This accurate description of the Klondike Derby winter campout was written in an email by a former Troop 236 leader.
WHAT IS THE Klondike Derby?
Briefly, this is it – Many years ago, men raced by means of dog sled across the frozen waters and tundra of Alaska in search of GOLD! Scouting has capitalized on this and developed the TOTEM TRAIL as an activity for Boy Scouts.
First of all – Troops must be alerted, patrols have to be prepared! Sledges must be built. Incidentally, don’t let the idea of a sledge scare you. It is not essential to have snow for this event. (Though we hope we do) Many of our best competitions have been held without snow.
Each dog team named so because 4 to 6 scouts act as huskies follow an outlined course. This course guides the team to “Towns” with authentic Alaskan names. Each team driver (Patrol Leader) is handed his sealed instructions for reaching the North Pole. Teams line up at the start line, after being checked for readiness, given a score card, and weighed in. At the start, each team takes its compass bearing, and starts off to the “Town” shown on their sealed instructions.
A practical problem involving basic Scouting skills, such as orienteering, lashing, knots, fire building, first aid, nature, or wilderness survival, will be encountered at each town. Depending on how well the team works out the problem, it will be awarded a number of GOLD NUGGETS, have its score card marked, and is off to the next town. While on the trail, scouts may encounter roving ESKIMOS, and have their general knowledge tested.
After the final town, the team is on the home stretch. Anybody can recognize the NORTH POLE; it looks exactly like the start line. The team’s time is recorded, their weight is checked, and their nuggets are cashed in for a total score. There will be a running tally of scores and times posted.