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Students making a fire at winter camp


On Wednesday, January 15th, 2014, 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 17th.


Students busy doing activities at Camp Arnes


camp sign h9 The students were accompanied by Mrs. Depiero and Mrs. Naurocki (their homeroom teachers), Mr. Banias (the school’s vice-principal), and Mr. Shpurko and Mr. Argo, two parent volunteers.


The teachers and parent volunteers at Camp Arnes


map w8 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 here for a virtual tour of Camp Arnes

Click the map to the left for a larger image


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 2016 (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.”


Students were picked up at IHMS and transported to Camp Arnes


Upon arriving at Camp Arnes after their hour and fifteen minute bus ride, the students were greeted by councillors who got them settled at the two chalets where everyone would sleep. The chalets – “Tamarack” for the grade 7 & 8 boys and the newly built “Shady Pines”  for the 7 & 8 girls – each contained a bathroom, a shower, a set of bunk beds for sleeping, and a room for the teacher supervisor.


Tamarack from the outside and with boys posing on the inside


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.


The Dining Hall included a cozy fireplace


All outdoor activities began and ended at either the Wigwam or the Resource Centre (except for snowshoeing), so it was important for everyone to know where they were located. Luckily, the Resource Centre and the Dining Hall were the two buildings closest to the chalets where the students were staying.


Grade 8 boys in the Meeting Room


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


Cross country skiing – one of the activities at Camp Arnes


After meeting at either the Wigwam or the Resource Centre, students would divide into their groups (there were 4 different groups) to do one of the activities with a teacher 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 building a temporary winter shelter and a quinzee


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


A student chopping wood to make a fire


At night, everyone had to be in bed by 10:30 p.m. (ground silence). Breakfast, which was served at 8:00 a.m., consisted of eggs, toast, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, orange juice, and milk. Lunch varied between 11:45 and 12:15, and included subs, grilled cheese sandwiches with salad, and taco salad. Supper was at 5:15, and included roast beef and salad on one day, and pizza on the other. In addition, a small snack of cookies, oranges, apples,  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 commented on the excellent quality of the food at camp!


Students enjoying some of the great food at Camp Arnes


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


      Click here to view additional photos of Camp Arnes




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