On January 24, two patrols from Rye Troop 2 went to Camp Seton in Greenwich, to participate in the annual Klondike Derby.
By Jose Latorre, Star Scout, Rye Troop 2
On January 24, two patrols from Rye Troop 2 went to Camp Seton in Greenwich, to participate in the annual Klondike Derby. The origins of this event go back to 1941 in Canada at an international Jamboree.
We expected to have to drag our sleds on dirt, but surprisingly, the night before the race, it snowed dramatically. This helped all the patrols sled faster and in a more efficient way. Ready. Set. Go! The activities commenced at nine o’clock sharp.
Troop 2 had two patrols entered in the Derby: the Old Goats, led by Chris Tobin, and the Wolves, formed by Tom Cassidy (patrol leader), Will Courtney, Gabriel Zangiacomi, Michael Riccio, Austin Harvey, James Newbold, and myself.
The Wolves’ first stop was the First Aid station, where the goal was to treat and transport a “victim” to the evacuation area 20 feet away. We took 45 minutes and the “judges” gave us a good score of 9/10.
After that, we hurried to the Shelter Building station. The objective was to build a shelter that would fit the Wolves Patrol perfectly, resist any storm, and maintain heat inside. Each one of us had a different idea about how the shelter should look. We lost time arguing over whether we should build one shelter or another. By the time we decided, we had no time left, leaving us with a score of 3/10.
The Orienteering station was next, where our patrol had to use a compass and search for different colored flags, take bearings, and count out paces. We aced this with a 10/10.
Feeling proud, but hungry by that time, we sat down in some nearby rocks to boil soup in a stove. We ate quickly so we could continue with the Derby.
We decided to continue with the Gulley Crossing station. The challenge was to get three backpacks over a frozen river. Unfortunately, one of our backpacks was too heavy and fell in the water. It was good that the backpack was waterproof! We scored a 9/10.
Keeping mentally strong at the Fire Building station, we scored the highest, 10/10, by building a lashed tripod to boil four very fragile strands of spaghetti and tying a square knot with one of them.
At the Race station, our patrol had to run as fast as we could for a third of mile around the frozen lake in the middle of the camp. Our strategy worked well; we did so in 6 minutes, 51 seconds, which took us to the final sleds race. But this time, we landed in fourth place out of six with a time of 5 minutes, 51 seconds.
Time was running out, and by the Tomahawk station, some of our Scouts were exhausted. It was very cold, so feet warmers helped to recover and recharge us enough to throw six tomahawks. We succeeded again, earning a 10/10.
After almost three intense hours, we arrived at our last stop, the “Mystery” station. We put into practice our knowledge of treating a “victim” who had hurt herself with a chainsaw while cutting trees for fire. No doubt that we did our best, scoring a 10/10.
The Wolves Patrol demonstrated that are very well prepared to face and succeed in adventurous activities like the Klondike Derby. We encourage Rye scouts to go next year.
Thanks to all the leaders and volunteers who helped make this event so fun and productive.