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.
Since 2013 is an odd numbered year, itâ??s also a â??summer campâ?ť year. So very early in the morning on Monday, May 27th, 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.
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 third 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 Beaver bus that arrived at 8:00 a.m. (students were asked to be at school by 8:15 a.m.). Everyone waited for instructions from the driver before loading their bags into the compartment hold.
In addition to Mrs. Wittevrongel and Mrs. Wdowiak, the students were accompanied by Mr. Dedio (the Phys. Ed. teacher), Miss Rowe (an Educational Assistant), and Mr. McCarvill (a parent volunteer). With everything packed and everyone on board, the bus pulled out shortly after 8:30 a.m.
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.
The grade 5 and 6 girls stayed in a large side by side cabin supervised by Mrs. Wdowiak on one side and Mrs. Wittevrongel on the other side. This large cabin was very comfortable for the girls because it had its own washrooms and showers within the building. The rest of the grade 5 and 6 girls stayed in an adjacent cabin with Miss Rowe. Mr. Dedio stayed with the grade 5 boys while Mr. McCarvill supervised the grade 6 boys. Washrooms were nearby in a separate building.
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.,Â 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:
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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!
On Monday and Tuesday afternoon, a large group activity was scheduled that involved everyone. On Monday, it was a game played on the field called â??Steal the Baconâ?ť, while on Tuesday everyone went to the beach for a swim.
As mentioned earlier, a small snack was served on both evenings. Tuesdayâ??s snack was special because it was served by the campfire. 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.
Monday and Tuesday were full of activities, and two activities were scheduled for Wednesday, 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 12 different activities over the course of 3 days. The activities included:
1. Wall climbing
2. Scavenger hunt
4. Ropes course
6. Team development
7. Survival skills
8. Fire building/bannock
10. Bikes course
11. Geo caching
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 wasnâ??t cooperating.
On the last day (Wednesday), 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.
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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 3:30 p.m. to parents who were glad to take their children back home.