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Jan 19-21, 2018
Klondike 2018

What is the Klondike Derby?

In a Klondike Derby, Scout patrols acting as huskies pull specially designed homemade sleds around a field course marked by stations called towns. At each town the Scouts tackle exercises in problem-solving.

In the Jayhawk Area Council, we offer the Klondike Derby for Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Webelos Scouts. The Klondike Derby in 2018 will be held on January 19-21st at Eisenhower State Park.

A little history.

Just before the turn of the last century, gold prospectors traveled the sub-zero reaches of Alaska by means of dogs and sleds. They camped out in all kinds of winter weather, and therefore needed adequate survival skills, which they learned from the native Eskimos. Scouting has incorporated this theme in the Klondike Derby. The point of a Klondike Derby, which usually is held in late January, is to make Scouts use their heads, to put their Scouting skills to work in the field, to demonstrate teamwork and Scout spirit, and to have fun outdoors on winter days.


The field course of about 12 towns can be laid out over any large open terrain—a park, field, meadow or farm pasture. The course is usually in a large loop.


Each patrol or "dog team" (so-called because Scouts act as huskies) follows a course  outlined on a map given to the unit leader at registration. The map guides the teams around a circuit of the simulated towns. As they arrive at each town, they’ll encounter a practical problem involving basic Scouting skills. Depending on how well the team works out this problem, and is prepared by having the right equipment on the sled, they get marked down with a score by the "Mayor" of the town. The Mayors turn in the score sheets with their rankings at the end of the day.

Towns must be visited in any order. You may not have time to participate inall activities at all stops, so come up with a plan to visit as many towns as possible.

There are several possible activities at the different towns and sometimes activities are rotated to offer new and fun activities. Possible activities include fire-building, slingshots, tomahawk throwing, ravine crossing, sled inspections, ice rescue, and more.


Have you completed the same Boy Scout course several times and looking for something new? The Extreme Course is designed to challenge older Boy Scouts and Venturers. The minimum age to participate in the Extreme Course is 14 years old.

In the Extreme Course, the patrols don't receive a map. Instead they must find towns by map and compass or GPS coordinates.

The Extreme Couse offers exciting activities like shotgun shooting, zip-lining, action archery, shelter building.


If you would like to participate in the Klondike Derby, you need a Klondike sled. Several Packs and Troops have their own sled already, but if you don't have one you can borrow and build your own, which can be a fun project for a den and patrol. There a several designs for building a sled. Here is an example:


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