Thursday, March 12, 2015

WinterCamp Reflection

Overall, wintercamp was an amazing experience once again thanks to my wonderful fellow campers. Last year, it was still a good experience, though there are many things we have improved. This year, our building went much quicker as we all pitched in to help. We had also teamed up with another group for them to sleep in it the previous night. That made eleven of us all working on the same quinzhee. In addition, our quinzhee was much better build. Last year our platform was not poor, but could have been higher. This year we had decided to build up a hill and made sure our platform was higher than our entrance. This helped us out very much as I stayed warm the whole night! Lastly, something that helped me the most for staying warm, was that I had several pairs of clothes to change into during the night to make sure I didn`t get cold. Last year I ended up staying out late by the fire which kept us warm. Though, once we got into our quinzhee, we had a very cold night without any extra blankets or clothes. Two things we could have improved on during our night of wintercamp would be our meal choice and our communication with other groups. For dinner, we had quesadillas and ravioli as our main meal. For snacks we had clementines, trail mix, smores and bannock. Although all the food we ate was delicious, it may not have been as nutritious as we had planned. Our dinner was great though because we discovered that quesadillas taste best on the fire and tasted a lot like Al Jabal cheese pies! In addition, we would need to improve on our communication with the other group sharing our quinzhee. For the work process to go faster, we had planned to have a group of grade 10 boys sleep in the quinzhee on tuesday night, and our group would sleep in the quinzhee on wednesday. An arrow had been drawn on the board signaling that both groups would be building the quinzhee together, but it was a miscommunication as the grade 10s thought it meant we were switching nights. We both showed up on wednesday expecting to sleep in the quinzhee. It all worked out because other quinzhees were found for them to sleep in. The first thing I would tell someone who is building a quinzhee for the first time is to make sure you have a high platform. Building up a hill will make that much easier. Your platform should be higher than the top of your entrance to make sure the wind does not hit you while you are sleeping. Secondly, bring enough warm clothes to be dry all night long. The worst feeling is going to sleep in damp clothes because you’ve been out in the snow all day. Also, make sure to have a nice healthy good tasting meal, you will appreciate very much throughout the night. Furthermore, if you would like to stay out my the fire, you will need much more firewood than you would think. If you want to stay warm by the fire, you’re going to need a lot of firewood. Lastly, the most important factor that we learned from our group is even when you think your quinzhee is big enough, it probably isn’t. This year we dug out our quinzhee thinking we would have so much extra space, even thinking we might be too cold. By the time we planned on sleeping, it had become extremely tight and we could hardly all fit! All in all, wintercamp was an amazing experience once again as things went much more smoothly then last year.