Munising troop wins Boy Scouts’ Klondike Derby

The Hiawathaland District Klondike Derby was held on January 28, 2023, at Camp Hiawatha on Bunting Lake east of Chatham. The day started with about 14 degrees with fresh snow, but no wind made the day very promising. Over one hundred and forty Scouts and Webelos with their adult leaders took part in the annual outdoor fun. The theme of this year’s Derby is, “Gold Rush Days” where the Scouts and Webelos were challenged with events brought back from historic times up in the Yukon. Scouts “visited” the historic Dyea, Skagway, Dawson Creek, Chilkoot Pass, and Back to Dyea.

True North Patrol of T-332 of Munising took first place in the event with Yooper Trooper Patrol of T-130 of Newberry taking second and Lumberjack Penguins of T-400 &401 of Manistique in third.

At about 8:30 AM, The first activity the Scouts will encounter is the Official Sled Check, which will be handled by Pete Dzanbozoff of Pack 471 Gladstone. To assist the boys with the challenges they were to face in the events throughout the day, the Scouts were given a detailed list of required sled equipment to be carried. Each sled will be then checked for the completeness, and scored accordingly.

After the sled check the Scouts will then have other events to further challenge them, including; Gold mining, Rope Skills, Shelter Building, Pioneering Skills, Two-man sawing, Fire Building, Ice Rescue, First Aid, and the Biathlon. The one main underlying skill required of the Scouts in all of the events, was teamwork and working well with your Patrol.

After the events to culminate the day the Scouts and Webelos all competed in the Great Sled race. Similar to a dog sled race, only this time the Scouts were the dogs. Pulling your sled across the parade grounds at Camp Hiawatha proved to be a good challenge.

The Hiawathaland Klondike Derby had a guest troop from Detroit Troop 1022, who had been at Camp Hiawatha in the Summer. Now they wanted to experience a true Winter outing, complete with sleeping put overnight in a “Quinzee”. The guys and their leaders had a great time at the Klondike Derby.

The registration fee to participate in the Derby is $15 per Scout, plus two cans of soup. One can of soup is for the “Big” pot for lunch which will be prepared and served by Mark Rose District Commissioner and Paul Salfie of Troop 361. The second can of soup will go into the cooler for donation to the Salvation Army food pantry. The Scouts have donated can goods to the local food pantry for about the last 15 years. The Scouts typically cook up about 15 gallons of soup on site for the boys and leaders out in the cold. In addition to the 15 gallons of soup, we also served 150 hot dogs, 10 gallons of hot chocolate, case of chips, case of cookies and a bag of apples.