn't go last year so I was making up for missing it, but it also went really well besides a few things. I was really excited about it and it did not disappoint me!

The weather for the trip was really good. I looked at the forecast the night before while packing my bag and I was pleased to see that it was going to quite warm with no snowfall. The warmer conditions made the night more enjoyable for me personally. It allowed more time to enjoy what you were doing without having to really worry about getting too cold.

Our shelter was well built with a proper and effective cold sink and platform. The platform was flat and spacious, and the cold sink captured the cold air and kept it away from the top of our platform. This allowed myself and my group to stay warm through the night and not wake up grumpy and annoyed. The building of our shelter was easy and relatively quick. The only thing I would complain about was the other group that we were sharing our shelter. Up until the last day they did barely any work, and it was really frustrating.

I was well prepared for this trip. I had all the proper clothing layers, extra food and water (a girls gotta eat) and extra activities for later in the night in case of boredom, I.e cards. I made sure I had the proper sleeping equipment and more to ensure I didn't get too cold during the night.

My groups menu was a typical camping menu. Hotdogs and s'mores were quick and easy which is why they appealed to my group. Though I do understand we could have chosen something a little healthier, we were really looking for food we could make quickly and without complication. In the future I think I will try and strive to challenge myself in this area of the winter camp, because it was easy, but it wasn't very healthy.

The biggest struggle my group and I faced all night was dealing with the fire. We had a pit, and firewood, but we didn't have enough, and the wood we did have ended up being wet by the time we went to use it so it was hard to keep the fire ablaze. Therefore we had to rely on another groups fire for cooking, and warmth. This was a big disappoint for me because I know how to make a proper fire and keep it going, we just didn't have the material pre-prepared for it. I think I should have spent more time planning for that in the process leading up to winter camp, but it is something I learned from.

I am really glad I got to participate in this activity and the fact that I had a good time was a bonus. I missed it last year and I was really upset about it so I am happy I got another chance at it. I learned from it and intend on using the skills I have gained from winter camp later in the course, next year and for the rest of my life. Thank you Mr. Brouwer for giving me this safe and exciting experience!!

sean kenny said...

All week long while building and watching the quinzee take shape i thought to myself am i going to be able to sleep in this thing. Once i got my sleeping bag in the quinzee and all my other things i found myself okay to sleep in there as long as i didn't have to sleep in the middle. Our food situation was definitely different than the other groups as we all brought our own food and ate what we brought individually. Overall it was a fun night with lots of outdoor activities like manhunt and i had a pretty good sleep for my next day.

Thomas Bland said...

Winter-Camp reflection

By: Thomas

Winter-Camp huh it was an interesting night although personally not the best night. Though the night itself wasn't fun it was enjoyable to get to the point we could sleep.

Building was the most fun part to do, we ended up starting by building the wrong quinzhee then the next day working on the right one finally on the third day we started digging it out.

The night this was my problem I brought a -1 sleeping bag so I went to grab what I thought was a second sleeping bag to put inside and well I didn’t grab a sleeping bag I also didn’t notice that I didn’t grab one till after last call. What I really grabbed was a folding chair so ya that was fun.

In the end it was despite a cold night a fun experience and if you have the right gear and not a folding chair you’ll be fine.

Robert Dupuis said...

Winter reflection

Our group stayed in the quinzhee on the first night and found that it was very fun. We did not make our own quinzhee but instead used one of the old quinzhees that was not dug out from last semster. We had finally finished digging out the quinzhee, the afternoon preceding the night we would stay. Our group was made up the following people: Me, Thomas, Allistair, Connor, Marcus, and Cameron. Marcus and Cameron didn't stay the night, and Connor left during the night because of problems with asthma. Thomas, Allistair, and I stayed the night, although I was the only one of us that had stayed through the entire night and had stayed at school the next day. To eat we had things that weren't very nutritional, such as:Hot dogs, Orange soda, potato chips, chocolate, so I will think much more in advance next time, as opposed to grabbing food and drinks from the store at lunch on the day we would be staying. We had some trouble starting a fire, but in the end we got one started, so we all went to bed with food in our stomachs. All in all I had a great experience, for any people thinking about trying this, I would seriously recommend it.

Tonisha said...

There is no doubt that my experience this year with winter camp was extremely better than last years. I knew that it couldn’t be any worse than last year so I was very excited to try it again and make it a lot better.

I worked a lot harder this year when we were building our quinzhee to ensure it would be completely done the night we were sleeping over. Last year we were just starting to dig it out the night of and we did not finish in time for us to sleep in it which was very stressful and frustrating. This year having our quinzhee completely finished before that night was extremely nice because we were able to relax and not worry about it. Since my group actually finished the quinzhee in time, I was able to experience building and seeing what a proper quinzhee should look like with the features like a good cold sink and platform.

For our group, we kept the food pretty simple. Although it wasn’t overly healthy, it was still satisfying because it was warm, filling, really fast to cook, and easy to make. If I get the chance to do this again I will maybe try to challenge myself more and plan an actual meal to make.

I was very happy with the clothing I chose to bring because I did stay fairly warm and dry throughout the night. I brought two sets of several layers of clothing so I could have one set for the evening and one set for sleeping. Comparing this to last year, I prepared myself a lot better this year because last year I did not bring two separate sets and I ended up sleeping in wet snow pants and wet mitts. This year was also a lot warmer with nicer weather, no rain and little to no snow which helped with staying warm and dry.

