Since 1949, Boy Scout troops have participated in annual Iditarod sled races and Scout skills events, and this year was another fun and exciting adventure as Troop 60 (Natchitoches) participated in the Norwela Council Iditarod Jan. 26-28 and brought home two first place ribbons and two second place ribbons in the six event competition. Scouts built wooden sleds that are loaded with required items and must be pulled during the race. Teams receive clues that when solved lead to various places around Kinsey Scout Ranch and stations where their Scout skills are tested.
Troop 60’s first clue led to a fire starting station where each group raced under time to get a fire started quickly using whatever of the wet camp area they could. After they got the fire started, they received another clue and raced off to another station, where they cut through a pine log in record time using a cross-cut saw and cheerful spirit. Using great teamwork, Troop 60 Scouts earned their first blue ribbon in the wooden nickel event!
Then they were off to demonstrate their first aid knowledge and skills and then to a leadership and communication exercise where the Scouts had to fold a tarp while standing on it, blindfolded, listening to the instruction of one sighted youth. Again, their great teamwork led to another first place finish with the fastest time for the most folds without falling off. Their next clue led them to an orienteering skills test, where they put their compass knowledge on the line and paced out an accurate route from a starting azimuth for a second place ribbon. Their final station asked that they build a useful camp gadget using what they had on their sled and several loose pieces of wood, and within a minute they had a functioning wooden rope swing and a gleeful Scout swinging as proof of concept for another second place win.
Congratulations to Troop 60 for their excellent showing this year! Troop 60 welcomes interested potential Scouts aged 11-17 to visit our meetings Thursdays at 7 pm at First United Methodist Church on Second St in Natchitoches. For more information, see BSATroop60.wordpress.com