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Troop 515 Wins Klondike Derby

On Saturday, February 13, 1999, Monmouth Council, Battleground District Boys Scouts held their annual Klondike Derby at Quail Hill Scout Camp in Manalapan, New Jersey. For the third consecutive year, a patrol from Boy Scout troop 515, sponsored by the Howell Elks Lodge #2515, took first place in the competition.

The 1999 champion Grizzlies patrol, which was led by Michael Mecca, and consisted of team members Colin Blom, David Levine, Joe Dubusky, Roy Hendrickson, Michael Kobb, Kyle Deter and John Schanck, finished with a score of 64 1/2 points out of a possible perfect score of 70. The Eagles patrol, also from troop 515, which was led by Ryan Kwiatkowsky, and consisted of team members John Tsoukalis, Clint Newman, Michael DePaola, Michael Tallman, Mark Polliti, Steven Nehl and Chris Tuttle, finished in second place in competition, just 21/2 points off the first place total with an impressive 62 points.

The Klondike Derby is a scout competition in which teams consisting of between five and eight members, must demonstrate their proficiency in various scout skills in order to be awarded points. The scouts actually pull a klondike type sled which holds equipment and materials that scouts will need to successfully complete each of the challenges presented to them during the competition.

The competition course consists of six towns: camping, cooking, first aid, knots/lashings, orienteering (compass course) and wood tools (knife/ax/saws). The towns are scattered throughout the scout camp reservation. Upon arrival at each of the towns, the patrol is presented with a challenge which must be successfully completed in order to earn up to a maximum of ten points. The scouts are graded for their expertise, patrol cooperation and overall team spirit. In addition to earning points at each of the towns, the patrols are awarded five points at each check in for being properly equipped and outfitted, and five points at each check out for timely completion of the course.

At the Klondike closing ceremony, the Grizzlies patrol was awarded the first place trophy, and presented with tee shirts denoting the championship. The second and third place sleds were also presented with tee shirts.

Troop 515 has had tremendous success over the past three years in the Klondike Derby. In addition to taking first and second place honors in 1999, they finished first and second in 1998, and first and fourth in 1997.


Scouts Who Competed In The Klondike
Back Row: (left to right) Joe Debusky, David Levine, Michael Mecca, Scoutmaster Claude Vaillancourt, Ryan Kwiatkowsky, John Tsoukalis, Clint Newman, Mike DePaola. 
Lower Row: (left to right) Mike Kobb, John Schank, Kyle Deter, Mark Politi, Steven Nehl, Mike Tallman (missing from photo: Roy Hendrickson and Chris Tuttle)
Second Place Team

Back Row: (left to right) Clint Newman, Ryan Kwiatkowsky, John Tsoukalis, Mike Polliti
Lower Row: (left to right) Steven Nehl, Mike Tallman, Mark Polliti
First Place Team
Back Row: (left to right) David Levine, Mike Mecca, Joe Debusky
Lower Row: (left to right) Mike Kobb, John Schanck, Kyle Deter