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Democrat Photo by Jeanne Sager

MEMBERS OF BOY Scout Troop 101 of Rock Hill pack their gear onto their patrol, a Klondike-style sled, before heading down a hill to compete in the Klondike Derby. The members of the patrol, in no particular order, are John Campanaro, Darren Fraser, Mark Branch, Jack Konefal, Casey Broskin, Paul Martin, Alex Levine, and Allan Striffler.

'Tis the Season
For a Klondike Derby

By Jeanne Sager
MONTICELLO — January 29, 2002 – So it wasn’t the wilds of Alaska – it was close.
With its forested trails covered in several inches of snow and an iced-over lake perfect for ice rescue, the Mahogany Ridge Hunting Club in Monticello certainly seemed like the proper place for a Klondike Derby.
And for the 110 Boy Scouts of the Nav-A-Len district who gathered at the club Saturday morning, getting ready to maneuver down the course of the biggest winter event of the year was like preparing for the Iditarod.
They had to prepare their patrols beforehand – a Klondike-style sled was packed with everything they would need to make it around the course: two blankets and walking sticks, a first aid kit, 100 feet of rope, a patrol flag, a pouch for the nuggets they could collect for excelling at each station and of course, a garbage bag to keep the trails nice and clean.
After waxing their runners to make them slide easily over the trail, the teams were off, with about eight scouts to a patrol.
They were required to stop at six stations, each aimed at teaching them some of the basic skills of scouting, from rope tying to first aid.
Performing well earned them nuggets, and the patrol with the most nuggets at the end of the course was proclaimed the winner.
“This is a way of teaching them skills and getting them used to the outdoor climate,” said Boy Scout District Commissioner Jim Steinberg.
The boys were instructed to dress warmly for the weather, but thanks to the unseasonably warm weather, the event was even more successful this year.
“When my son and I came to mark the stations just last week, there was 18 inches of snow back here,” Steinberg said.
But with the warm weather, the scouts were able to navigate the trails with no problem, and they were also able to sleep over at the site Saturday night.
This year’s derby was sponsored by Troop 101 of Rock Hill, and Mahogany Ridge Hunting Club donated the use of the land.

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