Klondike 2010 Campfire Program

Theme: Climbing the Golden Staircase


We will light a fire barrel at the main campfire area. One volunteer will stay there and direct scouts in groups of about 30 to the Yukon Trail every 4 to 5 minutes.

The campfire will run from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM or earlier if we don't get any more scouts.

Scouts will visit four stations on the trail, with the last station at the top of a mound of snow. Each station will be marked with two torches.

At the last station, the leader will have a Klondike activity punch and will ask each patrol leader to show their patrol card to be punched. He will then direct them to the food station to get their dessert.

The stations are:
  1. Prospector Jokes and Skits

  2. BSA Centennial Story

  3. Yukon songs

  4. Scoutmaster minute: the Story of the Golden Staircase

Prospector Jokes and Skit

Dusty and Lefty are grizzled prospectors who love to tell jokes and get the audience laughing.

Dusty: Lefty, I once had an evil chicken!
Lefty: How did you know it was evil?
Dusty: It laid deviled eggs!

Lefty: Dusty, I see you got a fine guard dog there, a Doberman.
Dusty: Thank you.
Lefty: Do you know what happens when you cross a Doberman with a Collie?
Dusty: No, I don't rightly know.
Lefty: You get a dog that bites off your arm and then goes to get help!

Dusty: Lefty, you know what a greenhorn does to catch a rabbit?
Lefty: No, what?
Dusty: He makes a sound like a carrot.

Lefty: Where does a greenhorn prospector keep all the gold he finds!
Dusty: In a snow bank! (Laugh outrageously!)

Dusty: Once I went to the finest restaurant in Dawson city. It was so fancy, the waiter was called a Mader Dee. I asks him, "Mister Mader Dee, do you server snow crabs in this here fancy restaurant?"
Lefty: What did he say?
Dusty: He says to me, "Why certainly sir, please have a seat"!

Lefty: I gots a riddle for you Dusty.
Dusty: Ok, let's hear it.
Lefty: What stays in bed most of the day and sometimes goes to the bank?
Dusty: A greenhorn prospector!
Lefty: No, a stream!

Dusty: What did the prospector's finger say to the thumb?
Lefty: What?
Dusty: I'm in glove with you. (Say the line like an icky movie love moment.)

Lefty: How come you can't trust prospectors that live on a hill?
Dusty: Why?
Lefty: Cause they ain't on the level.

Dusty: Lefty, be careful about the lawyers here in Dawson City.
Lefty: Really, why?
Dusty: I had a dispute with the gold assayer the other day. So I walks into the lawyer's office and asks him what he charges. He says 2 ounces of gold for three questions. So I says to him "Isn't that awfully steep?" Then he says to me "Yes, and now what's your third question?"

Lefty: How many prospectors does it take to change a light bulb?
Dusty: What's a light bulb?
Lefty: Never you mind, just tell me how many.
Dusty: One?
Lefty: It takes a whole bunch, ‘cause the Bible says "Many hands make LIGHT work".

Dusty: There! I sees Frenchie out in the crowd. "Halloo Frenchie!" (Wave to a random audience member)
Lefty: Yep, Frenchie cooks up the best grub I ever had.
Dusty: Lefty, you know what Frenchie's son is named?
Lefty: No...
Dusty: Stu! (Break out in outrageous laughter!)

Lefty: What did one campfire say to the other?
Dusty: What?
Lefty: Hey beautiful, do you wanna go out? (Say like a movie star asking out a beautiful girl.)

Three Rivers Skit
(from http://www.linksolution.com/doug/three_rivers.htm)

Props: 2 bowls, pot, serving spoon 

Players: an old prospector, two greenhorn prospectors, and a "dog" 

An old prospector seated around his campfire cooking dinner. First greenhorn walks up to the campfire. 

1st Greenhorn: "Hey, old timer. That grub smells mighty good; would you happen to have any extra to spare?"
Prospector: "Sure, sonny; hand me that empty plate over their and I'll fix you right up." 
1st Greenhorn: "Gee, this plate looks kinda dirty." 
Prospector: "Dirty? That plates not dirty; it's a clean as Three Rivers can get it."

Prospector dishes up the food; hiker shrugs and eats. 

1st Greenhorn: "Well, thanks for the grub. I've got to be moving on."

1st Greenhorn leaves and prospector continues eating. 2nd greenhorn walks up to the campfire. 

2nd Greenhorn: "Boy, I've been hiking for miles and I sure am hungry. Would you have any of that great stew to share?" 
Prospector: You bet; hand me that bowl over there and I'll fill it up for you.
2nd Hiker (makes face as he looks into the bowl): This bowl seems pretty dirty to me; do have a cleaner one?
Prospector: Dirty? Why that bowl's as clean as Three Rivers can get it. 

Prospector dishes up the food; hiker shrugs and eats.

2nd Greenhorn: "I've got to be going; thanks for the food." 

2nd Greenhorn leaves. 

Prospector: “Now, time to clean the dishes." 

(Prospector puts dishes on the ground and whistles). "Three Rivers! Here, Three Rivers!" ("dog" comes running and starts cleaning the plates.)

"Good boy, Three Rivers. That’s a Good Dog."

BSA Centennial Story

(Most of the story comes from the book Boy Scouts of America, A Centennial History by Chuck Wills)

One day in August 1909, a wealthy American newspaper and magazine publisher, W. D. Boyce, set out on foot for a business meeting in London. The city—a metropolis still largely heated by coal and lit by gas—was in the midst of one of its legendary “pea-soup” fogs. The fog was so thick that Boyce hesitated before crossing the street.

