The News-Times/Carol Kaliff
Not much snow in this “Klondike,” but Scouts took a turn
at “mushing” a sled, anyway. The outing was held Saturday at
Tarrywile Park in Danbury. Scouts from several regions took
Zachary Kunicki, 12, of Danbury Troop 24, exercises his
right to saw firewood.
Daniel Richeme, 11, left, and Garrett Kelly, 12, both
members of Troop 9 in Danbury, take a try at a three-legged
snowshoe race in which the center snowshoe is larger than
the outside ones.
DANBURY — Crossing the frozen earth with supply-packed sleds,
hundreds of pioneers were challenged endlessly, their survival
skills tested over and over.
Some sang "Ring Around the Rosy.”
No, this wasn’t the Klondike of the 1800s, where pioneers
ssearched the Yukon River for shiny gold nuggets. It was the
Klondike of the Boy Scouts, in which hundreds of area boys ran a
course designed to entertain and to hone their scouting IQs.
After camping out Friday night, Scouts from the Schaghticoke
District tackled eight stations Saturday. At the stations, run by
tenured Scouts, younger Scouts were tested and given a score of one
to 10 based on their skills.
Amid stations like orienting, campfire building, and first aid,
one group decided turned its tubing station into a spirit station
for lack of snow. Younger Scouts picked songs and sang together in
front of a campfire.
The boys from Troop 9, sang "Loop de Loop,” the theme song of
Nickelodeon cartoon Spongebob Squarepants. "It’s a fun song,” said
Tenderfoot Brian Wiedl, 11, of Danbury.
Comically, another group of boys joined hands, sang "Ring Around
the Rosy,” and dropped to the snow as it finished.
Wiedl said he’d also enjoyed the three-legged snowshoe race where
he came in third. Boys wore large snowshoes in the middle and
smaller ones on the sides.
"We work hard and we play hard,” said Ed Wolf, 15, of Newtown,
who was running the first aid challenge.
In front of him, three groups of boys were tying splints on
"victims” legs and arms, then creating stretchers out of blankets
"It’s about working together, sharing and leadership,” Wolf said.
"Everyone here is passionate about what we do. There’s no way to
explain it, it’s something we love to do.”
Passion is one thing, but an army of young pioneers travels on
At a lakeside camp, Life Scout Thomas Williams, 16, was chopping
potatoes into slices, coating them with seasoned salt and dumping
them in a deep fryer. At other areas, younger groups of Scouts were
peeling oranges and mixing chocolate and bananas for other groups.
Williams rated them on "whether they work together, whether
everybody participates and camaraderie.”
"For the other Scouts, this is a new experience, we’ve been
through it before and we just want to each them what we know,” said
Star Scout Vernon Hadden, 15, of Danbury.
That’s the purpose of the event, said Schaghticoke District
Chairman David Perkins of Bethel.
"It teaches them life skills,” Perkins said. "The whole idea is
that to advance you have to assume a leadership role.”
Contact Joe Gould
email@example.com or at (860) 354-2275.