Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Gatineau Winter Overnight Reflection

The Gatineau winter overnight took place February 23rd – 25th and was a very successful trip.  Throughout the entire trip I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I experienced many new things.  Oddly enough, this was my first Outdoor Ed skiing trip I had participated in as I missed previous trips due to prior commitments or illness.  I was very fortunate to have joined the cross-country ski team this year as it more than adequately prepared me for this trip.  I think that the trip would have been more difficult for me had I not had the benefit of cross-country ski team experience. 


Departure for the trip went very smoothly because of our in-depth plan that we had all made together on Google Docs.  Despite having to take a few minutes and recount our snowshoes to ensure that everyone had a pair, everything went smoothly and we departed on time.  When we arrived at P17 we quickly unloaded all of our gear and promptly started our two kilometre snow show to Brown Cabin.  The snowshoeing was quite easy as the distance was not very long; however, helping to push the sled full of gear up hills was a little tiring.  When we arrived at the cabin, we were all very excited and after unpacking our gear, we were ready to leave for our day’s activity of snowshoeing.  Before we left, we started making some drinking water by melting snow on the wood stove.  Unlike the first leg of snowshoeing, the eight kilometres that we then snow shoed were more difficult because we made our own trails and the snow was quite deep.  This was especially noticeable on the up hills as it became quite hard to hold traction. 

Once we reached the first summit that we planned to visit we decided to forego going to the other summit as we were running out of daylight.  On the way back to Brown Cabin we ended up sliding down a cliff on the puffy snow.  This was definitely a highlight of the trip.  However, after sliding down many drops, and reaching the bottom I became quite cold as some snow had managed to get through my outer shell of my layering system.

We got back to the Cabin and then enjoyed delicious spaghetti, Caesar salad and garlic bread.  After helping with the dishes, I enjoyed relaxing in the cabin and playing cards and Liars Dice. 

After a much-needed good night’s sleep, we began our second day with a nutritious and energy-packed breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, English muffins and fruit.  Before leaving for our day-long ski trip we made sure that we had all the proper ingredients for our lunch during the day and made sure that everyone had sufficient water. 

The trip started with an unfortunate incident when my water bottle opened inside my knapsack and got my spare clothes wet.  Also, it was unfortunate that Nick and Dylan could not participate on the skiing day activity due to injury.  However, it was not a total loss for the group because they kindly had dinner prepared for us upon our return at the end of the day.   All in all, the ski trip was a success and I was pleased to see that my training for the cross-country ski team paid off.  The day consisted of thoroughly pre-planned route of approximately 22 kilometres and a break to have lunch at Renaud Cabin.
(VIDEO )                

Also we explored Lusk Caves which was another highlight of the trip.  We powered through the last seven and a half kilometers even enjoying a long downhill portion.  Back at the cabin, we relaxed and ate dinner, but kept putting off the dishes.  This was the main flaw of our trip.  It was clear that no one wanted to do the dishes and that everyone was tired especially when the subject was brought up and the cabin became completely silent.  I was also guilty of this and I told myself because I had already helped with dishes it should be someone else’s turn.  Mr. Brouwer and one or two other students cleaned the dishes later that night and this should not have happened.  Next time, I will keep this from happening by taking initiative and also try to get more people involved.

Our final day went very smoothly.  We had a quick breakfast that consisted of pancakes and fruit slices, packed up our gear, tidied the cabin and prepared to leave.  We quickly snow shoed back to P17 and loaded our gear on the bus for the trip back to school.  During the snow shoe back to the bus, I was wondering if the main group up front should wait for the people with the sled who were a little farther back or continue to the bus and be ready to help them with their gear upon their arrival.  I asked the group this question and we made the decision to head for the bus. 

This trip was very successful with only a few minor complications.  If I were to do this trip again, I would make sure dishes are done and they don’t become the responsibility of one person.  Also, I would secure my outer shell so that no snow could get in.  I was very happy to have been part of this trip and would gladly do it again! 

Spencer Knowles
March 31, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

XC Ski Trip Refelction

               The trip to Gatineau park made me think of cross-country skiing in a whole new way. It made me enjoy the sport and enjoy a day of activity with friends. We were able to skate ski all day in Gatineau and I was able to improve my skiing and endurance. The lunch was a nice break in the mid day and the look out was also a nice stop on the trip. Overall it was an amazing day that I would do again any day. The most challenging part of the trip was the big climb right before we reached the cabin. The climb was long and steep and was by far the most difficult part of the day. The easiest part of the day was having a nice lunch up on the mountain. The lunch was so amazing because we accomplished the long climb to the top of camp fortune and we knew it was almost all down hill from there. If I was to do it again I would bring less clothes with me. I brought too many layers for how warm it was.

