Updated February 24, 2008
Klondike Derby, Camp Tuckahoe, February 22-24, 2008

Friday there was snow, sleet and ice. The weather reports showed it getting worse later that evening, so everyone prepared and left for camp a few hours earlier than originally planned – Be Prepared. An extra dinner of hamburgers was added to the menu Friday evening, so each patrol had to cook upon arrival at camp.

Friday evening at a Klondike is usually spent reviewing skills or working on advancement with younger Scouts. The patrols spent some time instructing Webelos (very soon to be Boy Scouts) on some basic skills, such as cooking, cleaning, knots, and first aid. The Scoutmaster worked with older Scouts on safety with liquid fuel backpacking stoves. And everyone who needed it got a refresher on lashing.
The Klondike Derby is run by patrol on a wooden sled the boys have made. Each patrol loads the sled with items they were told to bring, and then takes it from event to event performing an assigned “task” at each station. This year, the entire course was an orienteering course, so to get from station to station required the use of a compass.
At one station, the patrol had to make a slingshot and shoot at some animal silhouettes far off in the field. They had 10 shots for accuracy. Half the score was based on performing the task, the other half was based on working as a patrol.
Further along the trail, the Scouts has a chance to make smores at a station, warm up, and rest. Once again, they needed to have packed certain things on their sled to do this, and were scored on how well they all contributed to the task.
There were first aid challenges at several stations. The focus was again on solving the problem correctly, and working as a team. In one scenario, the Patrol Leader had been run over by a wild pack of Cub Scouts on a runaway sled, had broken his leg, and contracted hypothermia. This stopped their most senior Scout from giving directions, while the others had to work together to take care of him.
Another station involved homemade snowshoes and carrying out a task as a team
The Scouts had to go ice fishing with things they had brought on their sled. If they packed according to the list they were given, they had everything they needed to make six fishing poles, including line, hook, and bait.
During dinner there was a camp wide Dutch oven cooking contest. The European Swallows took second place with their ham and potato casserole. The Hippies baked some delicious stuffed shells, but due to the complexity of the recipe were too late to enter them in the contest. Both patrols have come a long way from their first Klondike with hamburgers and hot dogs.
Several older Scouts decided that it was time to try outdoor winter camping. Saturday night they set up a tent, and slept pretty comfortably in the 22-degree weather. It was a good close to a very successful Klondike.