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Klondike Derby

posted Feb 22, 2010, 8:05 AM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Feb 26, 2010, 8:03 AM ]
The assignment call came in on Thursday for me to take pictures of the Boy Scout of America's Klondike Derby event in the area. I have to admit, I've never heard of "Klondike Derby" before but very anxious to find out so I accepted the assignment; after all, regardless of how boring or glamorous the shoot may be, bottom line is that it brings home the breads.

I looked up the words Klondike Derby, and now understand that it's an event, where scouts can try out many different challenges to win points & awards. One of the challenges for each team in a troop is to build a full size working sled, and able to demonstrate its operations in the snow. Other challenges are: build fire to boil water in max of 10min., accurate rope throwing of a distance 25' or so, map reading, putting up tent...etc. Since we just had a snow storm of the decade, it's a rare opportunity for an event like this for the scouts. To prepare myself of the shoot on Saturday and get a feel of what I am going to expect, I called up the event organizer to learn more about the event. I then knew that I am going to deal with treacherous terrains, wet & cold which is not an ideal environment for the photographic equipments, difficult lighting conditions, wide open area, and many many kids; I sent out the signal to recruit both of my sons to help.

We arrived at the Upton Hill Regional park around 11:15am. Due to many 6' shoveled snow mounts occupied the already limited space, the parking lot was almost full. It was a sunny and upper 30sF, we walked through melted snow and mud to get to the main tent. After introduced ourselves of shooting for the Sun Gazette, we went down to where a group of scout troops are gathering. I focused on taking pictures, Thuỵ helped me with the remote flash, and Bảo followed up getting the required subject information. We spent around 2hrs there, and had a great time working together.