The Munsee District Klondike Derby was held at “The Loop” in the Watchung Reservation on Saturday Feb. 11 on one of the preciously few snowy days of this year’s anomalous winter.
A Boy Scout Klondike Derby is a competitive event of survival and other skills emulating the conditions and experiences encountered by the prospectors looking to capitalize on the Klondike Gold Rush.
Almost 200 boys comprising 28 sled teams from Boy Scout Troops in Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth, Hillside, Kenilworth, Linden, Rahway, Roselle, Roselle Park, Springfield, Union, and Winfield Park participated in the day-long event.
Twenty Boy Scouts from Clark’s Boy Scout Troop 145 formed three Boy Scout patrols – Black Hawks, Coyotes, and Timberwolves – and acted as huskies pulling specially designed homemade sleds around a field course marked by stations named for Alaskan gold rush towns or cities such as Golovin, Nenana, Shaktoolic, Koyuk, Ruby, Kaltag, Nome and Nulato.
At each town, the Scouts tackled exercises in Scout skills such as knot tying, shelter building, orienteering and wilderness survival to demonstrate their “Be Prepared” proficiency.
The highlight of the cooking town, Shaktoolic, required the patrol to use their cooking skills, fire building skills, and team skills to safely prepare and cook a meal for their entire patrol which was judged on not only nutritional value, but also originality and flavor.
All three patrols scored exceptionally well this year with the Timberwolves patrol placing first in the field of 28 sleds.
Boy Scout Troop 145 comprises approximately 40 Boy Scouts and meets weekly at Zion Lutheran Church in Clark on Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm. Any boy aged 11 through 17 years of age is encouraged to come to any meeting with their parent for further information.