York School News

Daisy’s Reflections from ICE Winter Camping 2024

Daisy M, Grade 9
This adventure is completely unlike any other school trip we have been on and it is especially different from our daily lives.
Why winter camp?

I am forever grateful to be presented with such an opportunity. The great sense of accomplishment that flooded our grade was more than enough to make all of the struggles we faced worthwhile. This adventure has taught me that your positive attitude is truly what offers the most guidance, and what carried us through the trip.  After returning home,  I have slowly realized that I gained a stronger appreciation for all I have.  Being in an environment without social media allowed me to disconnect with the overwhelming world I live in every day, and further my connection with both myself and my classmates.  Along with this,  I have discovered many new strengths of my own and was able to showcase these skills through various activities. In the thick of brand new sports and games such as broomball and seal push-ups, I was given the resources to use my personal toolbox and build something magical. 

This adventure is completely unlike any other school trip we have been on and it is especially different from our daily lives. Initially, the thought of this intimidated me. Sleeping in a tent with my classmates, cooking my own meals and withstanding harsh weather conditions all stood beyond a line I have never crossed before. Nonetheless, stepping past that line gave me insight into how seeing a different atmosphere, a different type of trip and a different version of yourself is so incredibly fulfilling. Being a Canadian citizen, it is so valuable to not only understand, but to appreciate people of all kinds in our community.  

What did you learn about yourself?

After being exposed to such a unique experience, I have had a large shift in perspective. Blindly walking into such a new challenge, it can be expected that I wasn't sure I would enjoy myself. However, I can now confidently say that what this trip had in store for me would only serve me well in the future. Being in such an isolated, secluded environment with a small group of people that was shielded from every reminder of a “city life,” you are tremendously exposed to elements you would never see in an academic setting. In the moment, I was highly aware of the amount I was learning about myself, the people around me, and the surrounding setting. The immersive, experiential learning and hands-on tasks gave us the chance to hone skills we would never have experienced without being given the opportunity on this trip. I firmly believe that we all showed our true colours on this excursion and only positive things came from this. I returned to school with a deeper understanding, appreciation, and respect for my peers after sharing this unique experience together. The idea that we were all in the same position and being pushed out of our comfort zones as one group is what molded the rich sense of community amongst 9B. Each and every member of our class had a duty. We were equally responsible for the happiness and comfort of our peers, by all playing a valuable role in all the challenges we were faced with. Yes, we were a little cold and uncomfortable at times, but we were all cold and uncomfortable together.  Now reflecting back, it is not the numbness of my toes that I remember, but the laughs we shared, the stories we told, and the memories we created. Through this great adventure, I was able to find the deep value in a community and how setting yourself to a higher standard results in a most gratifying feeling.

What advice would you give to a future Winter camper? 

If I were to give one piece of advice to future winter campers, I would tell them not to be afraid of the unknown. Walking into a brand new adventure most definitely comes with preconceived notions that may trick a person into second guessing themselves and questioning the experience as a whole. However, if I were to do this entire trip all over again, I would take advantage of what is unfamiliar. Little did I know what it had in store for me was endless opportunities for growth, adventure and feeding my curiosity. The unknown is scary. It's new, but it's beautiful. Reflecting on what once was the unknown, is now a palace of memories.  It's a place I can look back on, to remember the laughs by the fire, stargazing on the ice and the smiles I shared with every single person I came in contact with. The mysterious unknown is completely unpredictable.  It fills you with fear before you walk into it.  However, if this trip has taught me anything, it is that never knowing what is coming next and pushing yourself through it is what makes it worth the discomfort and anticipation. Soon enough, you will reminisce about the unknown and wish you could turn back the clock and not be afraid of it. 

About the York School

The York School is a gender-inclusive JK to Grade 12 independent school located in the heart of Toronto. The York School was founded in 1965 and is the first English speaking school in Canada accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) from junior kindergarten (JK) to university entrance. As an IB World School, The York School's motto is Experience Teaches.

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