Klondike Leader Planning Guide

Klondike Contact – Saffron Hodgson Council 425-785-8072 shodgson@seattlebsa.org

  • Winter over! This is car camping, with camp setup by candle and Coleman lantern.  If you can’t handle tenting, there are LIMITED cabins available on a first come first served basis.  BONUS: If you stay Saturday night, Sunday morning breakfast will be free!

  • Winter prepared! The first event will be to pass inspection on your sled, patrol gear and most important, your personal gear.  Without the proper gear your patrol will not proceed from the Chilkoot pass inspection station.

  • Challenge events! These events are the heart of Klondike!   Once you start each event, your patrol must complete the event to the satisfaction of your Klondike event evaluator.  Then you can move on to the next challenge.  The patrols with the most successfully completed events will be rewarded.



So you have an idea, here is the list of events we are considering for this year.  We always change several around each year to keep things interesting!

  • Bunny Blast BB Shoot 

  • Sled in the Balance

  • Salmon Toss

  • Ice Fishing

  • Salmon Fry Transfer

  • Licorice Spitting

  • Signal Tower

  • Snowballs Chance in Heck

  • Duck Fishing

  • Forging Onward

  • Smoosh Boarding

  • Saw and Brand

  • Hobo Stove

  • Compass Challenge

  • Panning for Gold

  • Ice Rescue

  • Surviving Klondike

  • Atlatl Throwing

  • Panning for Gold


There is an element of competition/challenge and subsequent reward/recognition to the Klondike Challenge.  Patrols will be judged on the completion of the event. Patrols may participate in an event more than one time, but only one occurrence will count towards the total score. The more events successfully completed, the higher the award level. There will be three award categories that patrols will be striving for:

Cheechakos Greenhorn, tenderfoot, newbie, inexperienced in mining or surviving Alaskan winters, “Thanks for showing up” award, as long as you successfully complete at least some minimum number events you should achieve this.


Prospectors Somewhere in-between.  You have not “struck gold” yet but are on your way there.  Your patrol still needs some more seasoning and experience.


Sourdoughs Highest honor, after a certain amount or time or experience, one becomes a “sourdough”, you have arrived and know your stuff.  You have struck it rich!


A patrol’s performance at each event will be scored for their level of knowledge or accomplishment and for teamwork. Some points would be given for accomplishment and some for teamwork and scout spirit. Scores are totaled and patrols are “awarded” according to the level they have attained.  Your reward at each event will be gold nuggets for your poke!



Each team will need a sturdy homemade pouch to carry their gold nuggets in. This can be made from leather or canvas with a drawstring.  Or a Ziploc baggie will work in a pinch but is so boring!



To prepare for this event it is recommend that the SPL review winter gear and preparedness information, and work it into your program for the next few months.  Traditional patrol skills will be needed.  There will be a need to know winter first aid, survival skills and fire building.  Attitude will be emphasized.



Patrols should plan on preparing a hot lunch for midday on the Klondike Trail. Bonuses may be available if you let the staff test your wares!  Outstanding lunch menu’s will be recognized at closing.  Presentation, preparation, flavor, teamwork, etc. will be considered in the score.



Plans for the “HOBO” or coffee can stove are on the district Klondike page. If you need more information, call for help (see contact info). Bring it and the wood to fuel it with you (no liquid accelerants)!   A frying pan with a handle might be helpful also.  This is only used for the Hobo Stove event.



Hot beverages, cocoa/cider will be provided by the event staff, but each patrol needs to plan their own water needs for the weekend.  Camp has a fresh water supply in the Dining Hall, but it is a long walk from tent camping.  Some water may be available in some towns during Klondike



  1. Natural patrols of 4 to 8 scouts with a suitable Klondike sled plus all essential gear (See below).

  2. All scouts must be properly clothed for winter weather. (No Cotton! Bring rain gear, warm coats, waterproof boots etc.)

  3. Each patrol must be registered at Klondike Headquarters.  This will be confirmed upon on-site check-in.

  4. The Scout Handbook is a great resource! (Chapters on Hiking, Camping and Cooking)

  5. No flammable fluids, explosives dangerous stuff (scout meaning of “fuel” is usually considered wood not gas.)  Check your Scout Safety Guide in case you have any questions.



Sleds must be homemade. Refer to the Klondike sled plans on the web site for examples of details. Sleds should be sturdy enough to transport one team member and all of the patrol’s gear. Each patrol should bring all the items they will need to compete in each of the events of the Klondike. The Klondike is a harsh environment. Many a miner has failed to hit the mother-load for lack of proper planning and supplies. For example, be sure to bring fire building materials (there won’t be any wood available in the gold fields, no flammable fluids), first aid supplies, rope, and anything else the patrol may need or want to complete each of the events (refer to instructions below). Remember, you are going to the Klondike, so BE PREPARED!


Patrol Equipment Required

  • Patrol Roster 

  • Gold nugget pouch

  • Patrol water container plus personal water

  • Sled with harness 

  • “HOBO or Coffee Can” Stove for the Hobo Stove event (see web site for details)

    • Paraffin fire starters only (candle wax & paper, NO liquid accelerants for this)

  • Hot lunch fixings, plus appropriate stove, pots, etc. needed to cook it.  Scouts should be experienced with the stove they use for this as they will be unsupervised.


Scout checklist

  • Ten essentials (see Scout Handbook)

  • Cold weather clothing (see Scout Handbook)

  • Mess kit (bowl/cup, spoon) 

  • Good insulated winter boots.  Tennis shoes and light hiking boots are not appropriate.

  • Sitting pad or small camp chair (so you are not sitting on the snow/ground).

