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KLONDIKE TRAIL Est. 1968 Webelos and Arrow of Light Dens

  • “The Loop” at Watchung Reservation, Mountainside, NJ Watchung NJ United States (map)


Webelos and Arrow of Light Dens

History In 1896, gold was discovered in the Klondike River in the Yukon Territory in Canada. Word quickly spread about the gold, and the Klondike Gold Rush was on. Men from as far away as Great Britain rushed to the Yukon Territory in search of gold. More than 40,000 made it to the Klondike, but many did not survive the trek. Some of those who survived struck it rich when they found gold.

For over 60 years, Boy Scouts of America have been remembering this event by running winter-time Klondike derbies that challenge Scouts BSA patrols with tasks using Scout skills. For the Raritan Valley District, the Klondike has traditionally been a Scouts BSA event. The last few years, a parallel set of winter Klondike activities have been available to district Arrow of Light and Webelos dens. This is a great opportunity for our older Cub Scouts to get a sense of Scouts BSA activities, have some fun, and use what they have learned as Webelos (as well as learn a few new Scouts BSA Scout-level skills).


The Klondike event consists of multiple “towns” where each town requires Scouts to display skills in a given area, e.g., First Aid, Ropes/Knots, Map/Compass, Fire, Cooking, Challenge, Team Building. Each town has a mayor who acts as the focal point for that town. The mayor is assisted by older Scouts and/or adults who assign tasks to each patrol and then judge how well they achieve the assignment, including displaying appropriate leadership and good Scout behavior. Each Scouts BSA patrol builds (or reuses) their own Klondike sled and packs it with the equipment required for the various Klondike towns. The Scouts themselves act as the sled dogs, pulling their sled from town to town.

Scouts BSA troops are grouped into patrols (similar to the Cub Scout den concept). Scouts BSA patrols have their own elected patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders so they compete on their own without adult involvement. Webelos dens, however, will require two adult den leaders throughout the event.

The Raritan Valley District now includes Webelos Cub Scouts in the Klondike. The Scouts BSA “towns” will be set up to support a scaled-back challenge focused on learning for the Webelos Scouts. Since the Webelos challenges will be done at the same towns used by the Scouts BSA Scouts, the Webelos will also be able to observe the older Scouts in action.

For the Webelos, the Klondike is not a competitive event. It is intended as a fun activity which will hopefully get them excited about “crossing-over” to Scouts BSA. Thus, it is not required that the Webelos dens prepare for town skills. The towns will be structured to help teach skills as necessary. Cub leaders, however, have indicated it is helpful to know what skills will be involved. Thus, some skill information is provided in the town descriptions later in this document. If there are questions, feel free to contact the Klondike chair (see cover sheet).

The Klondike is a “team-oriented” activity, not an individual Scout activity. That is, Scouts BSA participate in their patrol groupings. Similarly, it is expected that each pack will use their Webelos dens as their teams. Location & Directions The event takes place again this year at the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside, New Jersey. On the Reservation map at the end of this package, the location is “The Loop”. Some of the town locations will be on the loop, with others on outlying trails. Headquarters check-in will take place at the large restroom location on the northwestern quadrant of “The Loop” (see cross road within “The Loop” expansion – at the end of the package). We request that all parking locations around the loop are filled before using the parking area behind headquarters, which will initially be reserved for troop trailers.

Directions (from US 22 East): In Scotch Plains, just past Blue Star Shopping Center, take exit on right to Scotch Plains/New Providence (also has sign for US78) Follow US78 sign (bear right) to go back over US22 Go through first light (crosses Bonnie Burn Road) At next light (@0.9 mile) – turn RIGHT onto Valley Road Take a quick LEFT (couple hundred yards) onto Glenside Ave(see Watchung Reserv. signs) Go @2.1 miles, take RIGHT onto CR645 (W.R. Tracy Drive) Go @0.7 miles to “The Loop” – will see “One Way” sign to Headquarters/dropoff .

Directions (from US 78W): Take EXIT 44 toward NEW PROVIDENCE/BERKELEY HGTS Turn LEFT onto CR-527/GLENSIDE AVE Go 1.2 miles, take RIGHT onto CR-645 (W R TRACY DR) Go @0.7 miles to “The Loop” – will see “One Way” sign to Headquarters/dropoff.

GPS: If using a GPS from US 78 only, you can enter the address of the Trailside Nature Center, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside. You do not want to go all the way to the Center, but it will take you to the circle (“The Loop”) on CR645/Tracy Drive. YOU CAN NOT USE THIS ADDRESS WITH GPS IF COMING FROM US 22 – IT WILL TAKE A DIFFERENT ROUTE. An alternative destination to search for is “The Loop Playground” in either Watchung Reservation or Mountainside, NJ.

Earlier Event: January 25
Pack Meeting
Later Event: February 12
Pack Committee Monthly Meeting