If there was ever a time to “Be Prepared,” it was the weekend of Jan. 17-19 when Boy Scouts from around the county held their annual Klondike Derby at Little Bennett Regional Park in Clarksburg.
More than 450 Scouts participated in the winter weekend camporee, all waking up Saturday morning to a dusting of snow that fell Friday night.
Joe Goldsmith of Troop 445 in Damascus said he didn’t mind the cold and snow.
“I love camping,” he said. “I came prepared, dressed in layers.”
In addition to setting up their camp sites, cooking meals and staying warm, Scouts participated in 22 separate activities designed to test their camping skills.
Jack Lundin of Troop 68 in Bethesda quizzed Scouts on common plants and animals. He awarded points to the Scout patrols for corra the highest score and the title of overall winner.
“We’re trying to teach how to use what you can,” said adult leader Geoffrey Wolfe of Troop 1434 in Bethesda. “If you are in trouble, you can take action.”
The Scouts’ skills points were added to scores earned by submitting a design for the 22015 Klondike Derby patch, building and bringing a sled to the weekend equipped with a winter survival kit or entering the Saturday night dessert competition, where patrols contributed their own sweet creations for judging.
Top honors for most points earned this year went to the Mighty Penguins patrol of Troop 249 of Silver Spring.
The weekend wrapped up Sunday morning with an actual Klondike Derby. Patrols used their sleds, some specially decorated for the competition, in a race across the Little Bennett meadow.
The Hun patrol from Troop 773 in Potomac came in first and the Spam patrol from Troop 1449 in Rockville took second.
Don Kilgore, district director of the Boy Scouts of America National Capital Area Council, said the Scouts loved the weekend.
“They are well prepared and it’s a good experience,” he said.