Twitter | @magLRSD

Epic School Yard Snow Fort In Canada Also Doubles As An Outdoor Classroom

One of the tough lessons of life is that snow days are all relative. What gets you a day off school in the South, for example — where snow tends to be rare and people aren't well equipped for it — would mean just another frosty trudge for people up north.

And when you're talking about Canada, for the vast majority, snow is just a way of life. It takes a pretty large wallop of winter to keep those Canucks out of action. And if you don't look out, they might just use it all to their advantage.

Chances are you've never set foot in a classroom quite like this one.

Sure, it gets lots of light and fresh air, but how many classrooms have a tunnel? Or are designed and built by students, and made almost entirely of snow?

Of course, it didn't start out as a classroom; rather, it was the product of Winnipeg, Manitoba elementary school École Marie-Anne Gaboury's celebration of Festival du Voyageur. That's an annual winter tradition that celebrates Canada's fur-trading past and French heritage.

For this year's festival, each class at École Marie-Anne Gaboury was asked to suggest ideas for the perfect snow fort.

As phys-ed teacher Jöel Bohémier told the CBC, teachers had to narrow things down from there. "Most of them had slides coming out of the top," he said. "Some were 15, 20 feet high. We had staircases, big castles."

But they still ended up with a large design, with each side measuring 11 meters (about 36 feet) long, and the walls two meters (about 6.5 feet) tall.

The kids did the vast majority of the work on the fort.

Even though it's taller than the kids, the fort/classroom represents a ton of handiwork by the school's students. Much of the work was completed during gym classes, with kids pulling toboggans full of snow around the yard in the cold.

"Once you work, you warm up," Bohémier told the CBC. "Kids learn the hard way. Some of them that don't move will realize that once they are active and they move — which obviously we promote in phys ed — then they warm up pretty quickly."

With 400 kids working on it, the fort took shape quickly.

Those sleds full of snow got turned into large boulders, which older and bigger kids would pile on top of the fort, building up its walls.

Inside, the finishing touches were added: chairs and tables made of blocks of ice, dyed with food coloring — all far enough apart to allow for social distancing.

In all, it took a mere four days for the kids to finish work on their epic snow fort.

And the idea isn't just for kids to use the space as an outdoor classroom — until it melts, of course — but for the community to be able to use it as well.

"Organized and overseen by our Physical Education teachers, the fort is an excellent example of the way staff and students have been resilient, flexible and creative in a school year like no other," the school's website says.

And it's definitely a creation the kids can be proud of.

h/t: CBC