|Students sitting around a campfire soon after arriving at Winkler Bible Camp|
IHMS sends two classes to camp every year. On even numbered years, the grade 7 and 8 students go to winter camp in January. On odd numbered years the grade 5 and 6 students go to summer camp in May. In this way, students who remain at IHMS from grade 5 to 8 attend camp twice – once in winter and once in summer.
|Some of the activities that students did at Winkler Bible Camp|
Since 2015 is an odd numbered year, it’s also a “summer camp” year. So very early in the morning on Wednesday, May 13th, the grade 5 and 6 classes gathered int the school gym with packed suitcases ready to begin their 3 day summer camp adventure. Many of the students were accompanied by their parents, and everyone excitedly waited for the bus to arrive.
|Students assembled in the gym early Wednesday morning to wait for the bus|
Up until 2009, students went to Camp Arnes (19 km north of Gimli), but in that year the decision was made to try out Winkler Bible Camp to see how it compared. The experience was so positive that Mrs. Wdowiak and Mrs. Wittevrongel (the classroom teachers) decided to return to Winkler Bible Camp again this year for the fourth time. Winkler Bible Camp is a Christian camp located about 120 km southeast of Winnipeg between Morden and Winkler.
The students were transported to camp in a large bus that arrived at 8:00 a.m. (students were asked to be at school by 7:45 a.m.). Everyone waited for instructions from the driver before loading their bags into the compartment hold.
In addition to Mrs. Wdowiak and Mrs. Wittevrongel, the students were accompanied by Mr. Banias (the school’s vice-principal), Miss Rowe (one of the school’s Educational Assistants), Mr. Solar (a parent volunteer) and Mrs. Argo (another parent volunteer). With everything packed and everyone on board, the bus pulled out shortly after 8:15 a.m.
|Students loading their bags into the bus’s compartment hold|
The ride took about an hour and and a half, so the bus rolled into Winkler Bible Camp at around 10:00 a.m. After a welcome by the camp organizer, the students were given time to unpack at their cabins.
All of the girls stayed in 2 separate cabins – the grade 5 girls had a cabin of their own as did the grade 6 girls. It was the same situation with the boys except they also had a third cabin which had a mixture of grade 5 and 6 boys. Camp councillors stayed with the students in each of the five cabins. The male supervisors, Mr. Banias and Mr. Solar, had a cabin of their own, as did the female supervisors – Mrs. Wdowiak, Mrs. Wittevrongel, Miss Rowe, and Mrs. Argo. Washrooms were nearby in a separate building.
|Students standing in front of one of their cabins (top photo), and in front of the dining hall (bottom photo)|
A schedule of activities was made up for the students during their stay at camp. The students had to be up and out of bed by 7:45 a.m., and everyone had to be ready for breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
|Meals were served 3 times a day, with a small snack in the evening:
Everyone ate together in a large L-shaped dining area that was set up like a restaurant buffet. The food was excellent, and different for every meal. Everyone looked forward to the delicious meals, and no one left the table hungry!
|Students enjoyed the meals at camp – everyone said the food was excellent!|
As mentioned earlier, a small snack was served on both evenings. After the snack, everyone had to be back in their cabins by 10:00 p.m. The adult supervisors were responsible for enforcing these rules in their cabins.
|Camp supervisors explaining activities to the students. After the evening campfire, everyone had to be back in their cabins by 10:00 p.m.|
Wednesday and Thursday were full of activities, and two activities were scheduled for Friday, the day of departure. Since a limited number of students could participate in any single activity at a time, the students were arranged into 3 smaller groups. These groups rotated through 11 different activities over the course of 3 days. The activities included:
- Wall climbing
- Scavenger hunt
- Ropes course
- Team development
- Survival skills
- Fire building/bannock
- Bikes course
- Geo caching
|Students having fun and gaining new experiences|
Unfortunately, the schedule was modified a few times because of rain, and not all groups had the opportunity to participate in all activities. Some activities took place in the large multi-purpose room when the weather wasn’t cooperating. One of the planned activities that no one did was swimming in the lake – the weather was much too cold!
|Indoor activities took place in the multi-purpose room when it rained|
On the last day (Friday), students participated in their last activity before heading back to their cabins to clean up and pack for home. Lunch was served at noon, and the students boarded the bus for their 1:00 p.m. departure back to Winnipeg.
|One of the groups doing their final activity on Friday – canoeing|
Most students reported having an amazing time at Winkler Bible Camp, but at the same time they were also happy to get back home. The bus arrived at IHMS about 3:20 p.m. to parents who were glad to take their children back home.