  • 2 cans of favorite can of soup.  One for soup pot, one for local food bank.

  • Copy of “Winter Camping Information” document (on Klondike web site).  Read it!


Sled usability checklist

  • Secure spot for patrol flag

  • Canvas or tarp lining sled to hold gear  and rope securing it

  • Ultimate test: if sled is turned upside down, nothing should fall out.

  • Advanced warning on Klondike sled capabilities.  In years past the snow levels have varied at Klondike. It is recommended that the sleds be equipped with removable wheels. A judgment by the Klondike Director will be made at the Klondike site as to the use of the wheels during the events and for the Iditarod Race. (And no — putting a sled on top of a wagon doesn’t count!)


Everyone needs to bring two cans of soup to be turned in at check-in. One can goes into the soup pot, which will be available starting at 11:45 am on Saturday for adult leaders only. The second can of soup will be donated to a local food bank. Each adult should bring a cup or bowl and an eating utensil to enjoy a helping from the soup pot.



Scouters, wandering adults, “just drivers”, and officious looking council staff will be put to work.  If you have a preference, or would like to command an event, contact the Klondike committee!  Like last year, the games and program areas will be staffed with experienced Youth and Adults. Experienced Youth not participating in a patrol are encouraged to help staff events and program areas. All attending adults should plan on volunteering to assist. Volunteers should meet at the Klondike Headquarters at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and ask how they can help.



Camp Koinonia is located approximately 75 miles east of Seattle just off of I-90. Take exit 78 – Golf Course Road; turn right onto Golf Course Road; in 0.3 mile turn right again on Nelson Siding Road and travel 0.5 mile to Camp Koinonia Lane; follow road 0.5 mile to the camp entrance.


Winter Over:  If your troop is planning to stay over Friday and/or Saturday night, you can register for tent camping or a very limited number of cabin beds.  Campsites are available starting at 2:00 pm on Friday.  Parking lot will be plowed, toilets provided, campfires are OK but there are no fire-pits so you must bring your own portable fire pit, and it must be fully extinguished whenever the campsite is unoccupied or vacated.  Campsites are not judged.  


Cabins: Exclusive cabin use is not guaranteed and will be assigned by Klondike staff.  Friday night only camper’s check-out is Noon.  Saturday night only camper’s check-in time is 2:00pm


Garbage collection: Please take any garbage bags to a central collection in the parking lot near the road so that camp staff can more easily collect it.


Water is available only at the Dining Hall. 



Webelos are invited to attend either as a Webelos Patrol or as a guest of a Scouts BSA patrol. We encourage troops to invite the Webelos into the troop for the day.  Webelos will not be allowed to Winter-Over on Friday night, unless they are the guest of a Troop and have their own separate sleeping area and adult supervision.  If you want to stay over on Saturday Night, we recommend you ask a troop to sponsor you. The “Webelos sled” is ok, but the events are geared to the wood sled.  


Klondike Challenge Race – the Iditarod!

When the siren sounds in the afternoon to signal the end of the Challenge Events (see schedule), all patrol leaders must make their way to the Assay Office near the Klondike Kitchen to get their gold weighed and receive their reward!  At this time, patrol leaders will also receive a “Golden Ticket” which is their sled’s entry into the great Klondike Challenge Race – the Iditarod.  The rules are a little different every year, so make sure you get a copy of them.  They are up on the Klondike web site and will be available at Klondike for the leader’s meeting in the morning.

Arriving at the Klondike Challenge


If you like, you can have a small group or advanced party, show up after 2:00 PM on Friday to select a campsite on a FIRST-COME-FIRST SERVED BASIS. A staff member will assist you in locating a camping site. 


In order to avoid traffic congestion, vehicles are not allowed at the campsites. All vehicles except identified staff vehicles must park in the designated parking area. 


Distances between campsites and the competition sites are relatively small, and within easy travel range. Be prepared to hike your camping gear to your campsite. Please mark your campsite in some manner (signs, troop flag, surveyors flagging, etc.) to indicate your boundaries. This helps everyone easily locate your group. 


Friday night “Winter Over” unit check-in will be open between the hours of 2pm to 10pm. Saturday morning check-in will be from 8am to 9am on Saturday. Scoutmasters and/or Senior Patrol Leader should check in at the Headquarters area during these times. Please be prepared as follows:


  1. Bring the following (copies of all registration forms):

  • Your copy of the Unit Registration Form 

  • Copy of the BSA Health form parts A and B, which should include a copy of the family insurance card, for each scout and adult attending.

  1. Give your final list of patrols, including the patrol name. We will accept patrols with up to but no more then 10 Scouts. The ideal size is from 5 – 8 scouts.  Patrols that are smaller than this could be challenged at some of the events.

  2. Copy of your Tour Permit (if you are outside the Chief Seattle Council and need one)


No one will be admitted without a BSA Health form!  This is a National policy.



Checkout hours are Saturday after the closing. Troops must have their campsites inspected before they are allowed to checkout and receive Klondike Challenge patches. All equipment must be removed from campsite before checkout. Proof of registration is required to receive Klondike Challenge patches and awards.



Please note that parking spaces are limited and certain portions of the roadway are narrow. Parking will be $5 per vehicle to help pay for management of this process.  Carpooling is strongly encouraged.  Some of these areas will be restricted for safety reasons and to permit access by emergency vehicles. In order to avoid traffic congestion, all vehicles except identified staff vehicles must park in the designated parking area. Your cooperation in not parking in restricted areas is extremely important to the safety of the Klondike. Parking in campsites is not permitted, unless special permission is obtained for good reasons (e.g. a handicapped person needing close access to a vehicle.)