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web_iglooFun and games with an educational twist – what can you pull off in the depths of winter in a snowbound city in which traffic has ground to a halt?

We needed something to take minds of malfunctioning school boilers, iced up pavements and the ice crashing off the eaves of buildings. In cooperation with our colleagues from the social welfare centre and mates from local outdoor clubs we organized the “igloo festival” on the 18 January 2008.

By cutting large blocks of snow from the car park and adopting Innuit technology in so far as you can with garden shovels and plywood boards, young clients of the centre, local school kids and a surprising number of grown-up children threw themselves into the construction of an entire snow village decorated with ice sculptures and Arctic totems. It soon became obvious that that making an igloo isn’t an easy job and even the smallest hiccup can lead to a cave-in. Hey, but it’s all part of the fun (especially if a social worker is inside at the time)!

Building an igloo or snow-cave is an important part of every winter mountaineering course and develops important skills for surviving in critical situations..

Under the sound of both Innuit and Saami music, the children learnt about the lives of these people in the land of ice and snow – when and where to build an igloo and when a snow cave. There is a modern, commercial variety of igloo build by giant machinery– the ice hotels of Scandinavia. Animals inhabit these inhospitable regions.

EQ places emphasis on “learning through experience” – reinforcing information by means of action and humour.