Klondike derby held at Bomazeen

Troop #485 Scouts Derek Corson and Taylor Hayden, both of Skowhegan, show off the emergency shelter they put up while blindfolded. (photo by Mike Labbe)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Photo by Mike Labbe

The Klondike Derby drew Scouts from surrounding area towns and as far away as Boothbay Harbor and Gorham to the snowy fields and trails of Camp Bomazeen, in Belgrade, on Saturday, January 21. There were more than 100 Scouts and Cubs in attendance.

“I loved seeing all the scouts active and enjoying themselves,” said Klondike Director Julie McKenney, of Belgrade. She and volunteers spent months preparing two separate outdoor programs – one for younger Cub Scouts and one for Scouts in troops. The Klondike Derby is a fun-filled activity patterned after the days of the Yukon Gold Rush. Patrols build sledges like the early prospectors used as they hunted for gold. The members of each patrol serve as a team of huskies to pull their patrol’s sledge around the course.

Each patrol visited a number of stations, each having an Alaskan/Yukon town name. At each town the patrol was confronted with a problem requiring Scout skills to solve. Depending on how well the patrol works out the problem, determine the number of Gold Nuggets they received at that station. The patrol with the most gold nuggets at the end of the day was the winner..” Damariscotta Troop #213’s Bear Patrol won the overall program with Gardiner Troop #672’s Shark Bait patrol coming in second overall and Gorham Troop #73’s Burrito Patrol coming in third.

The sledges carried things needed by the patrol for the program such as cooking equipment, two gallons of water, two tarps, first aid kit, etc. The Scouts competed in activities such as fire starting, blindfolded shelter building, compass work, hatchet throwing, rifle shooting, big foot walking, etc.

“Scouts were given ahead of time a list of the right clothing to wear for the event,” McKenney said. “The goal is to have fun while outdoors. No one has fun if they are not dressed right for snow.”

Scott St. Amand, of Gardiner, ran the program for the Cub Scouts. “It’s awesome to see families coming out during a time of year when it’s easy to want to stay in, meet new people and make new friendships,” St. Amand said. “For the Cub Scouts, the s’mores making station was universally their favorite.”

Allison Dorr, a member of Winslow Troop #433G, demonstrates how to start a fire on snow in the woods. (photo by Mike Labbe)


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