               The weather that day was was very warm, it was sunny and beautiful day outside. The snow conditions we're really good, luckily it wasn't so warm that the snow was melting. I brought enough water for the warm day. I had a backpack filled with water, so I stayed hydrated. My lunch consisted of 3 cliff bars and a juice box. If I was to do it again I would bring a bigger lunch, I was just in a rush in the morning. Next time I would pack my lunch the day before and have a proper meal. In my opinion it was a day that everyone that went improved their skiing and also had a great time. None of the hills were too hard and it was a fairly casual day overall. I would do the ski trip again if I had the chance, it was a day that made me think twice about the sport of cross-country skiing.
Gatineau Park Ski Trip Reflection

During the ski trip in Gatineau park, there were many new experiences that occurred, and skills that I learned. At first, as we got off the bus, the day seemed to be a little windy, and seemed that it would be very cold throughout the day. But I was very glad that later on the sun came out and warmed everything up. The only problem with this was that the snow became very sticky, and slowed me down a bit later on in the day. This also caused hard and soft patches of snow, which made going down hills a little challenging. Going uphill for most of the trip proved to be challenging at first, but as I gradually grasped the concept of skate-skiing, the trip got a little easier, and I was able to cover more ground with less effort. I think that having eaten a good lunch packed with energy helped in sustain me throughout the rest of the day, since near the end I was feeling tired. Had I not eaten well, I think I would have been exhausted and would have not enjoyed the trip as much as I did.

The only part of the trip that was hardest was the stretch near the end, where it was flat and sticky, and made for a slow journey, but it provided a great scenic route through the woods. I think that having waxed my skis earlier made a difference, since it made some of the areas a little slower than others, and I believe that the wax was the reason for this. I made certain that for this trip, I packed lightly, since on some of the skiing trips around the school, I overdressed and it was very hot and uncomfortable. I took that into consideration for this trip, and instead of snow pants wore long-underwear and track pants, which allowed for plenty of mobility and warmth. Lastly, I think that learning how to skate ski made a huge difference in the success of this trip, because I think that it made a large difference in how fast I went, and how much ground I covered, in relation to classic skiing.

The only thing I would change about this trip is that I would have brought more liquids, since near the end of the day, I started to feel very thirsty but I had run out of water. Next time, I would pack an extra liter of water for the return trip to the bus. Overall, I think that this trip was a great success, and I really enjoyed the experience.

By Brendan Patch

Saturday, March 28, 2015

XC Ski Trip Reflection

Celly Hard
          Skiing in the Gatineau Park trails was absolutely incredible. I had an amazing experience and I definitely increased my skill of cross-country skiing. Although it was exhausting, skiing for roughly 12 km was worth it. 

          The trip consisted of trails throughout the Gatineau Park region. The trails were comprised of continuous hills at the beginning followed by a massive hill just before lunch time. We ate lunch at the Huron cabin, which was set just beside one of the trails on top of a small lookout. After lunch, our class split into two groups who would go different routes, based on level of difficulty, but would end up at the same location. I took a harder trail lead by Mr. Brouwer. The trail ended up at the Champlain lookout where we met with the other group. (The Champlain lookout can be viewed in the picture). After taking a break there, we started our trip back down the mountain. We did not take the same trail as we had begun on. We took a more scenic and open route to a different parking lot where we would be picked up to head back to school.  
          Two things that I thought enhanced the enjoyment of my experience were my attitude and my ambition. I kept a positive attitude and really aspired to achieve my main goal on the trip. This was just to simply develop my cross-country skiing skills and increase my ability to skate ski. My ambition also attributed to achieving this goal. I was eager to accomplish my goal and I knew I could do it. It wasn't a difficult task, but I knew I had to work at the techniques of skate skiing and stay positive when difficulty occurred. I understood that I was only going to get better if I tried and after the first few kilometers, I started to get the hang of it. Once I began to control my form and essentially skate ski, this made it so much easier to climb the hills. The control helped me be more comfortable in the herring bone technique when climbing the hills. The hills were repetitive at the beginning of the trip, but the trail began to descend closer to the end. This was very relaxing because I was fatigued near the end and my body was disgusted with the idea of skiing uphill one more time. Even though I was tired, I was very pleased with how the day turned out. 

