Scouts triumph over cold at Klondike Derby

Eugene Constandaki, from Greenwich’s Troop 37, was part of a race to melt a block of ice over a hand-made fire to find a piece of “Klondike gold” inside.

Eugene Constandaki, from Greenwich’s Troop 37, was part of a race to melt a block of ice over a hand-made fire to find a piece of “Klondike gold” inside.

The polar vortex was no match for the Greenwich Boy Scouts as they braved the extreme cold to camp outside as part of the annual Klondike Derby.

The event included a night of camping outdoors but also more unusual activities like dog sled racing and others designed to test the Scouts’ outdoor skills. Greenwich Scouts teamed up for this with Scouts from the Westchester-Putnam Council of the Boy Scouts of America. They all stayed at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in New York for the night, with the special theme of Explore the Last Frontier, a tribute to the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska.

According to the Greenwich Boy Scouts Council, 25 dog sleds participated, all loaded with necessary personal and patrol equipment. Once the sleds were loaded, they were pulled through the snow from station to station by the 250 participating Scouts, as they journeyed to different activity stations, named after Alaskan Gold Rush cities.

This was done to test Scout skills such as fire building, first aid, shelter building, and, especially, teamwork, and it culminated in a timed 300-yard Iditarod race. Greenwich’s Scout Council said this is one of the most popular events this year, and Greenwich Troop 37’s Black Wolf Patrol finished in second while Old Greenwich Troop 11’s Flaming Arrows Patrol took third place out of the 25 sled teams.

There were other activities, like Scouts transporting backpacks over ropes strung in between trees on both sides of an icy stream, building fires from scratch to provide heat and even melting a block of ice to get a piece of “Klondike gold” that had been hidden in the ice. First aid was also studied as Scouts were tested to see if they could treat mock injuries like head, leg and back injuries and then transport their “injured friend” out of the wilderness.

“Adventure, leadership, service, and learning, especially in the outdoors, have remained essential to the Greenwich scouting experience since its inception in 1912,” the Greenwich Council said in a press release. “Nearly 2,600 local youth participate in fun programs, such as the Klondike Derby, run by 350 dedicated volunteers, all of which help prepare local boys and girls for life.”

More information is online at Greenwichscouting.org.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress