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Students cross country skiing on a trail at Camp Arnes


On Wednesday, January 20, 2016, the grade 7 and 8 students of IHMS boarded a chartered bus for the 110 km. ride to Camp Arnes. They stayed for three days and two nights, returning on Friday, January 22.


sign10 The students were accompanied by:

  • Mrs. Wittevrongel (the grade 8 teacher)
  • Mrs. Naurocki (the grade 7 teacher)
  • Mr. Picklyk (the school’s principal)
  • Mrs. Argo (a parent volunteer), and
  • Mr. Solar (a parent volunteer)


Grade 8 students posing together outside the girl’s chalet at Camp Arnes


IHMS sends two classes to camp every year. On odd numbered years, the grade 5 & 6 students attend “summer camp” (in May) while on even numbered years, the grade 7 & 8 students attend “winter camp” (in January) . In this way, students who remain at IHMS from grade 5 to 8 attend camp twice – once in summer and once in winter.

Click the map to the left for a larger image

Click here for a virtual tour of Camp Arnes




Last June’s grade 6 students who went to summer camp are now in grade 7 and off to this year’s winter camp. Last June’s grade 5 students who went to summer camp will have to wait until 2018 (when they are in grade 8) to attend winter camp.






As stated in their website, Camp Arnes “is dedicated to challenging children and adults with exemplary Christian living, spiritual nurture, character and leadership development in a wilderness environment.  In accordance with the traditions of the Society, the Mission of Camp Arnes is to:

  • Provide campers and staff with an exceptional atmosphere for inviting them to experience Christ as Lord and Savior (John 3:16 & 17).
  • Develop Christian character and leadership qualities through role modeling and formal teaching.
  • Provide an outstanding setting and opportunity for recreation and relaxation.
  • Foster a sensitive attitude to nature and the management of our environment (Psalm 8, 19).
  • Offer a camping experience to people of diverse cultural, ethnic and church heritages while recognizing our responsibility to the Mennonite Brethren community of Manitoba, who provide much of our continuing support.”



Upon arriving at Camp Arnes after an hour and fifteen minute bus ride, the students were greeted by councillors who got them settled in their chalets. The chalets, “Tamarack” for the boys and “Shady Pines” for the girls, each contained a bathroom, a shower, a set of bunk beds for sleeping, and a room for the teacher supervisor. Each chalet had an adult supervisor: Mr. Picklyk stayed  with the grade 8 boys, Mr. Solar with the grade 7 boys, Mrs. Wittevrongel with the grade 8 girls, and the double team of Mrs. Naurocki and Mrs. Argo with the grade 7 girls.


The Tamarack chalet – the grade 7 boys slept on one side and the grade 8 boys slept on the other side. The girls slept in a similar chalet called Shady Pines.


After everyone settled in, the councillors took the students on a quick tour of the area. Some of the more important buildings included the Dining Hall, the Meeting Room, the Swimming Pool, the Wigwam, and the Resource Centre.


Some of the supervising teachers and parent volunteers at Camp Arnes


Since the outdoor activities either began or ended at most of these places, it was important for everyone to know all the important buildings at Camp Arnes. Luckily, the Resource Centre and the Dining Hall were the two buildings closest to the chalets where the students were staying.


One of the outdoor activities the students played was “Instincts for Survival”


Everyone at camp participated in a series of scheduled outdoor activities such as:

  • Quinzee Building
  • Fire and Bannock
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Shelter Building
  • Compass Orienteering
  • Instincts for Survival



Students involved in some of the outdoor activities at Camp Arnes


After meeting at their designated location, students participated in each outdoor activity in groups of 12 – six students from grade 7 and six from grade 8. Each outdoor activity also had a supervising teacher or parent volunteer and a camp councillor. Activities were always taught by the camp councillors. The teacher or parent volunteers simply supervised or helped out when needed.


Students participating in orienteering and cross country skiing


In addition to the above outdoor learning activities, students also went on a hay ride, had a marshmallow roast, cooked bannock, played outdoor games, participated in an Extravaganza (where they played small group games), and went swimming in the pool.


Grade 8 students cooking bannock over a fire


At night, everyone had to be in bed by 10:30 p.m. (ground silence), although students in some chalets stayed up later. Breakfast, which was served at 8:30 a.m., consisted of eggs, toast, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, orange juice, and milk. Lunch was served at 12:15 p.m. (11:45 a.m. on the last day) , and included chicken burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches with salad, and taco salad. Supper was at 5:45, and included lasagna and garlic toast with salad on one day, and a chicken breast (which most students described as “rubbery”) with potatoes on the other. In addition, a small snack of cookies, oranges, apples, chocolate cake, ice cream, and juice was served at 10:00 p.m., just prior to bed time. Students were free to eat as much as they wanted, and other than the unfortunately prepared chicken breast, the food was generally very good!


Students eating meals and a snack in the Dining Hall


On the morning of the last day, the students had breakfast, packed their bags, and cleaned their chalet. After participating in the last scheduled activity, they had a chicken burger with fries for lunch and boarded the bus for the long trip back to Winnipeg. They arrived at IHMS at around 3:00 p.m. with memories to last a lifetime! sf


…… Click here for Additional Winter Camp Photos ……


Students had a wonderful time experiencing the beauty of nature at Camp Arnes


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