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Scouts test basic skills at Klondike Derby

January 13, 2011
By Kathleen Palumbo
With wind chills in the single digits, while most community members were nestled in their warm homes, numerous members of the Boy Scout troops of the Whispering Pines District were out for the night; camping out, that is.

A major winter outdoor event, the Klondike Derby was a competition between Natural Patrols from Troops of The Greater Western Reserve Council, Boy Scouts of America, held Jan. 7 through 9 at Camp Stambaugh in Canfield, according to information provided by Tracy Rusk, Whispering Pines District chairman.

Hosted this year by Troop 22 out of St. Christine’s Church in Youngstown, through “Scouting 101,” Scouts test their skills in winter situations using their basic scouting skills, team work, problem solving and physical condition, with camper’s experiences varying from within tents, pavilions and cabins. Those surviving the night in a tent were awarded the Sourdough Patch at Saturday’s awards ceremony.

While the Rotary Building served as Klondike Headquarters, Klondike classrooms offered each patrol the opportunity to demonstrate its skills, with grades provided on a classroom report card, with the chance to earn bonus points through events such as the Saturday Sled Races.

According to Kurt Hildebrand, assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 80 out of North Lima, Boy Scout Patrols comprised of four to eight Scouts traveled the Klondike Trail to each of six activity Base Camps including Cross-Cut Saw, GPS Compass, Fire Building, Signaling, Tomahawk Throw, and Pancake Toss, aka, “Getting Ready for School,” wherein Scouts had to build a fire, prepare and cook a pancake, and flip it over a clothes line on their way to school.

With 35 years of scouting experience, Hildebrand, who ran the signaling station, was joined by his son Kent, age 14.

In commemoration of the event, Scouts earned colorful embroidered patches, in addition to which, Patrols were awarded a Klondike ribbon at the closing ceremony.

According to Kathy Copsco, 183 Scouts and 50 adults participated in the Klondike Derby, which included 15 troops and 25 patrols, adding that at nearly half of the 480 Scouts in the Greater Western Reserve Council, participation was impressive.

All weather conditions considered, in addition to the various skill demonstrations exhibited, participating Scouts have something to be proud of, as this year's Klondike Derby lived up to its name.

Article Photos

Photo by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
With their fellow scouts on hand to watch, Noah Smith and Gregary Brunner of Boy Scouts Troop 71 make fast work of the cross-cut saw station, one of numerous opportunities the Scouts had to test their skills along the Klondike Trail.



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