Community Life

Boy Scouts Navigate Grass, Not Snow, at The Klondike Derby in Watchung Reservation

72aa296a8f9b16ebe44d_Klondike1.jpg
Scouts from Troop 104 in Scotch Plains participated in the 2018 Klondike Derby at Watchung Reservation on Saturday. Credits: Jon Joshua
e29658bc9ff215b92c06_Klondike3.jpg
Owl Patrol from Troop 104 in Scotch Plains participated in the 2018 Klondike Derby at Watchung Reservation on Saturday. Credits: Jon Joshua
75e090483c49ea6fba67_Klondike4__1_.jpg
Scouts from Troop 104 in Scotch Plains participated in the 2018 Klondike Derby at Watchung Reservation on Saturday. Credits: Jon Joshua
19b35e7fd179c092b94e_8BCA0534-5DC5-49CB-90EA-D74E8EE03845.jpeg
Adult leaders of Boy Scout Troop 104 Scotch Plains/Fanwood posed for a commemorative photo behind their grill. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
bfa8a0aefe512c5f685e_B5290AD3-4298-453C-9BE8-FF351AA0678B.jpeg
Everyone enters and leaves the course under this sign. Credits: Noel Downey
6380e0821b7d48b5ac6e_Klondike2.jpg
Scouts from Troop 104 in Scotch Plains participated in the 2018 Klondike Derby at Watchung Reservation on Saturday. Credits: Jon Joshua
b657788f9037da9f47a4_C7790879-8D5B-461B-8DA6-EF95541B29D2.jpeg
Members of Berkeley Heights Boy Scout Troop 368 put up a tent at Pelly Crossing in the Watchung Reservation during the Klondike Derby. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
55cd54fa1abc7d84d3a3_0F1B6713-D4AA-45C0-9BC2-29E804C25FBA.jpeg
Once the tent is pitched, it's time to cut up wood, make a fire and cook lunch. Scouts from Troop 368 of Berkeley Heights dined on hotdogs. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
d9952cfd8d0d5817a215_9808A94C-E4CD-442E-9FB8-B5E56E8C8B36.jpeg
Members of Boy Scout Troop 235 of North Plainfield stopped at Pelly Crossing for lunch. As did the other Scouts, they pitched a tent, built a fire and made their own lunch. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
9313fcf309ca88b40e44_EDC255CD-4733-4E4E-8ECE-5F9175B59132.jpeg
Pelly Crossing Mayor Mike Cantone adds the fire from Troop 235 to his own fire. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
b328605e2618270d90e5_42ED4A63-7C53-4649-B3E5-17B2971CFD47.jpeg
Members of Basking Ridge Boy Scout Troop 351 finished their lunch with some hot chocolate, after they built a fire, cooked hotdogs and boiled water at Pelly Crossing. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
a19aab42eabfae18fa1d_9C0640EB-36D5-4382-9C6A-24F0E2825BD2.jpeg
Before leaving the town, Scouts win 'gold nuggets' after their work, cooking and cleaning up, is assessed by the judges. Troop 351 picked up five nuggets for their stay at Pelly Crossing. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
2e2ae5c1d7b0d2579ce6_6E97FF37-ED48-452D-8A2C-24F0206A7E4F.jpeg
From left are members of the Pelly Crossing 'government' for the day -- Russell Doucette, Mike Cantone, Mike Fogarty and Kriste Hauser, all from Troop 228 of Warren Township. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
535bdaef36ed5f30a2d0_C42D85AF-F057-4166-B9A4-AE95CA2D3A4F.jpeg
The town of 'Distress' is a stop for the Webelos who take part in the Klondike Derby. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
118daf7533e60d446b6b_E80C4F76-B416-44E6-904F-26CEE1F0FE1E.jpeg
A Webelo Troop from Westfield shows their Scouting spirit at Distress. Credits: B
61cdec8d3c8bfda89150_0E742F29-7FAB-49E4-8489-FF7328F855B6.jpeg
Members of the Webelo Troop from Westfield wave their arms to demonstrate how to make themselves visible in the wilderness. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
263d7b95642d0460ebe2_F9194C99-A629-4002-B610-29201079CCF1.jpeg
Troop 273 of Westfield had lots of food to share with other Scouts after a leader dropped off some goodies. They had finished the trek with their sled 'Natural Disasters,' manned by nine Scouts. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
d6a83ef06906a8503b29_BB309387-FE70-4166-88EE-5CE137F6E91D.jpeg
Troop 59 of Stirling makes its way down the hill to the end of the course. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
8aa37b8342f8006b7ff0_1185B90A-D0A8-4735-AD6A-208F6E7083EF.jpeg
Troop 56 of Long Hill accumulated 61 nuggets on its Klondike adventure. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
cd6201e0c6158b80614e_A9F1F9D8-8738-4AF4-97A0-5F96DA3E4209.jpeg
Wolverine Patrol of Troop 23 in Elizabeth takes a lunch break. The troop couldn't make it on the scheduled day, so came on Jan. 27. Two patrols will likely attend in two weeks. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
9f0c90d352581cdc72c2_5A019B0E-6F0F-4534-84BB-BEEB6FE288EF.jpeg
The all important transport for equipment belongs to Troop 23 in Elizabeth. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
37c79e05810553e76757_53A7B8A1-2AEE-4A7D-AEBF-E405BF828AA7.jpeg
A group of leaders check on the rankings, which for the first time were posted on a digital display. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
62d41e9aef966a8158e8_C8F756D5-C042-4999-95C7-FAC98870E911.jpeg
Early results...lots of teams had not yet finished. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
04bb2212c106fd990b68_196AFED6-E96D-49FE-A659-4DD4E51DD96B.jpeg
The data crunchers at work. Members of Troop 72 of Westfield does the score board and members of Troop 73 records the scores. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
29d04ff0b7c464730a58_394A38BA-7FE2-4C75-AC80-87146280B40B.jpeg
Troop 32 of Watchung is checked in at the finish. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
9c8665eacb1f58779f5c_95AB9236-16A3-444B-8C83-C1397FCF7987.jpeg
Once the sled is weighed in, every item on the check list has to still be in the sled. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
39f55c774bc1794757bd_9B356A62-E7F5-4627-894C-884B7616F865.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
14ba90e74d7de9dd0b92_3568EAC1-AFC4-4324-A89A-3427B6C0B8B3.jpeg
The scale tells the tale. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
1bd40fc738d3d7e3c211_79B3B186-66A0-4C89-9EBC-6E31FCECE236.jpeg
More troops arrive at the finish. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
f96c81b263bb95031b41_FF41F6E4-8D97-4F27-A064-997A3FA300C5.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
4c36941ed6ebbf3c332a_EA6E7381-7933-46C4-A3F3-31C310001552.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
e00303247b70648ae2ff_439E8D8C-61A3-4978-93FF-9D56471D2DE4.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
ce1ea00c88b3b7cd3326_D17EB70D-370B-4A67-A9B7-4C37576190F2.jpeg
Warren Boy Scouts take a break from pulling the sled across the grass to another town in the Klondike Derby at the Watchung Reservation. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
194446666741f085be2a_B8711E88-0F41-41BE-A1BF-8FC203C518E5.jpeg
Westfield Boy Scouts enjoy a homemade lunch at the 'town' of Pelly Crossing while at the Klondike Derby in the Watchung Reservation on Saturday, Jan. 27. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
a0e0a7ea9057dcc211c4_FD16CA56-3E9E-4EFA-A0CC-3106AA2A35B5.jpeg
Eagle, a town 'run' by Mountainside Boy Scout leaders was were Scouts tried their hand at ax-throwing. On one side of the access road they taught safety, on the other, the Scouts aimed at targets. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
72aa296a8f9b16ebe44d_Klondike1.jpg

