By Sandy Edie
Scouts from across the U.P. and as far south as Detroit gathered at Camp Hiawatha outside of Munising on January 28 to participate in Scouting’s 75th Anniversary of the Klondike.
Each team of Scouts built a sled to bring to the competition and were given a list of items each sled needed to be outfitted with. Items included blankets, tarps, rope, poles, food, firewood, natural fire starters, a pot and water for each participant, first aid kit, snowshoes, a gold screening frame, scouting 10 essentials, and their patrol flag.
After spending the night in shelters they built or tents, Scouts got their sleds to morning check in. Sleds were inspected for trail worthiness and proper outfitting, if scouts were properly attired for the weather, a map of the day’s course was provided, and final instructions were given before the mass start and teams headed out in every direction.
Each team had the day to complete and earn points in over 10 activities that may have been faced by those who braved the Klondike wilderness in the search for gold.
Each event scored scouts on teamwork, leadership, creativity, Scout spirit, communication, scouting skills, safe use of equipment, maintaining safety for themselves and others, and efficient use of available resources. They included navigating a “snow blindness” maze, building a fire and maintaining it long enough to boil water, building winter shelters, snowshoeing a course while shooting BB guns at targets, securing loads by tying the proper knots, ice rescue, first aid for hypothermia, scavenger hunt, and of course, screening in the snow for “gold nuggets”.
Scouts had the opportunity to meet up in “town” at the camp commissary to socialize and get a warm lunch. Each scout brought two cans of soup, one added to the pot for lunch and one for donation to the local food pantry. Hot dogs, chips, hot chocolate, and a cookie also refueled the teams for the afternoon.
The final event of the day was a mass rush across a pristine field of snow. One team member had to ride in the sled while the rest of the team powered it, the patrol’s sled and all team members had to cross the finish line to count.
Teams were divided into two divisions, Scouts and Webelos, to maintain fairness as webelos are still learning skills and how to work together as a team. Newberry had 2 teams participate in the Klondike. In the Scout division, members of both troops, 130 and 6130, formed a 6-person team and finished 2nd overall. Taliesan Cox, Grayson Kilburn, Aaron Edie, Brock Feldhusen, Evelyn Cox, and Casey Edie competed with the assistance and encouragement of Cub Scout Thaddeus Cox. The Webelos team finished 1st place in their division and consisted of Cole Guertin, Tevye Cox, Keyni Gardner, Cody Blakely, and Bradley Hutchinson.
Upcoming events for the cub scouts include a winter fun weekend in March, making a car for the Pinewood Derby, hikes, Blue & Gold banquet in spring, and of course, summer camp.
Scouts are looking forward to winter fun weekend at camp, snowshoeing, Mackinaw Island Scout Service camp, a Court of Honor night, exploring the Eben Ice caves, Spring Rendevous, and summer camp!
To join the fun or check out a meeting, call Dave Edie at 906-293-3880 for more information, or sign on to BeAScout.org.