Tag Archives: Klondike Derby

Klondike Derby

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While Ozzie was home this past weekend, and we were enjoying some fun by the warmth of the fireplace, the other boys and Toby were braving the cold at the Klondike Derby.

“A Klondike derby is an annual event held by some Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada districts during the winter months and is based on the heritage of the Klondike Gold Rush. BSA units have been running Klondike derbies since 1949.

The event varies by district, but the typical Klondike derby consists of several stations where patrols/units must test their Scoutcraft skills and their leadership abilities, earning points towards a total score. Often, one or more races are included while the Scouts navigate between stations.

The unit must transport their gear on a homemade sled pulled by the Scouts.”

This winter camporee rolls around every February, and while it is a huge hit with the 11 and 12 years old’s I have found enthusiasm for camping in freezing temperatures seems to decrease incrementally with an increase in the age of the scout. By the time the campers reach their 40’s and 50’s there is nothing but sheer determination and a heavy helping of fatherly guilt driving them to forgo their warm beds and sleep outside in freezing February weather.

Toby goes each year and while he loves camping, winter camping is not his favorite way to camp. I think he would enjoy the Winter Camporee a bit more if it was held in April or October, but he is a good sport (and a great Dad) so he continues to show up for this frigid tradition year after year.

This year was Tyler’s first year to attend officially as an 11-year-old scout. He was very excited. On Friday he helped Rusty cross off the items on their packing list while I whipped up three foil dinners for them to cook over the campfire later that night.

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I was headed down to Pittsburgh to pick up Ozzie when Toby got home, and they headed out, so I didn’t have a chance to wish them well. They arrived at camp by 5:30 pm, set up, and started their fire.

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Friday night was spent getting settled, starting a fire to cook on, cooking foil dinners, and playing in the snow. The boys had snowball fights and built a snowman, only to light its “hair” on fire in an attempt to melt it…such a Boy Scout thing to do. 😊

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When night came Rusty slept in one shelter with the other boys in his scout troop while Tyler camped with Toby in the leader’s tent.

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Toby said Tyler did well and aside from waking up around 3:00 am because of the cold, he survived his first Winter Camporee with flying colors.

The real action happened on Saturday when the scouts met up with other troops to compete in a series of skill building challenges. Our troop did really well, as they always seem to at these activities.

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The challenges included the Klondike sled race,

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Fire building competitions,

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And two-man saw races.

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For their next big scouting adventure Toby and Rusty will be heading south. This Boy Scout adventure promises to be much warmer and a tad more thrilling than the Winter Camporee. They will be headed to the Florida Keys for a 7-day sailing adventure.

It sounds incredible and is the payoff of all the hours Toby has invested in the less glamourous scouting adventures he has helped with over the years.

It will be an adventure of a lifetime and I am thrilled Toby and Rusty get to embark on it together!

Boy Scout Klondike Derby

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“A Klondike derby is an annual event held by some Boy Scouts of America districts during the winter months and is based on the heritage of the Klondike Gold Rush BSA units have been running Klondike derbies since 1949.

The event varies by district, but the typical Klondike derby consists of several stations where patrols/units must test their Scoutcraft skills and their leadership abilities, earning points towards a total score.”

This weekend was the Klondike Derby for the Boy Scouts in our area. Rusty’s troop was one of the troops participating in this fun overnight campout and competition. Toby joined Rusty, one other leader, and a few more scouts in representing our troop.

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The Derby was held at Camp Baker, a scout camp about twenty minutes from our home.

It was a cold night and I fell even more in love with my husband as he set aside his own desires and the warmth and comfort of his own bed to camp outside with a bunch of scouts on a cold Friday in January. He is a GOOD man!

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Despite the cold temperatures the boys had a blast. Our troop was only participating for half the events because of another church actity on Saturday night.

The competed with the other troops in orienteering, knot tying, the two person saw race:

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Fire starting (Their team won that event!):

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and even competed in the Klondike Sled race despite not having their sled. The sled was not brought over because they thought that event was happening after they had to leave, so when the discovered that they would be there for the event, rather than sit it out, they improvised with a human sled.

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One scout was the sled, one was the pusher, one was the puller, and one was the rider.

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They didn’t win but they made some fun memories!

Rusty arrived home eager to tell me about his Klondike adventures and then it was on the road again for the next big activity for the weekend: Ice Skating!