Boy Scouts Brave Cold for Klondike Derby

Lynchburg, VA- The snow came just in time for local boy scouts as they hold their Klondike Derby this weekend.

Troops from around the area met at the Presbyterian Home on Linden Avenue in Lynchburg to set up camp Friday night. They say they're happy to have the wintry weather. And not one scout said they were cold.

As parents and troop leaders huddled around a fire to keep warm, the boy scouts were, well, being boys.

But the Klondike Derby isn't all fun and games. Piedmont District Director Jason Lagesse, says the scouts are learning too.

"The biggest thing they're learning is self-reliance and really just how to take care of themselves," said Lagesse.

Lesson number one--what to do if you're stranded in freezing temperatures.

"If you were in a car and you slid off the side of the road in Bedford County, and help was however many hours away, these are skills that a boy might learn when he's 13 and when he's 26, he'll know how to take care of himself in cold weather," said Lagesse.

And cold weather is what they have to work with this weekend, putting their skills to the test.

"You've got to put into effect all that you've been taught throughout the scouting program and what not, so that you and your buddies can stay warm and have a great time," said John Mclean, a Lynchburg Boy Scout.

And most scouts agree, the key to staying warm, is layering clothes.

"I'm currently wearing three layers right now," said Mclean.

"I think I have four (layers)," said Tim McCarty, the Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 70.

But with warm tents and cozy sleeping bags, these scouts will have no trouble fighting the frigid air, especially with a few tricks up their sleeves,

"Some folks will warm a rock up and stick it at the bottom of their sleeping bag," said Lagesse.

Saturday the troops will compete against each other in a dog sled race, where they build their own sleds, and act as their own dogs too. The scouts we talked to said for the race, the colder the better, and the more snow the less work they have to do pulling the sleds.