WEST UNION, W.Va. – Scouts BSA held their annual Klondike Derby at Doddridge County Park from Jan. 21 to 23.

Over 80 kids spent the weekend camping and doing activities in freezing temperatures. Kids had the option to camp out in tents or stay in shelter provided by the park.

“We’re providing housing, and we’re providing the facility to run their Klondike event, the entire park is basically at their disposal, so we’re providing a lot of different things for them to make it as easy as possible for them to operate their Klondike as possible,” Greg Cottrill, Doddridge County Parks Administration Director.

Troops pull a dog sled full of their gear to 15 different stations with activities like cooking, first aid, fire building, flag retirement, and survival. At the survival station, they learn water filtration and structure building for emergency shelter.

Some stations were added for fun like hatchet throwing and fly fishing casting.

Most stations were designed to teach teamwork and problem solving, but others teach the troops important life and survival skills.
“They’re just not practicing knots, or practicing or reading about a life saving skill, they’re putting it into a practical application where they can develop that skill to hopefully be able to use it in a real life situation if they need to in their future,” said Jason Hosaflook.

For each station, troops are graded and receive points for completion. On the last day, awards are given for first, second and third place, based on the groups who got the most points. An award will also be given out for the group with the most scout spirit.

The weekend derby wraps up with a sled race sprint on the final day, Jan. 23, before everyone packs up to go home.

The Klondike Derby has been an annual tradition for Scouts BSA since 1949.