It’s certainly been a weird Winter. Plenty of warmer than normal temperatures and not much snow. The lack of snow actually got me thinking back to a Winter when I was in 6th or 7th grade that we had a ton of it.
It was the perfect Winter for our Boy Scout troop to compete in a Klondike Derby… a competition of speed, skill, and team cooperation.
Each team made and brought their own dog sled to the event. This sled was pulled by team members and carried the required gear.
There were several places along the race route where you stopped to perform a task that you were scored on. Along the way there were also obstacles that you needed to work on together as a team.
The obstacle I remember most was an area that we couldn’t just pull our sled through. It needed to be lifted and carried. We struggled with how to get our sled past it as quick as possible. It was heavy and awkward.
In the end we emptied our gear to make the sled lighter and easier to lift. Once we got the sled through we went back for our gear. It wasn’t the most efficient way to do it but it did get the job done.
When the race was over leaders and event staff went over the scorecards with each team. We were given praise for what we did right and constructive criticism on what we could have done better.
Turns out there was a better way of getting our sled through the obstacle. Instead of unpacking it and making several trips we could have used the 2 six foot poles that were part of our gear.
When slid under the front and back of the sled we could use the poles as handles making it easier to pick up and carry. I couldn’t believe how simple the solution was.
It was one of the first examples of “work smarter, not harder” that stuck with me.