Klondike Derby

Lititz-area cub scouts stayed busy this winter, holding its annual Klondike Derby at Camp Mack and bringing together the entire Pa. Dutch Council for a day of spirited but friendly competition.

      “This is one of the best and biggest events of the year,” said Pack 44 Cubmaster Curtis Arpey, as many dozens of scouts got organized for the event at the morning’s outset. “It’s fun and great for all these dens and packs to come together.”

      Scouts competed at 10 events, including lighting a fire on their own, properly folding a United States flag, tying a variety of knots, sled racing, archery, and orienting themselves with a map and compass, among other things.

      “It’s basically the whole day,” says Kyle Wagner, leader of Pack 44’s Webelos, “and the kids enjoy it all as a bunch of games but it’s really a chance to practice their skills.”

      Families new to this tradition should consider tagging along, following the groups of scouts as they traverse Camp Mack’s hilly terrain while hauling all their gear on sleds.

      By mid-afternoon, after a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrots and more, the scouts looked appropriately wiped out—their smiles still wide even as their speed, traveling from station to station, flagged.

      Event winners were later listed on the site’s Facebook page, but the competition, by the end, seemed beside the point.

      The kids had come together in teams and spent a peaceful day, practicing their scouting skills.

      “This is about all they can do,” said Wagner, laughing, as the 10th and final contest concluded, a trust exercise in which scouts were tasked with traversing an obstacle course, blindfolded,  and his pack slowly made their way back to the camp’s base.

      Right on time, this perfect day was over.