Klondike Derby | Silver Mesa
to Jan 26

Klondike Derby | Silver Mesa

Klondike Approaches!

Scouting’s Klondike Derby is based on the real life struggles of men and dogs across the frozen Klondike as they searched for wealth in the gold fields. But while the struggles of the gold prospectors were matters of life and death in the unforgiving Klondike, the Scout Klondike Derby is a fun-filled winter competition featuring Scout skill challenges at a series of stations representing Klondike gold rush towns and camps.

Each Scout patrol becomes their own dog sled team and proceeds to the various stations to test their skills and abilities. The sled is loaded with the material and equipment needed to solve the problems at the several stations.

Like the real gold rush, our Klondike Derby will proceed no matter whether the weather brings snow, rain or sunshine. Winter conditions will probably be cold, so please “Be Prepared” while outside on Friday evening, or during the skills events on Saturday. Don’t forget, though, that staying dry and warm are the keys to a successful winter “camping” experience. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather --- only poor preparation and poor equipment.

Join us this January 25-26 for a weekend filled with snow, fun, & prizes! We can’t wait to see you there!

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Snowball Toss or Launch

Using shear muscle strength or using a snowball launcher of your own design, each patrol member can launch or throw two snowballs each (12 per patrol) and see which patrol can reach the furthest mark. Then let each patrol member try their skill at tossing two snowballs each through a one foot hanging ring. (12 snowballs per patrol) Each snowball through a ring adds 2 feet to the distance launch score.

Mountain Stretcher Race

A patrol member has broken a leg. It is getting late and time is of the essence. Your patrol must splint his leg, make a stretcher out of a blanket and poles and carry him 50 feet up to the road without dropping him. A properly splinted leg can take as much as 30 seconds off of your total time. The judge will time the event and determine seconds deducted based on the quality of the splint and the correctness of the knots used.

Sinking Sled Rescue

One scout sits on the patrol sled 40 feet out onto the ice (hypothetical ice) where he is in danger of sinking. The other patrol members have five,12 ft. lengths of rope. They must tie the ropes together using at least one of 4 optional knots. They need to tie the ropes together using one or more of the optional knots. 15 seconds is deducted from their total time for each different correctly tied knot used. At the signal to start, the patrol will tie the ropes together; toss the line to the sled, where the scout on the sled must get the rope while still holding onto the sled. Then he must tie the rope to the sled using a bowline knot. The patrol then must pull the sled back to the start line. The time stops when the sled crosses the start line. Optional knots are 1. Square knot, 2. Sheet bend, 3. Carrick bend, 4. Double Fisherman’s knot Shelter Building Teams will construct an emergency shelter large enough to protect two people from a serious storm. Teams are responsible for providing the materials for shelter construction. Tent, awning or pavilion parts cannot be used. Maximum time allowed: 15 minutes.

River Crossing

Each team will be provided with six long poles and various lengths of rope. With only the materials provided, they will fabricate a structure for crossing a “river.” Each scout and all equipment (including the sled) must be safely transported across the structure. Points will be deducted for lost equipment and personnel. Team members who fall into the “river” must be rescued and treated for hypothermia. Maximum time allowed: 15 minutes.

Height and Distance

Teams will be required to accurately estimate an indicated distance and the height of an object. Scouts must remain at least twenty feet away from the height object, but may go to the beginning of the distance to be estimated. Scouts may use the Pencil, Tree-felling, Shadow, Inch-to-Foot, Napoleon, Stride, and Compass methods to estimate these measurements. Maximum time allowed: 15 minutes.

Ice Rescue

Teams will be required to save a person who has fallen through the ice. The pretend victim (a Scout) will be twenty feet away from safe ground where the rest of the Scouts will be aiding in his rescue. Once the Scout reaches safe ground, the team will carry the rescued Scout, using a Fireman’s hold, for a distance of 40 feet. The Scouts may use rope, floating device, knots and proper methods to pull the Scout back to safety.

The Big Dog Sled Pull

Your team will be required to pull the Dog Sled to a certain designated place or marker, where an individual will use the fishing pole (provided by District), to catch “supper.” The distance of the race will be determined by the judges, at the Derby.

Scoring: This will be a timed event. Each Team will be awarded up to 10 points based on their time.


Points will be awarded at each station based on speed, accuracy in completing the assigned tasks. Points will also be awarded for camp inspections, and for the hot lunch. Each judge will be allowed to award at most 5 bonus points for Patrol Cooperative Effort and Scout Spirit at each station.


A successful Klondike Derby requires judges to supervise and judge the events at the stations. Attending Unit Commissioners will help in the Judging. If there are not enough unit commissioners to help, Adult leaders from various patrols will be asked to help with the Judging. Materials and information, including judging criteria, will be provided.


Special prizes and awards will be handled out at Saturday’s award ceremony at 1pm. Units must be present to receive their awards.