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – No snow…no problem. Whether it snows or not, there will be a Klondike Derby and, on Saturday the derby took place, with not even a snowflake to be seen, much less a snowbank.

Dozens of teams pulled, pushed and, in some cases, carried sleds throughout The Loop area of the reservation. At each stop on their map, they were judged for specific skills – pitching a tent, making a fire, cooking, boiling water, throwing an ax and a number of other skills. There is a set course, with specific tasks to be done at each town the troop visits. Time counts, as does Scout spirit, attention to detail and safety. Use an ax carelessly and you will be seen and a point taken away.

Check-in started early in the morning and, if you were late, there were penalty points. Each penalty point subtracts from the number of ‘gold nuggets’ your team will win.

Sign Up for E-News

Wooden sleds, which must weigh at least 100 pounds at the start, are weighed and all required equipment is checked – literally, checked off, on a list. When each sled returns, it has to weigh at least 75 pounds, and each item on the list is checked off a second time. There’s no dropping pots and pans, blankets or such off to lose some weight from the sled.

The team with the most nuggets earned will win.

Scouts primarily from the Watchung Mountain District of the Patriot’s Path Council took part in the annual Klondike Derby at the Watchung Reservation on Saturday. Groups from Berkeley Heights, Mountainside, Westfield, Scotch Plains/Fanwood, Stirling, North Plainfield, Warren, Watchung, Basking Ridge, Sparta, and Elizabeth sent teams.

While most of the adult leaders enjoyed the warmer weather and lack of snow, everyone agreed that for the boys and for them, a reasonable amount of snow makes for a better experience. The operative word here is “reasonable.” Old hands at the derby told tales of sub-zero temperatures, howling winds and snowflakes. They were grateful for Saturday’s good weather and didn’t mind the occasional run-in with mud.

There will be another Klondike Derby on Feb. 3, for the Raritan Valley District, which includes Plainfield, and yet a third one on Feb. 10, for troops from the Munsee District, which includes troops from Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth, Hillside, Kenilworth, Linden, Rahway, Roselle, Roselle Park, Springfield, Union and Winfield Park.

When the Derby is going on, the reservation is still open to the public and there were lots of people taking advantage of the good weather to use the playground and walk around The Loop and on trails on Saturday. It’s also an opportunity to see Scouts in action.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Summer Life Guard Job Opportunity in Union County

April 10, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ - Summer lifeguard positions are available at Union County’s public swimming pool, the Walter Ulrich Memorial Pool at Rahway River Park in Rahway.

“Union County’s Ulrich Pool provides our youth and adult summer job seekers with an opportunity to enjoy working outdoors in the fresh air all summer long while sharpening valuable life skills including leadership, ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill Is a Huge Blow to The Middle Class

April 8, 2018

Dear Editor:

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices. 

A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” ...

Helping Teenagers Deal with Prom Night Stress

April 18, 2018

Prom can be one of the most exciting times for your teenager but at the same time one of the most stressful. 

It can also be very stressful for parents as they prepare themselves to accept that their teenager is graduating and soon going away to school, while planning a weekend away after prom night. Going to the Shore for the weekend or somewhere overnight has become more of the ...

Senator Menendez Speaks at Union County College About College Affordability

April 20, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez visited Union County College’s Elizabeth campus on April 13 to speak about issues surrounding college affordability. He has been an advocate for affordable higher education in New Jersey for many years and recently co-sponsored the America’s College Promise Act which would offer free tuition at community colleges throughout the ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

"All About Owls" Nature Presentation with The ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 21, 11:00 AM

PetSmart, Millburn

Dog Adoption Event

Other

Sat, April 21, 12:00 PM

Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA, Scotch Plains

Healthy Kids Day

Health & Wellness