Information on up-coming events
What is a Klondike Derby ? 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. It is a Boy Scout Winter Skills and Camping event, held every winter in the snow. Usually it involves an overnight campout and multiple Camporee type competitions, where Boy Scout Troops and Boy Scout Patrols compete against each other. Boys are divided into patrols and each patrol uses a Dog Type sled that uses Scout power to pull it instead of dogs. The Scouts pull the sleds that are loaded with their personal and patrol equipment. The Scouts journey through woods and fields, up and down hills and stop at 10-12 different activity stations (sometimes named after Alaskan towns) where they are tested on different Scout skills. Usually the Scouts have to use a map and compass to navigate themselves and their sleds to their destinations (each activity station). When they arrive at these stations they are timed and tested on their Scouting knowledge, their team work and their problem solving skills. Some of the things they may be tested on include: Sled and equipment inspection. Are they prepared? Build a fire in the snow Cook a complete meal for the whole patrol on an open fire. Winter Survival Skill Tests, demonstrate the following: o Where do you find dry wood for a fire? o Can you start a fire without matches? o What can you find to eat? o How do you build a shelter to get out of the elements? o How do you build a bed to sleep in and keep warm? Pitch a tent in the snow. Map and compass navigation. First aid, for hypothermia, broken bones, CPR, etc... Pioneering - Lashing and Knots - building useful projects. Cutting wood with a hatchet, ax and bow saw. Emergency Search and Rescue; search for a lost person, what to do if you get lost, rescue someone from the water if they fall through the ice. A sled race with a heavy load. Usually all the tests are performed on Saturday and all of them are timed on a stop watch and count toward ribbons that are presented at the Saturday night camp fire. Who can attend a Klondike Derby? Boys Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Explorer and Venture Scouts are the ones that this event is intended for. Sometimes Webelos Cub Scouts are invited to attend as the guest of a Boy Scout Troop or the BSA Council and stay for the day events. When Webelos compete, they usually do it against other Scouts their own age and use their own sled for their Den. What kind of equipment do you need at a Klondike Derby? The Sled -- Every competing team (patrol/den) of Scouts needs a Klondike Derby Sled. The sleds are fashioned to look somewhat like Alaskan Dog Sleds. Some materials that are used include, plywood, 1x2's, 1x4's, 2x4's pine boards, old fiberglass and wood skis are sometimes used for the runners, sometimes PVC pipes are used to form the body of the sled, wooden dowels, old broom sticks and handles, wood screws, nuts and bolts, rope, etc... It is not recommended to use nails in the construction of the sled because they come loose under the stress/strain and banging the sleds take. The Klondike Gold Rush drew people from all over the world to the Klondike region of northwestern Canada after gold was discovered there in 1896. The gold rush lasted only a few years, essentially ending in 1899. Spurred on by newspaper campaigns, at its height in late 1897 to mid 1898, about one hundred thousand people, mostly novices to prospecting, headed for the gold fields. The Klondike is remembered for the hardship endured by the would-be prospectors, immortalized by pictures of their ascending of the Chilkoot Pass, by books like The Call of the Wild, and films like The Gold Rush. Few got rich, and it is estimated that the money spent getting there exceeded the value of gold found during the rush. It is often called the Alaska Gold Rush because the gold field belonged to the Alaskan peninsula, and a majority of the prospectors disembarked at Alaskan ports. It came to an end when a real Alaskan gold strike, the Nome Gold Rush (18991909), drew away many Klondikers. The Klondike rush did not lead to a permanent increase in population. Since the rush, the Klondike area has continued to be mined with pauses depending on fluctuations in the gold price. A total of about 12,500,000 oz or 430 tons of gold have been taken from the Klondike area since its discovery. Much like the Klondike gold rushers, the scouts must demonstrate survival skills in the harsh winter environment. Scores are usually kept with the award of "gold nuggets" given out at each station based on the patrols knowledge and performance. First, second, and third place teams are honored after the nuggets are counted. Scoutland Projects Current Scoutland projects are; finishing the two permanent outhouses, working on a totem pole, building a meeting table and benches, working on the outdoor amphitheater, and improving the north loop trail (we still need one culvert on the north loop trail). We are also collecting fire wood, maintaining trails, and improving campsites to include the building of two tent cabins, leveling a new storage shed, building a canoe rack. We also need to plumb sinks in the lodge kitchen and stock some cooking utensils (cookware, silverware, paper towel rack, etc.). A pressure tank, pressure switch, and hose hookup to the lodge is also in the works so we have on-demand running water in the lodge kitchen. Any donations of ideas, labor, or materials will be greatly appreciated.


Cumberland, Wisconsin
Eric Becker (H) 715-671-0081
Louie Muench (H) 822-2006 (w) 822-4728


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