In 1897 a gold discovery near Klondike, a region of the Yukon territory in northwest Canada, triggered the Klondike Gold Rush, which lasted from 1897 until 1899. Around 100,000 people decided to travel there, but only about 30,000 have been reported to have made it there.
In 1949 Boy Scout Troops from the Northern United States and from Canada started their reenactment of the Klondike Gold Rush to test their winter Scout skills and called it the Klondike Derby. It has since been adapted by Troops all over the United States, especially those with snow in their winters.
On Saturday, January 26, Units from the NCAC Potomac District met at Little Bennett Campgrounds in Germantown Maryland, to compete in the annual Potomac Klondike Derby. Despite most of the snow from the previous week washed away by Thursday’s rain, the freezing temperatures ensured the genuine Klondike winter feel, and most of the Scouts earned their Potomac District Polar Bear Patch for overnight camping below freezing point.
During the day on Saturday, temperatures reached well into the upper 30’s, and the Order of the Arrow made sure Scouts and Scouters could warm up at their Hot Chocolate Stations and campfires on each of the 2 playing fields. The Scout Spirit was very high among the 68 Klondike Crews who competed.
Troop 3’s “Bear” Patrol was able to complete the Sled Relay Race the fastest and took first prize. Overall standings of this year’s Potomac District Klondike Derby saw the all-female Patrol the “Cryptids” of Crew 461 walked away with top honors and this year’s Klondike flag. The “Duelmusters” Patrol of Troop 1450 came in second, and the “Penguins” Patrol of Troop 249 came in 3rd.
The closing ceremony began with honoring Scout Master Bruce Crock of Troop 440 who has “Gone Home” on January 15th of this year.
The evening ended with the Calling Out ceremony of an impressive number of 38 newly elected Order of the Arrow candidates.