          Although my day was successful, I did have a slight problem in my preparation before the trip. Luckily, it was overcome as the day went on and didn't ruin my experience. The problem was that I had planned on classic skiing for a better part of the day. Therefore, I waxed my skis before we left for the trip. Wax is not ideal for skate skiing. I decided, after waxing, that I was interested in improving my skate skiing ability. The wax on my skis only gave me some difficulty when skiing because it would cause the ski to stick to the snow at times and I would lose my balance. This, however, did not ruin my day and I wasn't going to let it. I just persevered through the obstacle because I was very devoted to accomplish my goal. I was pleased that I was able to complete my goal just before lunch. This gave me the rest of the day to ski freely and in control, not worrying about any difficulties. I was confident because then I knew what my capabilities were and it made it much easier to ski in both classic and skate techniques. I was very proud of myself that I gained a new skill and it was awesome that I was able to share it with my friends and classmates. I would love to do this again. 


Friday, March 27, 2015

Gatineau Ski Trip Reflection

Gatineau Ski Trip Reflection
By: Fatima Abdul-Kader

On Wednesday March 11th, 2015 my class went skiing in Gatineau Park! It was a very thrilling and amazing experience for me, as well as many others. As soon as we got off the bus, we headed to the trails and we were off skiing.  Awhile after skiing for a bit, we reached the biggest uphill climb we would do that day. It wasn't that difficult because I tried jogging half way up, but decided to wait for Andrew because his ski was broken. While I was waiting up on the hill, I made two new friends from another school. As they were waiting for Andrew to make his way up so they wouldn't run into him on the way down, we had a nice short conversation. Then about the mid mark point of our ski trip we reached a cabin. We sat down and ate our lunch, but because we were late, ten minutes later we had to leave and continue to head onwards for our field trip to the finish line!

Along the trails, we took breaks at the Heron and Champlain lookout. It was a breath taking scenery, which went on for miles into the distance and faded away behind the misty clouds. Finally, we all made our way back to the buses except for one dilemma: I, along side Sophia, descended downhill at incredible speed and it was then that I realized I had bent too forward; I attempted to fix my composition but in effect, tumbled down the hill and lost a ski in the process.What was kind of rude was, as I tried to get out the way, people just slid over my skis and didn’t bother helping me. I didn't realize much due to the fact that multiple things were going on around me at once, and there was an old lady who came down the hill and screamed, “Move!”. She did not realize there was also another pair of ski tracks beside those ones, as I was trying to put on a ski and push forward with my ski poles. Mr. Brouwer then remarked the lady when she screamed to move out of the way about how I might have injured her and that there was also another pair of ski tracks beside the ones I was in and she was skiing down. I felt really bad and guilty afterwards, but only to be later distracted by the buzzing pain in my knee which was subsiding away fairly slowly. Besides that, the day went fairly with all the smiles and excitement everybody had on their faces!

I learned how to downhill ski and stop my self at the bottom, since I had previously missed one of the classes where Mr. Brouwer taught the lesson on how to do so. What I enjoyed most about the field trip was going downhill skiing because it’s very exhilarating and refreshing when the wind blows against my face. The most challenging part about this field trip was keeping up with my classmates and pushing forward with my skis after non stop skiing. The least challenging obstacle about the field trip was going downhill because I didn't have to stop, nor did I have to push myself forward because the downward slope was doing it all for me. Next time I would bring my inhaler just to be safe since I have asthma, but also to keep a steady pace and to know when to stop would help keep me in check. Also, I would work even harder to keep up with my classmates pace and try different techniques to help me exceed my limits.

All in all, I skied about twelve kilometers because I took the shorter route and I’m a slower skier than others. I would definitely repeat this whole field trip, except for the last obstacle because it was really motivating to keep up with the others since i'm slow and to just be out and enjoy nature! Plus my favourite season is winter, so all the factors tie in perfectly. I had never skied in my life until this year and so it was a really good experience to get out and really enjoy winter activities.The weather was very pleasant and was easy to work with while skiing.  It was by far the best trip I have had in outdoor ed, it was definitely worthwhiled and I didn't even have to wear my jacket! My now go to motto is: Just because you don't know how to do something, does not mean you have to try your hardest to be the best!

