YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Packs of Cub Scouts from all over the downstate area, including Somers, filled FDR Park in Yorktown on Saturday, Feb. 4, to compete in this year’s Webelos Klondike Derby. This year, Somers Pack 1 maintained its tradition of winning.
The event is a winter competition in which scouts pull their klondike sleds along a course, stopping at stations along the way to apply the scouting skills they’ve learned. Some sleds are built from scratch year to year and some are legacies that have been passed down for up to 10 years, such as the one used by Somers Pack 1 Den 7.
“Love the event,” said Den 1 leader Steven Lobasso. “It’s well organized, it gets the boys outside, gets them away from video games and it’s an opportunity for them to use their scout skills.”
The event includes a sled race, which Somers Pack 1 traditionally excels at. The pack includes two dens: Den 1 and Den 7. This year, Den 1 won first place with a perfect score of 85, followed by Den 7 with an almost perfect score of 84. Den 7’s sled might be a legacy but that hasn’t slowed it down. It was the fastest sled in the race and finished at 43.75 seconds.
Zachary Kessler, 9, belongs to Den 1. This was his first year participating in the competition and he said he enjoyed it. His father Pete is a paramedic, so he was chosen to lead the first aid challenge, in which Webelos are asked to set a pretend broken limb, put pressure on a bleeding wound, make a stretcher and get the victim on it, and carry him to safety.
He said he feels confident that he could help someone in real life because of his skills and said he liked getting the chance to practice his skills throughout the day.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said.
The Webelos Scout Program prepares boys who have completed third grade or are age 10 but have not yet completed fifth grade or reached age 11 1/2 to bridge into a troop.