Québec Pathfinders, Rangers, Trex, and Guiders take part in
Snow Trails—a polar-themed winter camping extravaganza
Snow Trails 2013 took place February 15-17 at Cap-St-Jacques and the polar-themed winter camping extravaganza turned out to be an exhilarating experience for all who attended. 41 Pathfinder, Ranger and Trex-aged girls from around the province along with twenty leaders built quinzees and pitched tents and then braved the -17 °C chilly overnight temperature to sleep in them. This was an intense skill building weekend that not only gave a new group of Québec girls the opportunity to build their confidence with winter survival skills, but also allowed a new group of leaders to learn from more experienced ones and build their skill set as well.
The two night camp included both an indoor and outdoor overnight portion. During the educational night on Friday, the girls learned the background skills necessary for a safe and successful winter camping experience. They then put their new knowledge into practice on Saturday, taking on the labour-intensive and exhausting work of building eight quinzees as well as learning firsthand the correct procedure for pitching tents in snow. The hard work started early in the morning and was completed just as the last remnants of the late day sun dipped below the horizon. The ideal Cap St-Jacques venue allowed the possibility of a back-up interior sleeping option as well as a kitchen where a team of dedicated volunteers kept the pans frying and the pots bubbling with hot tasty meals. After dinner and preparing themselves for the cold night ahead, the girls traipsed back out and snuggled into their cozy quinzees while the leaders who slept outside did so in tents. As it turned out, the quinzee inhabitants fared far better in terms of warmth than their tent tenant counter-parts!
On Sunday, lunch was an outdoor affair. Camp participants, as well as a number of third year Guides who attended with their leaders for the day, took part in an outdoor cooking demonstration. They then chose the method that most appealed to them and made their own meal using either a Coleman stove or one of the various backpacking stove options that had been demonstrated. Other activities on Sunday included Geocaching and a “snow village” tour. The smiling faces of the newly minted winter campers as they enthusiastically showed off their quinzee creations was evidence of the well deserved pride they felt. In the words of one of the organizers, “Girl Guides rock on ice, too!”
About our Guest Blogger:Connie Morgenstern is Co-DC and PR Adviser for the St-Lazare District. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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