Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Klondike Derby was fun and challenging

On Saturday, January 24, Troop 1 Katonah took a trip to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation to attend the 2009 Muscoot District Klondike Derby. The three patrols in our troop were required to construct a dogsled entirely out of natural materials, using only rope lashings for fastenings. My patrol, the "Swamp Chickens," had the idea of constructing our sled completely out of bamboo. it was a very sturdy sled once completed. Nick, the patrol leader of the "Rabid Racoons" patrol, had his patrol construct their sled out of more traditional wooden poles. Peter, the patrol leader of the "Mad Monkeys" patrol, also made their sled out of wooden poles. We all had impresive sleds in our troop this year.

When we got to Pound Ridge Reservation, we had to get our gear together and get it into the sled. Once we checked in, we stood around in the 20 degree weather waiting for the rest of the troops to arrive, and for the opening ceremony to start. When they turned us loose, we raced to the designated station that we were assiigned to go to first. Our station happened to be Map and Compass, which was aparently not the strength in our troop. Afterward, we went to First Aid, which is our best subject. We practice first aid in our troop all the time, so we knew we had a good chance at doing well. We received a score of 18 (out of 20) on that station--WOW!

We then made our way to Firebuilding where we put our skills to the test. Our patrol met the requirements of building a fire and burning through a string in the windy weather, with a time of 11 minutes. We then moved on to our final station, the Stretcher Scramble race. When we arrived at the station, we found the people who were running the station were cooking venison stew! At the station, we were required to send one of our patrol members up a steep hill, where we then had to perform first aid on the injuries we were told he had. Then we had to build a stretcher and carry it through a course where we encountered obstacles such as a "rock slide" and a "bear attack." We safely brought the stretcher down the steep ridge where we came up from. My patrol had the second fastest time performing these tasks!

At the end of the day, we recieved our scores. First place went to the "Rabid Racoons," Second Place went to the "Swamp Chickens," and the "Mad Monkeys" coming in close behind Third Place. All of the scores were very close, and all of the patrols did really well. All in all, it was a fun day and we cant wait until next year's Klondike!
--Kyle W., Troop Historian