Scouts celebrate centennial at Klondike Derby Feb. 19-21

Press release

Scouts will be marking the passing of 100 years of Scouting with a special challenge in winter camping in the snow in the Cascade Mountains. Scouts from around Linn County, North Albany and Jefferson will be camping the weekend of February 19-21, at Big Springs Snow Park on Hwy. 22 for the annual Klondike Derby competition.

Around 100 Scouts and adult leaders are expected to compete. Preparation has been going on for a number of weeks in learning about proper clothing, equipment, and winter survival techniques, as well as first aid and issues related to winter cold weather comfort and survival.

This is the 16th year the Scouts have camped in the Cascades for this popular event.

Special this year will be the marking of the 100th anniversary of Scouting. For the event, a parallel has been drawn between the Klondike Gold Rushers of 1897 and Scouting history. Scouting started some 13 years after the gold rush in Yukon Territory.

Of the hundreds of thousands who set out for the gold strike, only around 30,000 are estimated to have survived the trail and river to make it to Dawson Creek. Scouting has in contrast seen literally millions of boys and young men and women find their way on the Scouting trail.

The secret: "Be Prepared."

Scouts will sleep in tents for the weekend event and will cook in their campsites providing challenges in keeping food usable in frigid conditions. Scouts have learned how to prepare a site which will stand up to good amounts of snow during the event.
A first aid and warming station is provided for Scouts who may need special attention during the
event. Safety is the first priority.

Cost for the event is $7, not including troop food. Expectations are for reduced snow cover due to unusually warm winter conditions that have depleted the snow. An estimated 1 to 2 feet of snow is expected contrasted to years when snow was 8 to 10 feet deep. This may preclude the construction of snow caves and igloos, but will be enough for many other challenging events.

Nine and 10 year old Webelos are also invited to attend during the day Saturday only, with older Scouts staying the weekend.

"Back To Basics" is the theme this year with plans to initiate competition that a Scout in 1910 might have been prepared for. No modern devices such as electronics, fire starters or GPS will be allowed in the competition. All events will require teamwork, strategy and use of traditional Scout skills passed down from Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting. Competitions will include: Bear Bag food protection, Compass Bearing, Dead Horse Carry, (moving heavy weight as a
patrol), Fire lighting with a bonus for no matches, First aid survival, Splint and transport (victim with broken leg), Gully Crossing, Ice Rescue, Height and Distance Estimation and Panning for Gold.

Arnold Poole, Klondike event chair stated:

"Scouting is a program with a purpose. The purpose of the district winter camp out, which we call Klondike Derby, is to give the Linn County troops an opportunity to teach winter survival and camping skills, and give the Scouts an opportunity to
practice those survival skills in a safe, fun environment. The harsh weather conditions we often find at Klondike challenge the Scouts to develop positive character, mental and physical fitness - without their ever realizing it. Also since we are honoring an historical event, they pick up some citizenship training as well. Klondike is a wonderful opportunity to utilize most of the time-tested methods of Scouting, build leadership skills, practice teamwork and build respect for the environment through "no trace" camping."

Kenny Pearson is the District Senior Scout Leader for Klondike.
He's 17 years old; a Life Scout; belongs to Troop 99, where he is the Senior Patrol Leader; member of Order of the Arrow; He is a graduate of Scouting's leadership training programs called Polaris and SOGUS.

Pearson also belongs to 4-H. The adult committee includes: Jeff and Susan Thompson; Dan Williams; Keith Eschliman; Don Whittaker; Rich Marks; Elaina Marsh, Mark Stevens, and Tim Hagey.

More information is available by email at: or call Arnold Poole at (541) 619-8409 or the Boy Scout Office in Albany at (541) 619-5454.