FIRTH – Twelve Boy Scout troops from Shelley and Firth and one Order of the Arrow troop participated in an overnight campout and Klondike Derby Friday and Saturday at the river bottoms in Firth.
The number of Scouts, leaders and staff camping overnight totaled 103.
Most of the Scouts said their favorite activity of the campout was the sled race, also known as the Klondike Derby.
On Saturday, each Scout troop brought the sled it had previously built to compete in this race. This was a timed event with each sled running against the clock. By mid-morning, Troop 97 from Firth had the best time for the course--52 seconds.
The Firth sled ran under four-Scout- power—two Scouts pulled the sled and its passenger, Holland Webb, around the course; two more pushed it. Layne Bolinder and Sayer Leslie pulled the sled down the track. Dalton Clevenger and Keegan Harrison pushed it.
This troop even surpassed the leaders’ time of 54.5 seconds.
The winning sled registered a time of 42 seconds.
A snow-launching competition also took place. Scouts were judged in two disciplines—distance and accuracy. Each troop launched five snowballs in each discipline.
The launchers varied in design. Engineering skill was on display with a pulley system. One troop designed an arrow from birch branches. One Scout, using a paper bowl nailed to a short piece of two by four, was able to launch his snowball 54 feet.
A fire-building contest not only taught the Scouts how to work together to build a fire but also about leadership.
Kade Nelsen, Trysten Jimenez, Mike Cook and Reuben Ponce from Troop 33 started their fire with dryer lint and steel. It took them 11:28 minutes to build a fire high enough to burn through the string set three feet off the ground.
Advice to the Scouts was, “Be ready with everything first and keep your stuff dry.”
Other activities on Saturday morning included winter survival instruction, building a snow fort and finding your way through a GPS course. Tastebuds were tested in the Scoutmasters’ hot chocolate competition for the best-tasting hot chocolate.
With a nighttime temperature of nine degrees Fahrenheit, Scouts earned 23 points toward their 100 points below freezing award. (The award is given for camping overnight in below freezing weather conditions.)
For Ammon Frost of Troop 58, sleeping was the highlight of the campout.
Scoutmaster Glenn Russell from Troop 34 agreed. Russell slept Friday night on a cushioned hammock under the shelter of trees.
“I love the cold on my face,” he said.
Scout Ryan Scovill from Troop 34 said his favorite part of the campout was “being able to enjoy the wilderness and being around friends who help you.”