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Klondike Derby Competition Rules

1. Each patrol needs a sled. Sled plans are readily available on the Web. We encourage initiative in design, but please observe the basic construction dimensions (length, height, and width). No wheels are permitted on the sled, regardless of the weather.

2. Patrols must compete as a patrol, with all members present at each station. The patrol may not be split into two or more parts to compete at more than one station at the same time.

3. Each Patrol Leader will be given a set of rules and a score sheet at the 8:00am Patrol Leaders’ Meeting.

4. There is a time limit at all stations.

5. Adult Leaders and visitors are welcome to observe the operation of the Klondike Derby, but we ask that they not accompany Scout Patrols throughout the competition. No coaching of Patrols, or delivery by Leaders of items to any Patrol, will be permitted once the Derby starts. One of the objectives of the Klondike Derby is to encourage the Scouts to use their own resources and make their own decisions.

6. The decision of the judges for each event is final. There is no appeal, and NO WHINING IS PERMITTED.

Helpful Tips

Camp Check-in

Check-in will be done at the Welcome Center, as you arrive at Willow Park. Come prepared with the following at Check-in:

1. List and count of Boys and Leaders.

2. A completed BSA Medical Record for each Leader and Scout (Parts A and B). For the latest Medical form, go to http://www.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-001_AB.pdf


There is a parking lot. We will be using group areas 5 & 6. Please use the parking lot in between those areas or park on the side of the road leaving plenty of room for passing cars. Please do not park on the grass anywhere.

Camp Sites

⚫ Camp sites are first come first serve in group areas 5 & 6. Please do not spread out your camp sites so there is room for all.

⚫ Make certain all tent pegs are removed from the ground upon leaving.

⚫ Fires are only permitted in the pre-existing fire pits.

⚫ Latrine facilities are located nearby the park host south of group site 5.

Meals Provided by the District

Dinner will be provided by the District. It will be served in the Pavilion to the East of the parking lot, beginning at 7:00 pm on Friday evening.


Troops may arrive Friday evening, or Saturday morning if preferred. All of the actual competition will take place on Saturday with the following schedule:

Friday 25th:

3:00 - 6:00pm Check-in and get settled in

7:00 - 7:30 pm Dinner – provided by District 15 at the Pavilion.

7:30 - 9:30 pm Troop/Unit Time

10:30 pm Lights out

Saturday 26th:

7:00 - 8:30 am Breakfast – each troop is responsible for their own breakfast

8:00 – 8:30am Patrol Leaders Meeting – held in the Pavilion

9:00 – 9:20am Opening ceremony – all Troops/Units to gather at the Pavilion

9:20am – 12:00pm Klondike competition events

12:00 - 1:00pm Lunch – each troop is responsible for their own lunch.

1:00 - 1:30pm Award Ceremony

1:30 pm Break camp and departure (leave no trace)

What to Pack
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Suggested Equipment

Each sled should carry the following suggested equipment in addition to what is needed to navigate through each skill in the Klondike cities:

1. Patrol Flag

2. Compass

3. First Aid Kit

4. Paper and pencil

5. Pocketknife

6. Equipment to compete in each Klondike event.

Recommended Gear List

1. Good Snow boots (if they are too small, they will not be warm). Not hiking boots. We will be standing, walking, and competing in the snow — Good SNOW boots are vital.

2. Warm sleeping bag. Lightweight summer sleeping bag will not be adequate. Prepare fir cold weather. An extra blanket might be a good idea.

3. Sleeping pad.

4. Pillow.

5. Warm winter coat.

6. Warm winter hat.

7. Winter gloves (preferably two pairs — the first pair may, so you may need a spare)

8. Sweatshirt/jacket to wear under your warm winter coat. Elevation will be above 8,000 feet; it will be COLD.

9. Snow pants — like you would use skiing or snowboarding.

10. Sweatpants

11. Other warm clothing (long johns, etc.)

12. Lots of extra warm clothing (for when your first set of clothing gets wet) — especially the inner clothing which will get wet with sweat.

13. Warm socks (3 or 4 pairs). Cotton socks won’t keep feet very warm, especially if they get wet. Wool, acrylic or coolmax are good; they’re even reasonably warm if they get wet.

14. Warm sleeping clothing (sleeping clothes will not be warm if they get wet on Friday evening, so, separate sleeping clothing should be put on before bed—sweatshirt and sweatpants are good.

15. Warm Sleeping socks.

16. Flashlight

17. Eating utensils (knife, fork, spoon, cup for hot chocolate, bowl, plate)

18. Medicine – tell Scoutmaster what you have

19. Other Personal Gear (snacks, other items)

20. Boy Scout shirt – required for this camp with other troops.

21. Hand warmer packets (chemical type that you buy -- optional)

22. One or two gear bags with everything inside. (This is important because they are bringing lots of things that tend to get lost.)

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