Article assignment

Cast Away

The Movie Cast Away is a story which displays the loneliness which is attributed to survival situations, which to me, is the most terrifying.

The story is of a survivor, who made it through a plane crash only to wash ashore a deserted island. After a failed sailing attempt to escape the island, the man has to live there for years with only his beach volley ball companion.

This story grips me both for it's survival aspect as well as it's focus on the human mind and loneliness. I was transfixed by the way the man made a volley ball his friend. It displayed  his desire for social interaction and the need to be with others, a testament to human nature and how fragile the our mental psyche can be.

 I would recommend this movie to other people. As it's focus on the loneliness aspect of a survival situation brings a whole other perspective to situations like these. 

Cross Country Skiing

                I had a blast on the Gatineau cross country skiing trip! It was a very enjoyable experience. My class went on march 10th and it was a beautiful day. The scenery was breath taking and the temperature was very nice. The trials where so much fun even though going up and down the hills where very tiring. We all had so much fun laughing, talking and falling all day.

                  This trip was fun as well as a great learning opportunity. I learnt that even though you are terrible at something it doesn't men you can't have fun doing it. I am not the best skier by far but I enjoyed this trip just as much as the best skier.

                  I would definitely go on this trip again as a class or just with a bunch of friends. This trip was a great experience and I hope I get a chance to go on those trails again.

Cross-Country Ski Trip Reflection by Sophia Li

On March 11, 2015, our outdoor ed class went for an all-day ski trip in Gatineau Park. It was an amazing experience for me. As a person who had no experience or time for skiing, I've got to say that I was missing out. The x-country ski trip was the first ski trip that I've ever took in my life. I was open to the beauty of nature, the fresh air in my face, and surrounded with things that made me smile so much that my face was hurting. To be kept away from all of that was really disappointing.

First, we started from the bottom of Camp Fortune and we skied through many hills and turns heading north. Along the way, there were many hills that I conquered and many slippery patches of ice that I casually went over without a problem. Soon enough, I came across the biggest, baddest looking hill there was. It was a very steep hill with an awkward rock centered sort of near top of the hill that was right to the hill so I had to just shuffle a little over there and a little over here but I made through!

Halfway in our ski trip, we all stopped at the lodge for lunch. Everyone was prepared so there weren't any complaints about being hungry. I had packed a sandwich that had lettuce, honey ham, and cheese, with some dried mango. And for snack I had packed two oatmeal raisin cookies. What I also had prepared were a Costco water bottle filled with water and 2 nature valley bar. I fueled myself up for the rest of the ski trip.

Afterwards, we continued to the Champlain Lookout, which was absolutely gorgeous, everyone rested and took pictures of the scenery. Me being the person who likes to try new things, tried to follow in Mrs. Trumpower's nice thin steps up the small hill but what I didn't know was that it was filled with soft snow underneath. So when I took one step, down went my ski! Anyways, near the end of the ski trip, it was so much easier because the trails would be either flat or downhill. The last 2 km of the ski trip was pretty easy for my legs. On the last downhill slide to the bus, it was going super fast and there was a patch of snow from the sun, so soft snow and it slowed me down a lot and eventually I fell, which was not fun but totally worth the experience. 

The one challenge that I found really unpleasant was the fact that the snow that was in the sun was slowing me down when I was skiing down hill. The soft snow really ruined the speed of the downhill ski but overall my experience was enjoyable and relaxing and I would love to keep on going on trips like these. 

Overall, the ski trip was awesome.

Ski Trip Reflection

What an amazing experience. On March 10th, 2015, my Outdoor Ed class went to Gatineau Park (Camp Fortune) and classic skied through the day. As we skied up hills, on flat trails, and down hills, we successfully skied many kilometers and saw some amazing scenery on the way, such as the Champlain Lookout. We also stopped at a cabin half way through the day to eat lunch. This was also a nice class-bonding session as we talked, laughed, and skied together for the day.

