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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Klondike Derby in the Snow

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

By Ginny Bowers Coleman

Photo credits: Hament Patel, Varalee Pariyaprasirt, Ginny Bowers Coleman, Michelle McGee, Pam Tully, Krista Winters, and Nina Kedersha.

The members of Rutherford Scouts BSA Troop 166G have been working hard to receive various patches throughout the year, despite the pandemic. Last week was no exception even if though the Scouts had to earn their badges in a snowy backyard.

What is a Klondike? This past Sunday, Rutherford Scouts BSA Troop 166G held a Klondike Derby in the snow.

Modeled on the Iditarod races of the Klondike, the Scouts pull a sled of supplies from station to station, testing their own know-how in skill areas such as; lashing, knot tying, fire building, cooking, team building, orienteering, and first aid.

Normally held with hundreds of scouts, the original event had to be canceled this winter due to Covid. But the Scouts of Troop 166G didn’t give up! They organized and planned their own Klondike in a Scouts’ Wood-Ridge backyard, keeping within Covid-19 precautions and guidelines.

From selecting the skill stations to writing the “rule book”, these young ladies practiced leadership skills and worked on team building long before the actual event!

The Troop made up of young ladies 11-15 years old from Rutherford and neighboring towns, invited younger Cub Scouts in Rutherford Pack 168 to participate in the outdoor fun. Attendance was limited, each “pod” traveled with their sled, wore masks, and spread out across the generous yard. Boys and girls enjoyed learning knots and skills from the older scouts and had fun working together in the snow. Two adults assisted in First Aid and Fire Building.

Everyone received a Klondike patch, and handmade award ribbons were presented to Best in First Aid (Wild Webelos), Best in Fire Building/Cooking (Land Sharks), and Honor Patrol (Long Live the Trees).

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There is also a window display on Park Ave in the former Mason Cellars, where there will soon be a daycare center (ABC-123). Exhibited in the window are our Scouts' lashings and photos of a few of our activities this year. Shelly of ABC-123 has been very accommodating allowing the Troop to display items while she prepares to open.

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