Boy Scouts from Alexandria, Fergus Falls and Starbuck enjoy the rush of a Klondike Derby

They completed a variety of gold-rush-themed challenges at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Feb. 26.

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Bridger Klavetter with Boy Scout Troop 412 of Alexandria uses long wooden sticks to make his way across a "river" during the Klondike Derby Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA — More than 30 Boy Scouts from the region took a step back in time Saturday, Feb. 26 to the late 1890s Klondike Gold Rush in Canada.
As part of the Prairie Fire District Klondike Derby, they completed a variety of outdoor challenges at the Douglas County Fairgrounds from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
A Klondike Derby is an annual event held during the winter months and is based on the heritage of the Klondike Gold Rush. Scout units have been running the derbies since 1949. The typical derby consists of several stations where scouts test their craft skills and leadership abilities, earning points toward a total score.
In Alexandria, scouts tossed "gold nuggets" — actually small-sized balls — to a partner up on a cliff — a snowbank — by using a blanket to propel the balls high in the air.
They completed an obstacle course by crossing a river, which was actually a roped off portion of snow between trees, using wooden sticks, and they pulled a sled, while blindfolded, through the snow.
They also played broomball, competed in a tug of war, practiced first aid skills, had fun with a logging activity and learned how to build a fire. A sled race capped off the busy day for the Scouts.

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Gunner Sellnow of Troop 418 in Alexandria pulls a sled, along with Brendan Eckstein and Connor Garrison, at Saturday's derby.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

Four scout units participated — Troop 412 from Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Troop 418 from St. Mary's in Alexandria, Troop 305 from Fergus Falls and Troop 491 from Starbuck.

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Members of Boy Scout Troop 418 in Alexandria use a blanket to transfer "gold nuggets" up to a partner at the top of a "cliff" during the Klondike Derby in Alexandria Saturday.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

Troop 418 also organized the event, the first time it's been held in Alexandria, according to Brenda Thomson, district executive with the Prairie Fire District.
Troop 305 took first place in the derby.
"It was definitely a success," Thomson said. "It was a beautiful day, for starters. The kids all said they had fun and at the end of it, they each got a Klondike Bar."
Those interested in joining or finding out more about the Boy Scouts can go to the website, .

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Scouts from Troop 418 test their skill at starting a fire during the Klondike Derby Saturday. They included, left to right, Wesley Garrison, Travis Anderson, Ethan Hunt and Isaac Jablonski.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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