For our attempted fire we did not gather enough DRY wood to start a fire. Even though it was all wet we still wanted to try and start our own fire but we did not succeed. In result of that, we had to rely on others to cook our food. It would’ve been really nice if we could have successfully made a fire for ourselves. Next time I will defiantly gather more wood in advance and also find a way to keep it all dry until we are ready to use it.

Sleeping in the quinzhees went better than I had expected. I did stay reasonably warm throughout the night as long as I stayed completely in my sleeping bag. I think it could’ve been a lot warmer inside the quinzhee if we had brought out enough bags to fully cover the door.

Cleaning up the next morning was very easy and fast this year for me. Last year I was not very organized with my clothing, supplies and bags so when I was cleaning up it was really hard to gather all my stuff. This year, since I knew I had to leave early for little buddies I kept everything organized, packed, and in one place. I also only took the things I needed for the night out to the quinzhee. This made the morning very simple and stress free.

Overall I am very glad I had this chance to redo last years’ experience. Thank you Mr. Brouwer!

Emily Tomlinson said...

My experience with Winter Camp was very memorable in two ways. Like almost every experience it had its pros and cons. Our group was very fortunate because we had two separate groups building the quinzhee. Overall we had around eleven girls working on it!

When I first heard about this experience, I was very skeptical. Hearing things about the other groups and previous years made me nervous. This was my very first experience ever sleeping in a quinzhee, hopefully not my last.

During the process of building our quinzhee we encountered a few problems. One major problem that us girls had, was the height, we had it wide enough to fit six girls, but it was not nearly as tall as the requirements. We also didn’t plan it out that well, because the location where our quinzhee was situated did not have a lot of snow around it. Thankfully, over the weekend a nice snowfall happened lightly layering the outer part of the quinzhee.

Digging out the quinzhee was a hassle, but we motivated each other! Our main struggle for digging it out was making the entrance hole big enough for all of us to fit in it. After getting past the tunnel part, once we actually got into the main part we got the hang of it pretty quickly. Two of us would usually go into it and start digging it out from the inside-out, one person would be at the tunnel pushing all the snow out, and another would be on the outside gathering all of it preparing to make the wall around the quinzhee. At the beginning we didn’t think we could fit six girls in the quinzhee but we made plenty of space.

For dinner we had hotdogs, hummus and pita. Personally, I found this meal very efficient because hotdogs are very easy to cook, tasty and do no harm to you if undercooked. The pita and hummus settled it all for me. We were very organised because we had made a list on what we were going to bring in advance, so we had so much food. Even so, by the end of the night, almost all our food was gone. We had brought fruit, vegetables, cookies, muffins, drinks, chips, and more.

Overall I would say the weather conditions were pretty good, I can’t really complain that much considering we slept in a pile of snow. I didn’t get to sleep until a bit after midnight, which was better than excepted. I woke up about every hour, and it took me a while to get back to sleep because I was a bit overwhelmed and cold.
It was an amazing experience. Not many people can say “When I was in grade 10, I slept outside in a pile of snow with my friends”.

If I could change one thing about the, it would be to get a warmer sleeping bag or more blankets. I was a little uncomfortable at some points during the night. Besides that, it was awesome! I would definitely like to do this again.

Jack Fleming said...

Winter Camp Reflection

I've been camping many times before but this is the first time i have ever camped in the winter.

A few days before the trip i was somewhat nervous because i had never done anything like that before. I thought that this night would end up with me being freezing cold in my quinzhee, but as it turns out I had the right clothing and sleeping bag for the night.

Building the quinzhee was a lot more fun than I expected it to be. a couple of days before we started building the quinzhees there was a big snowfall so piling up the snow was very easy. Also what made it easy was that my group shared are quinzhee with another groups their was a lot of people working on it. A part of building that i found was difficult was digging it out there was so much snow to dig out and it was a lot of hard work. Even though it was a lot of hard work I found it very amusing it reminded me a lot of building snow forts when I was younger. I stayed after school for a couple of hours one day just to make sure we would be done in time. A mistake that we made was thinking that we had dug out enough of it when really we had a lot more snow piled up than we thought. We were seeing the light shining through the roof of the quinzhee so we assumed that we had dug out enough snow but when were trying to break the quinzhee's later on that week we saw how much snow there was on the walls and roof.
The night was a lot of fun we hung out by the fire playd some man hunt and then the groups split up and went into their own quinzhee's at around 11:00, we stayed up pretty late that night which made for a long and tiring school day the next morning, but it was worth it. I had a winter sleeping bag which I thought would be fine for the night but it was pretty old so it wasn't the warmest night. When I woke up that morning, trying to put my boots back on was a very hard task, they were frozen solid.

Overall it was a great experience and i had so much fun during every aspect of it, from building it to hanging out in it the night of the camp.

jared p said...

the wintercamp was a fun experience. it was hard to build the quinzhee but it was warmer than i thought. i have never camped outside in the winter before. we brought some sausages and popcorn and chicken strips and ate them before we went to sleep. it was kind of uncomfortable to sleep because there was a part on the ground that stuck out and was on my back. we built our own fire and when we got bored we shoveled a big pile of snow and did flips into it. we had a quinzhee big enough for 3 people.