At that moment a boy “about ten or twelve years old, I think” (as Boyce recalled two decades later) appeared out of the gloom, a lantern in his hand. The boy offered to guide Boyce across the street, and the grateful American took him up on the offer. When they reached the other side in safety, Boyce reached into his pocket for a coin. But the boy refused Boyce’s tip. He was a Boy Scout, he explained, and he was simply doing a “good turn.” “I was interested,” Boyce later wrote, “and asked him about his organization.”

Boyce never learned the boy’s name. To this day the lad with the lantern is revered in the lore of Scouting as the “Unknown Scout.” But the eventual result of this random meeting on a foggy London day was the founding of the most successful and enduring youth movement in the history of the United States—the Boy Scouts of America.

On February 8, 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in Washington, D.C. The Papers stated that the organization was intended to “promote , through organization and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and for others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are in common use by Boy Scouts.”

The new organization’s honorary president was William Howard Taft, President of the United States. It’s Chief Scout Citizen was former President Theodore Roosevelt.

I hold in my hand a reproduction of Baden-Powell’s 1908 Scouting for Boys book. If you were to read this book, you would find that most of scouting as you know it still exists in the same form that it did 100 years ago. The Patrol Method, patrol yells and flags, etc. are all the same.

Amazing facts about the Boy Scouts of America:

In 1916, the Boy Scouts of America was granted a national charter by the United States Congress. It included a special exemption that allowed Scouts to wear uniforms that were similar to U.S. Military uniforms. No one else was allowed to do that.

In 1940, Irving Berlin, the composer of the song “God Bless America,” which you all know well, assigned one half of the royalties for this song to the Boy Scouts. To this day, when someone records this song, money goes to the Boy Scouts. Over the years, this has amounted to millions of dollars.

Today there are only 6 countries in the world that don’t have some form of Scouting: China, North Korea, Cuba, Andorra, Burma, and Laos.

During World War II, the President of the United States called on the Boy Scouts 69 times to help the nation’s war effort. They collected clothing, distributed posters, sold 2 Billion dollars worth of war bonds, and watched the coastlines for enemy ships. One Scout, Harvard Hodkins of Maine, even spotted a pair of German spies who had landed from a submarine and reported them to the FBI.

The Klondike Derby goes back at least to the early 1930s in New Hampshire, where Scouts commemorated the 1925 dog sled run that carried diphtheria serum across Alaska and saved the lives of many people. This is the same even that inspires the Iditarod dog sled race that you may of heard about.

The first Eagle Scout award was earned by Arthur Eldred in 1912. He had to earn 21 merit badges, just like you do today. The Eagle award with its red, white, and blue ribbon looks exactly the same today as it did 98 years ago.


The Dawson City Store (The Quartermaster’s Store)

(hear the tune at http://julianmorgan.tripod.com/mysite/id25.html)

Lyrics: There are rats, rats, as big as alley cats,
At the store [at the store], at the store [at the store].
There are rats, rats, as big as alley cats,
At the Dawson City store.

My eyes are dim, I can not see.
I have not brought my specks with me. [Repeat]

Snakes . . . as big as garden rakes.
Mice . . . running through the rice.
Cakes . . . that give us tummy aches.
Eggs . . . with scaly chicken legs.
Butter . . . running in the gutter.
Lard . . . they sell it by the yard.
Bread . . . with great big lumps like lead.
Cheese . . . that makes you want to sneeze.
Goats . . . eating all the oats
Bees . . . with little knobby knees.
Flies . . . swarming 'round the pies.
Fishes . . . washing all the dishes.
Moths . . . eating through the cloths

The Zulu Warrior

I cum a zimba zimba zye uh
I cum a zimba zimba zee
I cum a zimba zimba zye uh
I cum a zimba zimba zee

See him there, the Zulu warrior
See him there, the Zulu chief, chief, chief, chief

(Sung in a round - half doing the 'I cum a' while the other half does 'See him there')

Scoutmaster’s Minute: Climbing the Golden Staircase

During the Klondike gold rush of 1897 and 1898, most prospectors got to Dawson City by the Chilcoot trail. It was 32 miles long, but the worst spot by far was the Golden Staircase. It was a long series of steps, carved in ice, that rose 3500 feet. Prospectors carried their gear up in single file, holding onto a rope. It was a trip that could take six hours.

This is not all, the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police were stationed on the trail and wouldn’t let any prospector pass unless he was prepared. Everyone had to have 2000 pounds of food and gear with him—enough to survive a year in the back country—or he would be turned back by the police.

Normally, mules or horses carried this ton of gear, but there were places where the only pack animal that could make it was the prospector himself. The Golden Staircase was one of those places.

Each person would carry a pack of 50 or 60 pounds up the trail, cache that load of gear, then go back for another load. Sometimes it would take 80 trips—that’s an 8 and a 0—80 trips. They called Chilcoot Trail the “meanest 32 miles in the world.”

These prospectors had determination. It takes real determination to tackle the meanest 32 miles in the world to accomplish your goal. This kind of determination comes from deep within your heart. It is a spirit of faith and trust that gives you a hope and belief that you can accomplish what you need to do.

Reach for your dreams, Scouts, and aim high—no matter how difficult, and no matter what obstacles are in your way. Your dreams will probably not lead you over Chilcoot Pass, but they may be just as hard to accomplish. Don’t give up. Never give up, even if it takes 80 trips back and forth over the same trail.

May I suggest one thing—one challenge for you this year? It’s the Centennial of the Boy Scouts of America. I challenge you to do something out of the ordinary this year to honor Lord Baden-Powell and all the other scouts that have gone before you over the last 100 years.

I challenge you to choose one goal, write it down, and accomplish it. It should be something that’s hard, something that will take real work to accomplish. If you can, decide on it tonight and start making plans for how you will accomplish it.

Good night and good luck. Patrol leaders, bring up your ticket and I’ll punch it. Then you can go get dessert.