Written by Frank D’Elia Friday, 10 February 2012 00:00
For 26 years, the Shelter Rock District of the Theodore Roosevelt Council, Boy Scouts of America has run a Klondike Derby at the end of January at the Muttontown Preserve. The Klondike Derby is loosely based on the Ididirod sled race in Alaska with the Boy Scout version having groups of 4 to 8 Scouts pushing homemade sleds through the trails of Muttontown rather than having them pulled by dog teams as in the Ididirod.
This is an event that Mineola’s Boy Scout Troop 45 takes very seriously. For the last 26 years, Patrols from Troop 45 have participated in this event and for much of the event’s history, Troop 45 has fielded the Patrols to beat.
Under Senior Patrol Leader Glenn Peters and Scoutmaster Steve Grosskopf, Troop 45 has been preparing for this year’s Klondike for several months. Weekly Troop Meetings were given over to learning Scout skills and at individual Patrol meetings the Patrols work on those skills and developing teamwork.In December on a camping trip the Troop ran a practice Klondike with the Patrols going from station to station doing the kinds of tasks they’ll be asked to do during the actual Klondike. Then, January’s Troop meetings were given over to more practice and Patrols take it upon themselves to hike the Muttontown Preserve to get to know the course. In short, the Scouts of Troop 45 do everything they can to know their Scout skills, learn how to work together as a patrol and to maintain their edge and to be prepared for the Klondike Derby.
The Saturday of Klondike was sunny, dry and much warmer than was usual for a January Klondike. Muttontown Preserve was not snow covered but with rain most of Thursday night and Friday, would it be mud covered?
The elements would change the nature of the race and perhaps affect the outcome. Also every Troop 45 Scout had on their mind that the Troop had been winners of one or both divisions of every Klondike Derby in the 14 years of Scoutmaster Grosskopf’s tenure. They all knew, especially Senior Patrol Leader Glenn Peters that every other Scout Troop was looking to end Troop 45’s reign. Would the streak continue?
The Scouts pushed off at 10 a.m., prepared for a day of finding their way along the trails and pushing their sleds to various “Cities” where they performed tasks comprised of Scouting skills. Depending on how they did in these Scouting skills, they were awarded nuggets that were tallied at the end of the day and when factored in with the speed at which they did the course, provided their order of finish.
One of those “Cities” was manned by 20 adult Scouters from Troop 45 – The Old Goat Patrol! As always, the leaders of Troop 45 had almost as much fun as the Scouts and in the end, win or lose, it was a time for the entire Troop 45 Family to celebrate!
Once the winner of the Webelos Division was announced it was time to announce the Younger Scout Division winners. The whole Troop was on edge as they announced the score of the third place finisher. Then they announced the second place finishers as the Bearcoon/Crusader Patrol of Troop 45 and the Division winner was announced as Troop 45’s Phoenix Patrol!
Patrols from Troop 45 had taken First and Second place in the Younger Scout Division and the whole Troop was very proud of this result. Then everyone’s attention turned to the Senior Scout Division. This is a very competitive race as these Scouts are the oldest in each Troop with the best Scout skills and the most experience.
Senior Patrol Leader Glenn Peters knew that every older Scout Patrol at Klondike had in their minds to beat Troop 45 and take the trophy. He didn’t want that to happen while he was SPL of the Troop and hoped that he’d be able to extend the streak while Senior Patrol Leader to 2012.
In the end, it turned out that hard work and being prepared had taken the day as Glenn and the Leadership Corp were announced as the winners of the Older Scout Division. With a final score of 695 they were over 90 points ahead of the second place finisher, had gotten perfect scores at every station, and had finished the course over an hour before the next Patrol!
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way Troop 45 performed,” Scoutmaster Grosskopf said after the race. “Under our Senior Patrol Leader Glenn Peters, our Scouts were prepared. They worked very hard and they did a great job. To sweep the event is an incredible thing, to do it as many times as our Scouts have says that we are doing something right! We have a lot to be proud of in Troop 45!”
Senior Patrol Leader Glenn Peters was also very happy and relieved. “I am grateful for the work our Scouts did in preparing for this event and want to thank all the Troop 45 leaders who helped us be prepared for today. Our Troop is a great organization with a history of winning and I am so proud that this year’s Patrols were able to continue that tradition. I’m also very glad that our reign didn’t end under my leadership.”
Troop 45 is sponsored by and meets on Tuesday nights at the First Presbyterian Church in Mineola and has been serving boys in the Mineola area since 1921. For more information on other Troop 45 activities, check out their website at www.troop45mineola.org.