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.