Klondike kids

By Martin Schneider
THE NEWS-TIMES
2001-01-25

 
Members of Troop 15, of Redding, huddle together under a makeshift tarp they erected over their sled during the annual Klondike Derby for Boy Scouts held last Saturday.
Photography by Wendy Carlson

Members of Troop 15, of Redding, huddle together under a makeshift tarp they erected over their sled during the annual Klondike Derby for Boy Scouts held last Saturday.

Signs direct the scouts through the course.

 

Signs direct the scouts through the course.

Bobby Cotton, left and Chris Carozza, from Troop 52 in 
Danbury participate in the log sawing competition.

 

Bobby Cotton, left and Chris Carozza, from Troop 52 in Danbury participate in the log sawing competition.

Sam Otey 
of New 
Fairfield’s Troop 42, checks 
out his 
surroundings. His troop opted to camp overnight.

 

Sam Otey of New Fairfield’s Troop 42, checks out his surroundings. His troop opted to camp overnight.

From left, Paul Makai, Alan Owen and James Branson from Troop 135 in Brookfield strain to push their sled over a hump in the course.

 

From left, Paul Makai, Alan Owen and James Branson from Troop 135 in Brookfield strain to push their sled over a hump in the course.

REDDING — A local campground was transformed into the Alaskan frontier for a few hours Saturday as Boy Scouts from across the area took part in the annual Klondike Derby.

Snow fell throughout the morning as 270 local scouts used homemade sleds to participate in a competition fashioned after the famous Iditarod dog sled race.

"One of the main parts of scouting is being outside,” said Brian Larcom, scoutmaster of Troop 42 in New Fairfield. "This is a great way to teach teamwork and get the boys out and active. It’s like a dog sled race, but instead of dogs, it’s scouts pulling the sled.”

Scouts from 22 troops in the area pushed and pulled wooden sleds around the Hoyt Scouting Reservation, competing against other troops in events like sawing logs, building fires, an obstacle course, target shooting and first aid procedures.

The theme of this year’s derby was "2001: A Klondike Odyssey,” and in keeping with the space theme, the scouts earned points at each station to protect Alaska from an alien invasion.

"It’s fun to be out here with everybody,” said Phil Zercey, 14, of Newtown. "You have to work together to win. It’s really about teamwork.”

Scouts were scored on their performance in events as well as

following directions, working as a group and exhibiting leadership qualities.

Sleds went out with six to eight scouts per team, along with an adult supervisor, but adults were not allowed to help during the competition.

"At the derby, they put to use everything that they’ve been learning throughout the year,” said Larry Hepner, of Troop 42 in New Fairfield. "It’s fun for everybody, of course, but there’s a strong learning element as well.”

Each team made its own sled and carried all its supplies on board including meals, water, rope, blankets and anything team members would need for the competition. At lunch time, the scouts cooked over open fires.

"Everybody has the same equipment, but it’s up to us to use it in the most resourceful way,” said Tim Duffy, 14, of Newtown. "We’re supposed to be completely prepared and have everything we need right with us.”

Contact Martin Schneider

at mschneider@newstimes.com

or at (203) 731-3331.

 


 

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