Greenwich Scouts Benefit from Snow Storm During Klondike Derby

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At Seton Scout Reservation, Old Greenwich Troop 11 Scouts pose with their Klondike Derby sled. Contributed photo

Greenwich Boy Scouts considered themselves lucky when a snow storm arrived just before their annual Klondike Derby.

While most other organizations and companies shutdown due to snow, rain and ice, the Scouts, with their man-powered dog sleds, thrived in the winter elements. Greenwich Scouts teamed up with Scouts from Southern Westchester County at Seton Scout Reservation, to race homemade dog sleds, compete in outdoor challenges and camp overnight.

About 200 young men participated by loading up their sleds with necessary equipment and transporting everything through the snow to stations like tomahawk throwing, fire building, gully crossing and shelter building.

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Adult volunteers ran all of the recent Greenwich Scouting Klondike Derby stations including Troop 37 Scoutmaster Bob Neilsen and Troop 35 Scoutmaster Jim Heavey who ran the fire building station. Contributed photo

The Klondike Derby event is a highlight of the Boy Scout year, especially when there’s snow.

This year fourteen Troops with nineteen sleds competed for points throughout the day. In addition to the typical stations like First Aid skills and racing sleds in the Iditarod around Lake Hillegas, there was a surprise visit from the Greenwich EMS Explorer Post 911 which had Scouts treating “victims” for traumatic physical injuries.

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At the Greenwich Klondike Derby fire building station Troop 5 and Troop 37 Boy Scouts build a fire and race to boil water to cook pasta as they compete in the annual competition. Contributed photo

The Klondike station competitions emphasize important skills in both Scouting and life.  Participants had to be prepared for severe weather, work as a team, lead fellow Scouts through activities, physically exert themselves and practice first aid skills.  Participants also had to prepare their lunch outdoors and most Scouts even camped outside for one of the ice cold nights.

Adventure, leadership, service and learning, especially in the outdoors, have remained essential to the Greenwich Scouting experience since its inception in 1912.  Nearly 1,750 local youth participate in fun programs, such as the Klondike Derby, run by 250 dedicated volunteers, all of which help prepare local boys and girls for life.  With over 20 partnering organizations and Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing and Exploring opportunities in Greenwich, Connecticut, there’s never been a more important time to join the Scouting community.  For more information about local Scouting visit

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Greenwich, CT and Westchester County, NY Boy Scouts used and built a variety of dog sleds for their annual Klondike Derby winter competition at Seton Scout Reservation. Photographed are Glenville Troop 35 with their 17th century wood sled, New Rochelle Troop 274’s PVC pipe sled, Greenwich Troop 1’s plywood sled and Greenwich Troops 5 & 37 with their wooden sled. Contributed photo


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