This was a very fun trip. I had a lot of fun with my friends, and also learned and experienced how to classic ski better than before. The weather was beautiful, which made the day even better. The snow was flat and thin, which was perfect for a day of skiing. One thing I love about Outdoor Ed is that we do a variety of activities, such as cross-country skiing. This trip made me realize that patience and positivity are the key things you need in order to have a great ski day.
From this trip, I also learned to go at your own pace. Do not speed up just to keep up with people. If you uncomfortable with the speed you are going at, then just take it easy! Also, going at my own pace let me have the chance to witness the beautiful sceneries that we skied through. The thing I enjoyed the most was hanging out with my friends, and having a good time! I also enjoyed skiing through the beautiful landscapes and eventually making it to the Champlain Lookout. I have to say that the most challenging thing was keeping up the proper movements of classic skiing (remembering when to glide with each foot, etc.) Also, going up steep and/or narrow hills was challenging too. I also found that I got a tired easier after lunch. The least challenging thing about this trip was gliding, as the snow was very flat and perfect weather as well. I would not carry a heavy-ish backpack if I ever go again, as it was hurting my back/shoulders, and was moving all the time. I would also bring more water next time, as I got tired pretty quickly. I would DEFINITELY do this trip again. I had an amazing time!!! After, a long but fun day of skiing, we were all happily smiling because of the amazing experience we all just had. :)

                                                                                                          By Aislinn Defries

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

overnight winter camp trip log

Day one

Packed gear in the outdoor Ed room

Bus ride to p17

Snow shoed 2km into brown cabin

Unpacked gear in brown cabin and melted snow for water

Snow shoed about 8km around Brown Lake and Carman Lake

Made spaghetti with ground beef pasta sauce, Cesar salad and garlic toast

Melted snow for water

Day 2

Breakfast was English muffins cheese, scrambled eggs and bacon with slices of oranges and apples

Packed gear for day ski trip

Went skiing for about 11km stopped for lunch

Lunch we ate grill cheese

Skied a few km stopped at the path to the caves

Walked 1km in to get to the caves

Explored the caves

1km back to ski path

Skied back to brown cabin approximately 7-8 km

Had fajitas for dinner = chicken peppers, cheese and Spanish rice

Melted snow for water

Relaxed by a fire

Day 3

Had pancakes and fruit slices for breakfast

Packed gear

Snow shoed 2km to p17 loaded bus and arrived back at school.

Monday, March 23, 2015

XC Ski Trip Reflection

On Tuesday March 3rd I went on the Gatineau Park XC ski trip, we skied roughly 12 km during the day.
Overall I had a very good experience on the ski trip, in the beginning when the track was mostly ups and a few down hills I was enjoying it because every time you worked hard to climb a hill you would be rewarded with a down hill. I really enjoyed the morning, everything leading up to lunch. I was classic skiing in the track and I was very comfortable with my technique I had a good push for most of the trip but I did get tired towards the end of the trip and started slowing down.
I found after lunch I did not enjoy the trail as much because it was mostly uphill, however once we got to the lookouts and got a chance to rest and look at the view it was very fun and a great experience. Also after that there was mostly downhill so it was a break for my legs, which I really appreciated.
The only thing I would do differently next time would be to skate ski instead of classic style. First of all I would be able to go much faster and get more momentum for the downhill, which would be very fun. Also because I am comfortable with classic skiing it would be an interesting challenge to try to skate ski. Finally if I had the chance to do a trip like this again I would definitely do it, it might have been hard work but it was still a great day and definitely worth a little fatigue.

Winter Camping -Hilary Alexander

Winter camping was a great time and the night went very well. However, there were things that went very well and other things I would like to improve in the future.

