Cold doesn’t bother Scouts and leaders at annual Klondike Derby

RAPID RIVER – Local Scouts and Webelos Scouts held a very successful Red Buck Sub-District Klondike Derby in late January, according to Mark Rose, Red Buck Sub-District Commissioner.

The Derby was held at the head of the Grand Island Trail just north of Rapid River. Over 130 Scouts and Webelos, along with about 30 adult leaders, took part in the annual outdoor fun. This year’s Derby theme was “Yukon Men” and Scouts and Webelos were challenged with events brought back from historic times in the Yukon.

Eleven degrees and three inches of brand new snow greeted the participants as they began registration at 8 a.m. on January 26. The registration fee to participate in the Derby was $5 per Scout which also included two cans of soup. One can of soup was for the “Big” pot for lunch which was prepared and served by the Order of the Axe. The second can of soup went into the cooler for donation to the Salvation Army food pantry. The Scouts of Red Buck have donated can goods to the local food pantry for about the last eight years.

The first activity the Scouts encountered was the Official Sled Check, which was handled by Assistant Scoutmaster Anders Nyberg of Troop 466 of Gladstone. To assist the boys with the challenges they were to face in the events throughout the day, the Scouts were given a detailed list of required sled equipment to be carried. Each sled was then checked for the completeness, and scored accordingly.

After the sled check, the Scouts then had seven other events to further challenge them, including: Host Troop 400 of Manistique – Animal Tracks; Troop 408 of Escanaba – Pioneering Bridge; Troop 411 of Escanaba – Fire Building; Order of the Axe – Snow Snake Challenge; Troop 414 of Escanaba – First Aid; Troop 466 of Gladstone – Blind Compass Course; and Troop 473 of Flat Rock – Ice Rescue.

“The Scouts and Webelo Scouts made their way around the events all morning till breaking for lunch at noon,” said Rose. “The members of the Red Buck District Order of the Axe served 15 gallons of “homemade” soup, hundreds of hotdogs, and about 10 gallons of hot drinks to a hungry bunch of Scouts and leaders at the Axe headquarters.”

Rich Thompson, a veteran soup server was promoted to “Top Dog” hotdog server, and Stacy Bingham served gallons of soup.

After lunch the activities began with the full slate of events that kept the boys busy right up to about 3:30 p.m. when the events were officially closed. The various events of the day were each hosted by leaders from the Troops making up the sub-district. Once the events were closed, the Scouts then had to regroup and remove all of the equipment from their Klondike sled, in preparation for the Great Sled Race to close out the day.

Overall Klondike Derby winners were:

Boy Scouts – Cobra Patrol of Troop 414 of took first place for the Klondike Derby; Flying Road Kill Patrol of Troop 473 was second; and Flower Patrol of Troop 466 was third.

Webelo Scouts – Cobra Patrol Pack 471 of Gladstone took home the Wilson Trophy for first place, and Angry Birds Patrol of Pack 471 was second. Jolly Rogers of Pack 402 of Manistique and Panther Patrol of Pack 488 of Rapid River tied for third place.

First-place winners of the Klondike Derby Great Sled Race were:

Boy Scouts – Cobra Patrol of Troop 414, and Webelos Scouts – Cobra Patrol of Pack 471.

In addition to the day’s activities, three Troops chose to try out their winter camping skills. Troop 411, Troop 400, and Troop 466 all camped out Friday night prior to the Klondike Derby. According to Gene Williams, Scoutmaster of Troop 411, “Friday night was a beautiful night to spend in the woods in nothing but a ‘lean-to shelter’ made of poles and plastic tarps. With nearly three inches of new-fallen snow, literally on top of them, the boys definitely felt like they had met Old Man Winter head on and won! Scouts always look forward in anticipation of the Klondike Derby, which is meant to challenge their Scouting skills, while providing for a fun day of competition. All of the Scouts and Webelos participating in the Klondike Derby all shouted out in unison at the closing that they all had fun, so they all went home as winners.”

For information about Scouting in the local area, contact Rose at 789-0082, email mrose1@chartermi

.net, or check out the district website at redbuckdistrict.