Grade 7 and 8 Winter Camp

Students shovelling snow during one of their outdoor activities – Quinzee building


On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the grade 7 and 8 students of IHMS boarded a chartered bus at 7:45 AM for the 110 km. ride to Camp Arnes. They stayed for three days and two nights, returning on Friday, January 17.


sign10 The students were accompanied by:

  • Mrs. Walton (the grade 8 homeroom teacher)
  • Mrs. Naurocki (the grade 7 homeroom teacher)
  • Mr. Dedio (the school’s Physical Education teacher)
  • Mr. Kozak (a parent volunteer )


Junior-high students in the bus on the way to 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 to view the Camp Arnes website



Last year’s grade 6 students who went to summer camp are now in grade 7 and off to this year’s winter camp. Last years’s grade 5 students who went to summer camp will have to wait until 2022 (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 into their chalets. Everyone was accommodated in two large chalets – one for the grade 7 and 8 boys and one for the grade 7 and 8 girls. Each building contained a bathroom, a shower, a set of bunk beds for sleeping, and a separate room for the teacher supervisor. There were two teacher supervisors for each chale: Mr. Dedio stayed with the grade 8 boys, Mr. Kozak with the grade 7 boys, Mrs. Walton with the grade 8 girls, and Mrs. Naurocki with the grade 7 girls.


The Tamarack chalet – the grade 7 boys and Mr. Kozak slept on one side and the grade 8 boys and Mr. Dedio slept on the other side. The girls slept in a similar chalet called Silver Birch.


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 Swimming Pool, and the Wigwam.

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 Dining Hall was the building closest to the chalets where the students were staying.


Students enjoying one of their meals in the Dining Hall


Everyone at camp participated in a series of scheduled outdoor activities such as:
  • Quinzee Building
  • Fire and Bannock
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Compass Orienteering
  • Instincts for Survival




Students played the above activities as part of a predetermined group. There were 3 different groups (“A”, “B”, and “C”), each containing 15 or 16 students with a random mixture of boys and girls from grade 7 and 8.  Since all outdoor activities were taught by Camp Arnes councillors, the teacher simply supervised their group or helped out when needed.


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




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., and supper at 5:15 p.m. 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 everyone agreed that the food was generally very good!



On the morning of the last day (Friday), the students ate breakfast before participating in their last scheduled activity at Camp Arnes. After completing the activity, they returned to their chalets to clean up and pack their bags to leave. Everyone ate a delicious lunch, and at 1:30 p.m. boarded a chartered bus for the long trip back to Winnipeg. They arrived at IHMS at around 3:00 p.m. with memories to last a lifetime!