One thing I thought I thought I did well was preparation of food with my group. We organized a shopping list and had plenty of food for the night therefore it was a very pleasant night and no one was hungry. Going into the night I was worried we might not have enough to eat but we ended up having plenty of food and I was very content.
Secondly our cold sink was built very well so that we could block the hole with our bags and then were able to stay warm throughout the night. Our tunnel was built in such a way so that it dropped after the platform creating a great cold skin to trap the cold air. This made the quinzhee very comfortable to sleep in.
Lastly something I did well was bringing proper sleeping gear. I had a -7 sleeping bag layered with a blanket, wore a long sleeve dry fit shirt with a hoodie on top and layered leggings with sweat pants. This worked very well because I had a very good sleep and was warm all night and even waking up I stayed warm and was very satisfied with my sleeping gear.
Something that I would improve on would be the length of our tunnel; next time if we were to build a quinzhee again I would make the tunnel of our quinzhee much shorter. Most of the night trying to crawl into or out of the quinzhee it was difficult and time-consuming trying to wiggle in or out of the quinzhee.
Secondly in the future I would improve my winter camp experience by instead of building our quinzhee in just a group of four to instead work with a group sleeping another night. This would double the amount of people working on our quinzhee and would have made the construction of our quinzhee quicker.
The first tip I would give to someone winter camping and building a quinzhee would be to bring lots of clothing to change into. If your clothes get wet it will be nearly impossible for you to stay warm, therefore the more clothes and layers you can bring would be most beneficial.
Secondly it is very important that you have a proper sleeping bag, layer if you need to, because you will not get a good night sleep if you are waking up throughout the night because you’re freezing. A winter sleeping bag will be necessary in order to stay warm throughout the night.
Lastly I would recommend to make sure you block the tunnel/entrance of your quinzhee overnight because that will be a huge factor in staying warm and making the night a success. This will reinforce your cold ink by not letting very much wind and cold air in, in the first place.   

Overall I had a very enjoyable time winter camping and hope to be able to do it again.

Winter camp reflection

Winter camp reflection
The winter camp was a very enjoyable experience. I feel I was well prepared as I have slept in a quince before. I brought an extra pair of socks, gloves and an extra sweater and I brought a sleeping bag that was very war and comfortable during the night. The quince was more than big enough for me and the other student in the quince because we had six people who worked on it so it was made for four people at most during the night. we were able to build a platform so the cold air did not hit us to much while we were sleeping. We brought burgers to eat which was simple and easy so we did not go hungry. I would probably try and flatten the ground on the inside of the quince more as when we were sleeping it was very rounded, it did not effect me much when I went to sleep or during the night but when I woke up my back ached a bit. We probably could have brought more than just the burgers because although they were easy to make I would have been a little happier if we had something else like some desserts or something else to go on the burgers which we only had meat, cheese, and buns on them. When building your quince you should make sure it is actually big enough for all the people sleeping in it, while ours was more than big enough we thought it was even bigger. You should always bring extra pair of socks, underwear and other clothing a because if any of your clothes get wet and you don't have extras you will freeze in the wet clothes. Make sure you bring food you know how to cook or is at least easy to cook so you don't have to eat raw food.
Gatineau Ski Trip Reflection

Overall, I thought that this trip was great. We got the chance to do a lot of awesome activities and have a lot of fun doing them. Our trip started the morning of February 23rd and we arrived back at school the morning of February 25. The trip was not to long and not to short. It gave us enough time to complete everything on our agenda.

The activities that we got the chance to do on the trip were great. we started with about a 2km snowshoe into the woods to get to brown cabin. That night we got the opportunity to go on a fairly long snowshoe. We went uphill, downhill, across bodies of water and even down cliffs. I believe that getting to slide down the cliffs on our snowshoes was the best part of the trip. It was a lot of fun and a great adrenalin rush. That night we also played different games in the cabin such as liars dice and Cards against Humanity. On the following day we had a long ski. It was approximately 22 km and took the entire day. We started by taking trial 57 out to trail 52. We headed North East on trail 52 and intercepted trail 51 West. We then took 50 and then trail 73. We rapped up by taking trail 52 back to the cabin. We got the chance to cook lunch in a day use cabin which was great. After this we got the chance to check out the Lusk caves. They were very cool and were not blocked. This gave us the opportunity to crawl around inside them. When we got back that night everyone was beat. On the final day we had a 2 km snowshoe back out of the woods to catch our bus. Overall each day was filled with things to do.

I thought that the ski conditions while we were on the trip were great. The trails were well groomed and the snow was great. The route that we took was fairly difficult but everyone was up for the challenge. as well the weather was great throughout the week. It was usually clear and brisk but we did get snow on one of the nights. The living arrangements while we were there were great. We stayed in Brown Cabin for two nights. I thought that the setup of the cabin was great. There was series of quarters with four beds( two sets of bunk beds). There was a kitchen, general dining area and a spot the sit in front of the fireplace. There was plenty of space to sit when we ate and there was enough room for a number of people to help cook the food.

