From Jonathan Aibel (Klondike Honcho)
Sixteen hardy scouts braved the cold braved the cold and snow that was almost 1/4" deep (in spots) at the Klondike Derby held at Camp Sayre. The day was fair, and the troop got their campsite set up in good speed. Much fun was had lashing together a bridge between two boulders in our campsite, which later turned into a shelter for hardy Will Duggan.
The scouts faced eight different challenges of teamwork and scouting skills and were first in the tomahawk throw with one of the highest scores the judges had ever seen. Other contests included lashings, fire starting, knots, and log-sawing.
Then on Sunday, the big event -- the Derby! Sleds were pulled around Camp Sayre, through rutted trails, over rocks and up hills, nearly 1/2 mile. Some troops had sleds with wheels, like ours, and others only skies. Racing like a great pack of huskies, our scouts pulled the sled around in 5:45, earning third place in the wheels division.
From Bill Duggan (Scoutmaster)
It was not that long ago that the Klondike was a big challenge for Troop 132. Fire building was beyond our reach, tying knots was complex, and having an SPL leading the group of scouts on a timed tent set up was difficult. Over the years the scouts have embraced the Klondike. Each year we are in the top 3 for fire building, with at least 2 wins in 3 years. A solid second place in setting up an emergency shelter was also a crowning moment. The second place was due to the scouts working together under clear and concise leadership. One year, orienteering was won as the scouts did it in half the time as everyone else because they split up and got it all done (they later found out that this was against the rules).
This past weekend was the 2019 Klondike and the scouts from Troop 132 had another strong showing. The scouts won the Tomahawk throw (now 2 years in a row), placed 3rd in fire building (only 3 seconds behind #2), and came in 3rd in the overall standings. All those accomplishments were partially due to the culture that each scout has and passes on to the group of scouts. The scout may not be a patrol leader or other formal leader, but for that activity, the boys know who is the best and they allow that scout to lead. One of several outcomes of the Klondike is a strong Troop spirit and this spirit of working together pays off. We also welcomed the Webelos II from our Cub Packs who were joined by our Den Chiefs. Special shout out to Mr. Aibel, Mr. Sprague, Mr. McWilliams and Will Duggan for assisting as the adults.
Another unique mark of scouting versus other youth activities, is that scouting activities are done outside in an environment which can be cold, harsh and uncomfortable (sometimes unpleasant). What they learn is that they need to be disciplined in their response (too cold, to being uncomfortable) for the benefit of the Troop and think beyond themselves. The scouts need to overcome their own discomfort, tiredness, cold, injuries, and then be in a position to help other scouts set up tents, clean up after cooking, pick up trash, get water, chop wood or just be friendly to others. This happens. They grow and become scouts who live by the scout law. Well done Troop 132 Scouts!
Last week at our Troop meeting we went outside for a warm stargazing night. Be sure to check out the southern constellations and look for an asterism, which is a pattern which is not a constellation. We checked out the Heavenly G or Arc of Cappella –Stating with Aldebaran (Taurus), to Capella, Castor, Pollux, Procyon, Sirius, Rigel, and Betelgeuse. The scouts need to know the stars for the Astronomy merit badge and it is helpful for night navigation. Mintaka (rightmost Orion’s belt star), rises almost due east and sets due west.
Congratulations to Lincoln for earning Scout and Lucas H for earning 1st Class. Freddy is on his way to Star and Miles had his project signed as another milestone. Keep up the good scouting.
This week our Troop meeting will be at 6:30 at Nashoba Valley Tubing Park. All adult volunteers are invited to join the scouts tubing. This is as a small way to say thanks for all you do for the Troop and we hope you can join us. Nothing but fun sledding in winter. After the break, we have our Winter Court of Honor. Please invite your parents, relatives, and friends.
This blog is a weekly message from the Scoutmaster.