You don’t make men with an Xbox

Last weekend our troop participated in the annual Klondoree event. Basically it is an annual  “Scout Olympics” competition set in the cold and snow of the Colorado Front Range.

For the 2012 event, weather conditions were pretty tough. We camped on about 14 inches of snow with 10 degree weather and 80+ percent humidity. It was dang cold. In fact, the sky “froze” at one point as indicated by snow with no clouds.

During the weekend I realized that this is exactly the tough conditions that turns little dudes into men. There is no “parent” to take them to the warming hut when they are cold. If they make a mistake with their gear, they have to solve their own problem. Basically it is an exercise in personal management and taking care of oneself.

This is the essence of Scouting and the outdoors.

da Klondoree

pOut here in Colorado we have an annual winter camping trip known as “Klondoree”. It sort of like Camporee, just with snow and cold.nbsp; For the un-initiated, the Klondoree is camping in the winter punctuated with events testing scout skill (you know, like building fires, ice rescue and such) while competing against other troops./p pIn the past these have been great events and this year should be no different. We are hauling 22 scouts and 6 adults into the woods. The weather is calling for snow to start falling on Saturday. I’m sure the dudes will all be prepared for a great time./p pOur troop hosted last year’s Klondoree. It is a lot of work for the host troop keeping track of all the events and managing all of the scouts./p

Okpik = Cold Camping

A couple weeks ago our troop sent six of us to the Okpik Winter Survival Program at Tahosa, near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  The program is excellent and provides the basics for how to camp/survive in a very cold environment.

Now, I’ve been in the mountains for 30+ years. I’ve been cold before. This, however, was one of the coldest weekends I have ever spent. This had nothing to do with the program, it had everything to do with the wind. 15degrees, sustained 15-20 mph wind with gusts that blew down trees….the whole time we were there. Brrrr.



The fun part of the trip though was building our quinzee, which is basically an igloo. We camped out in these, two men per quinzee. Not too bad.

All in all a great experience.