Snow Trails is a Provincial winter camp that brings together Pathfinders, Rangers, TREX and Guiders from all over Québec. It is a camping event that takes place every second of year. The main featured activity of the weekend is to build a quinzee and sleep in it. A quinzee is a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow.
This year the planning committee decided to change things up based on comments from girls and Guiders who participated in Snow Trails 2013. For 2015, it was decided to hold two separate camping events, a winter camp with many choices of outdoor activities open to all Pathfinders, Rangers and TREX and a second camp with the sole purpose of sleeping outside for one night in a quinzee for 3rd year Pathfinders, Rangers and TREX.
The first Snow Trails “Winter Lodge” camp took place February 13-15 at Base de Plein Air Saint Lazare. There were a total of 38 participants: 16 Pathfinders, 5 Rangers, 2 TREX and 15 Guiders.
The planning committee came up with ways the girls could plan their weekend. On Saturday, the girls had a choice of 5 outdoor activities (cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, skating, tubing and igloo making) which they had to fit into 4-1 hour time slots. For duties, duty patrols were not assigned, rather girls signed up for duties, the only requirement that they could not do the same duty all weekend… at some point everyone has to clean the toilets! Even for most of our meals, there were a variety of food options to choose from.
Despite the -25°C weather, the girls were warmly dressed and were able to spend most of the day outdoors. While most girls had been skating, snow shoeing and tubing before, for many girls, it was their first time cross-country skiing. And it was a first for everyone to try and build an igloo.
Saturday evening we did murder mystery dinner with a ski lodge theme. It was a lot of fun! Saturday ended with an outdoor campfire to make the requisite S’mores.
Sunday was a much more relaxed day with snow shoes games and some more tubing. We cooked lunch outside with a special technique using waxed burlap. Camp ended with a short Guides Own planned by the girls and voting on the crest design for this camp. One of the challenges for the Winter Lodge camp was to design the event crest. The girls will receive this crest along with the BC Winter Camping Challenge which they earned.
Photos by Lisa Labelle
By Patricia Tellis, Deputy Provincial Camping Adviser