Grade 11 – Winter Pinecrest

After a semester of AP Calculus and Grade 11 chemistry, Grade 11 students deserve a break. As a retreat, they venture once again to the place where all the memories began, YMCA’s Pine Crest.

Here, students will rediscover Canadian winter by cross-country skiing on a frozen lake, playing broomball, and snowshoeing in deep snow.

For anyone brave enough to accept the challenge, students are given the opportunity to sleep outdoors for a night. They spend the day working together to build a quinzee, a shelter similar to an igloo. Bundling up closely with their peers, students have the option of spending the night inside the structure they had worked so hard to build. The other nights are spent sleeping in heated cabins, keeping the students warm in the sometimes -30°C weather.


Though they’ve shared three years in class together, students continue to develop their team-building skills through Ropes courses, (always fun when your fingers can’t uncurl due to the cold), and a toboggan building challenge (Hint: crashing into the snow bank is not how you win).

At the end of the each day, students kick off their shoes, watch a movie, eat a snack, and then get some much needed rest. The overall experience is the perfect combination of relaxation and exhilaration, exactly what the students need before facing a semester of Grade 11 Physics and English.