The food we had on the trip was great. On the first night we had spaghetti with garlic bread. I thought there was easily enough food for everyone and it was very good. The following morning we had breakfast sandwiches. They were great and we had them with toast and fruit. That afternoon we had grilled cheese which we cooked on the fireplace in the day use cabin. Once we got back to Brown Cabin that night we had fajitas. To me, this was the best meal of the trip. There was plenty of food and it was very good. Finally, the following morning we had pancakes. During the trip we also had snacks for all the days. They came in handy by giving us much needed energy during the long days of skiing and snowshoeing.

If I was to do this trip again I would most likely try to do a better job at layering. There were several times on the trip that I found myself too hot or to cold. Overall I thought that this outdoor ed trip was great. It was not to short or too long. I got to experience a lot of different things and had a lot of fun doing it. I am great full that we ended up getting two nights in the cabin instead of one. I would defiantly do this trip again  if I had the chance.

Wintercamp Reflection

My wintercamp experience this year was better than last year's.

I was in a group of six girls, so right away we knew that we would need to work hard to build a big enough quinzhee, since all of us wanted to sleep over the same night. We built a pretty good base the first day, but realized that we would be hard pressed to finish on time. We decided to go with another group in a different class, but it was hard to find a group big enough to share a quinzhee with us. We ended up going with a group of five grade 10 boys, which turned out to be a mistake. We found that they didn't really do much, other than dig it out after we built it.

We thought that our quinzhee would be big enough, since we could fit everyone in lying down with no equipment. When we went to put our stuff inside though, it was a tight fit. Luckily, that, coupled with our amazing cold sink and platform, made for a warm night.

In the morning, I had to go to performance and then to the relay assembly, so I was unable to help clean up the entire camp and the outdoor ed room. However, I did clean up all my stuff and make sure that I left it as clean as I could.

In terms of what went better than last year, I think we had better planning and communication, as well as I was better prepared. For dinner, everyone brought what they were supposed to and we had a much healthier meal. I had gone through last year, and knew what I should bring and what I didn't need to, and so it went better in that respect as well.

Two things that could have gone better were definitely communicating with the other group and make a bigger quinzhee. In regards to the communication, the other group thought that they were switching nights with us when in reality the arrow drawn by the teacher was to signify that we were sharing a quinzhee. The quinzhee we had was big enough for everyone, but not with the equipment, so making that bigger would have been better.

If I could give some advice to people doing wintercamp for the first time, it would be to pick a good group who will work well together, make a bigger quinzhee then you think you need when piling the snow, plan a healthy meal, have a warm sleeping bag, and read previous wintercamp reflections so that you don't have too much stuff.

All in all, my second wintercamp was a lot better than last years, and quite enjoyable.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Winter Camp Reflection

Winter Camp Reflection

Jessie Lennon

One thing I think I did well was bringing proper clothing for the night. My outer gear kept me both dry and warm the whole night while we finished digging out the quinzee, played in the snow and made our food. My sleeping clothing kept me warm the whole night and stayed dry for the most part.

Another thing I think we all did well as a team was assigning roles to each other as to who is bringing what gear. Most of us brought multiple sleeping bags, blankets and extra gear in case something got wet or someone was cold. Each of us offered to bring different parts of our meal/snacks and other helpful things such as flame less candles to bring light to the shelter. 

Lastly, I think I did a good job of keeping myself, my group members and others entertained throughout the night. For the most part we stayed outside cooking our food, playing with a football, and just hanging out outside rather than staying hold up in the quinzee all night. When we weren't outside we were usually in our shelter (usually around 12 people) playing board games or just hanging out. 

I think we could have improved upon the quality of our platform. First, it wasn't as tall as it could have been and second it slanted towards the door so throughout the night we would wake up and have slid down a couple feet and would have to pull ourselves back up, disturbing everyone's sleep. The platform was fairly smooth at the beginning of the night, but as people came and went (we had a lot of traffic in our quinzee) the platform slowly wore down. 

Second I think we could have improved upon how organized we were. We brought quite a few blankets and sleeping bags like we said we would, but we were faced with the issue of having all of having all this stuff that shouldn't get wet needing to be put into the quinzee and not having anything to put them in (thankfully the outdoor ed room had garbage bags.) It took quite a while to organize everything when it was time for bed with quite a bit of arguing. In the morning we wanted to do everything in one trip and threw everything we could into any bag. It was very hectic and disorganized. 

My first recommendation for someone sleeping in a quinzee for the first time is to not make the group you're in too large. We were faced with the issue of having to make our quinzee quite large because we had five people in our group, and in the end two of our group members didn't sleep well due to lack of space. I think three would be a good number to have in a group. 

