1,600 Scouts display teamwork at Klondike Derby in Freedom Park

Neighbors

January 27, 1998|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

"COME ON, GUYS, we can do it," was a shout heard over and over Saturday at an annual Boy Scout and Cub Scout event known as the Klondike Derby.

More than 1,600 Scouts from the Carroll, National Pike and Arrowhead districts converged on Freedom Park for a day of friendly competition as the boys used their Scouting skills to complete challenging courses designed to encourage teamwork.

Participants in this year's Klondike found a different atmosphere than at recent derbies. Organizers created a theme spoofing the typical Klondike setting.

"We decided to be a little different this year and give a summer feel to the derby," said Carroll Hull, derby chairman.

Hints of summer could be found throughout the Boy Scout course with beach chairs, boogie boards, inflatable toys and beach umbrellas serving as reminders of warm weather.

Even the concession stand sported a summery name -- the Sandpoint Cafe. The cafe was staffed by members of the Order of the Arrow.

Wet conditions for the past few years forced the Scouts to find a new site for the Klondike, which had been held at Piney Run Park for more than a decade. The undeveloped portion of Freedom Park fit the bill perfectly.

"It worked out just great at Freedom Park," said Hull, "The facility there and the parking turned out to be perfect. It couldn't have been any better."

The rain on Friday did not keep Hull and dozens of helpers from spending the day setting up the stations. Some enthusiastic campers spent the night in a large tepee set up near the information station.

The Boy Scout course consisted of 13 manned stations, two unmanned, and five written stations, all of which were named for towns in Alaska. Fifty-eight Boy Scout patrols worked their way through as many of the stations as they could in the six hours allotted.

As each patrol worked its way around the course, they pulled a sled filled with supplies each patrol was required to have at all times.

Jason Johnston, 11, the patrol leader of the Vikings of Troop 716, rattled off the list of supplies: "One gallon of water, a dozen eggs, supplies for a matchless fire, a metal tray or lid, wooden staves, a first aid kit, splints, a box oven, briquettes, a metal fork and our bagged lunches."

The wooden staves came in handy at a station that challenged the patrols to roll their way across a 30-foot roped course using four large barrels, a large sheet of plywood and the staves.

Balancing themselves and their loaded sled atop the plywood, the Scouts had to move the barrels ahead without getting off the plywood. Most patrols succeeded through team effort.

Points were awarded at each station for attempts and successes in meeting the goals. The written stations tested Scouting knowledge at all levels.

The Cub Scout stations also required a team effort to extinguish a "fire," saw a log, traverse an obstacle course and "ski" together for a short distance. Approximately 155 Cub Scout dens participated.

Patrick Cornell, 7, was a first-time participant in the Klondike. Patrick's Ellicott City Cub Scout Pack 692 were guests at this year's derby. "I'm having a lot of fun," he said.

Read-a-thon

Students at Eldersburg Elementary School will spend part of Friday participating in the school's 12th annual read-a-thon.

Throughout the day, parent volunteers, school administrators, the school nurse and maintenance and cafeteria workers will share favorite stories with students.

Having readers from many walks of life gives the students a chance to see that reading is a skill necessary for all occupations.

"They can see that reading is really important to all people, not just in school," said Stephanie King, a second-grade teacher at the school and read-a-thon organizer.

Guest readers, including Dr. Brian Lockard, Dr. Greg Eckles and Gary Dunkleberger of the Carroll County School System; Paula Langmead, director at Springfield Hospital Center; and Timothy Passarello, a dentist; will share books with students.

Ceramics classes

Esther Matulonis is offering a new session of "Make It -- Take It" ceramics projects through the Freedom Area Recreation Council.

Matulonis offers projects that can be completed in one session and are suitable for adults and children. Scout leaders are welcome to contact Matulonis to arrange a session for troops.

Anyone interested in the ceramics classes should send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Matulonis at 1916 Pine Knob Road, Sykesville 21784, or call 410-795-4653.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears Tuesdays in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 1/27/98

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