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!