My second recommendation for someone sleeping in a quinzee for the first time is to bring extra gear. Throughout the night you will get cold and wet and having extra mitts or snow pants could come in handy at anytime. Even if you don't need the gear, someone else might. Bringing an abundance of food is also a good idea. We usually had around 12 people in our quinzee at a time and everyone was always snacking on the brownies and chips we had. 

Lastly I recommend you don't stay in your quinzee all night, first of all your platform may get ruined by all the traffic and second it is more fun being outside and messing around with the people you're with rather than staying inside all night. Cook over a fire, play a game of manhunt or play around with a ball. Enjoy the outdoors. 

Overall I couldn't have asked for a better night. I ended up getting a great nights sleep after a night with great people playing around outside and in. If I had the chance I would definitely do it again only making minimal changes. 

Winter Camping Reflection & Quinzee Analyse

Winter Camp Reflection

The first thing I think I did well was try to assure that everyone was warm. Throughout the whole evening, I wanted to make sure everyone was ok an that all their clothing was warm. I brought many extra blankets and sweaters in case anyone was in need of an extra. When people got cold, we all went into a quinzee to use all the body heat and stay warm.

The second thing I think I played a part in was trying to keep people entertained. Many times people got discouraged into thinking there wasn't anything to do and that it was boring. We got a board game in our quinzee to try and make sure people were having fun. Then found a football and started tossing it around and just playing outside.

Lastly, I offered my help to anyone who needed it. If anyone was in need of something, I made sure they could come talk to me. Some of us had wet mittens so we went inside and used a blow dryer to dry them out and warm them up. I offered to grill hot dogs for people if they were hungry. I helped make hot chocolate to give to others that were cold.

One of the things I could improve on, is bringing back-ups for everything. Although I had many extra blankets and clothes, my outer layer was lacking a bit. My mittens never really got the full chance to dry from all the skiing we did in this class so they already started off damp. Throughout the night I had to keep taking them off to do things and snow would get in them making them very wet and cold. Also, my snow pants were very wet on the outside which led to me starting to feel cold on the inside. If I would improve on anything, it’s to make sure my outer layer is always dry and that I have back-ups.

Something else that can be improved is keeping everything organized and well packed. This wasn't the biggest problem, however we did have some difficulties with getting everything into the quinzees dry. For example, we had pillows and blankets that would get wet going through the entrance tunnel. Luckily the outdoor ed room had garbage bags that we were able to put all our things in to keep from touching the snow. Also when we woke up, we decided we didn't want to make 2 trips to bring everything in because of how cold it was, so we were really scrambling trying to get everything organized in the quinzee. We had bags all over the place trying to be filled with anything around. We really didn't have much of a plan. We just wanted to get everything out all at once.

My first recommendation for anyone who is going to winter camp is to make sure they have a flat platform. We started off with a super great, super flat platform at the start of the night. However, our quinzee was the party quinzee. Which means there was constantly people going in and out of it. As people came in, they would step all over it. We also had around 13 people in our quinzee at the same time. Which means we had people sitting on the edge of the platform. This led the the platform wearing down and getting misshaped. We never really noticed the change until it came time for us to sleep. After we set up all our sleeping bags and were all laying down, we all began to slide down towards the door. Throughout the night we would wake up and have to pull ourselves back up. Which made some of our sleeps, not very comforting.

Another idea is to bring lots of food. If you’re a popular quinzee like we were, you’ll have a lot of people coming in and out… a lot of people who will love to have a little bite of whatever food you have. We had lots of snacks like chips and cookies and lots of hot chocolate. While people were in our humble abode, they very much enjoyed snacking on our treats. Bring enough food so that the neighbors don’t cause you to starve.

My last piece of advise is to not stay in the quinzee all night. The trick to having a great time is using the outdoors for all it has to offer. I would suggest to go outside and play some games. Go around the fire (if it’s allowed), just spend time with the people you’re with. Nothing is worse than being in your quinzee all evening doing nothing. You’re going to be sleeping in it all night, so you may as well spend the evening doing things you can’t do every other school night.

My overall experience was great. I had a great time with everyone. I kept myself busy and made sure I spent a lot of time outside. for the most part I was prepared and I managed to get a great night sleep. If I had the opportunity, I would love to do it again!