Posts Tagged ‘Pinewood Derby’

derbyBoyScouts(I just found this article on my desk. I guess I forgot to post it. It might be a little late, but what the heck.)

Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose held its 2015 Pinewood Derby on Sunday, January 25th. As the current cubmaster I asked the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 if any of them would be able to help with the event. Five of them took me up on the offer.

Adrian was the first Boy Scout to arrive. His brother is a Cub Scout. Since he was the first I gave him my camera and made him the official photographer. His job was to take pictures of the Cub Scouts holding their derby cars before they turned them in. I also took him to take plenty of pictures during the event and of the award presentation at the end. I am not sure if he had ever been a photographer before, but he had plenty of practice during the derby.

Alex and Daniel were the next Boy Scout to arrive. They also happened to be the troop’s senior patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader. I had Alex work with the two Tiger Cubs who were to do the flag presentation. The Tigers would count this toward one of their Tiger Cub requirements.

I put Daniel to work as our official time keeper. He would keep the time of each car in each race. Each “race” would actually consist of two races so each car would race on each of the two lanes. If a car did not win both races we would take the average time from the two races to declare a winner. Unfortunately for Daniel, we did not need to check the race times but his job would have been critical if the races would have been closer.

Jacob and Carter were the other Boy Scouts to help during the event. They became out derby car handlers. Their job was to take the cars from the table and place them on the track. They would then receive the cars from the end of the track and replace them on the table, or the track again for the second heat. These two guys definitely had the most exercise of the five Boy Scouts.

All five Scouts did an excellent job with their assigned duties. Each participating Cub Scout received a derby patch. Since we had purchased enough of them we also gave each Boy Scout a patch for their help.

After the award presentation, we opened the track for exhibition racing, or what we called “racing for the fun of it”. Three of the Boy Scouts had brought their derby cars with them. The Cub Scouts had a blast racing the Boy Scouts and the other Cub Scouts they did not get to race against during the competition.

As the event came to an end and the track was packed away for the next year I think I can honestly say that everyone had a good time; the families, the Cub Scouts, and the Boy Scouts.

peanuts-the-race-is-on-snoopys-beagle-scouts-pinewood-derby-ornament-rootThis year’s Scouting themed Snoopy ornament is now on sale at your local Hallmark store. The 2015 piece features Snoopy the Beagle Scout, or scoutmaster, and three of his “Scouts” racing their Pinewood Derby cars. It is nice to see a Cub Scouting themed ornament this year.

I was not even thinking of this until I walked into the Crossroads Mall Hallmark store this afternoon. I was going to check if they had any of last year’s ornaments at close out prices. I should have known this year’s decorations would be on display already. It did not take me long to find Scoutmaster Snoopy. I bought two, like I do every year. One to put on the tree, and one to add to the collection.

Have you been collecting the Beagle Scout Snoopy ornaments?

2015carsCub Scout Pack 68 held their annual Pinewood Derby on Sunday, January 25th, at the Melrose American Legion. Ten Cub Scouts and their families attended along with friends a several Boy Scouts. Everyone seemed to have a good time.

I have been to several derbies through the last few decades, usually as an observer. Back in the 1980’s, before their was electronic timers, I was asked to be a judge for a derby. In the last couple years I showed up with my camera and acted as the unofficial photographer. I took lots of photos that I shared with the Cub Scout families.

This year was a little different. Since I am the cubmaster this year I had a few more derby duties than I have ever had in the past. Not only did I learn how to assemble an aluminum Pinewood Derby track but I acted as the master of ceremonies for the event.

I am sure our derby was just like many derbies held around the council and the nation. There were the fast cars and the cars that did not quite make it to the finish line. There were the fancy looking cars that had a look of work applied to them and a couple that did not. In fact, there was a nice variety of car designs. A few races were extremely close that added to the afternoon’s excitement. In fact, one race was one thousands of a second difference between the two cars.

Every Cub Scout who participated received a patch. The three fastest cars received trophies. A trophy was also given to the “best of show” car which was given to a car that featured Mario from the video game. It was cool to see the Cub Scout of the Mario car grinning from ear to ear as he accepted his trophy because his car did not do very well in the races.

Next on the Cub Scout Pack agenda is the Blue and Gold Banquet in February. I am working on a special surprise for the pack but I am not sure if I will be able to pull it off. If I do, it will be a Blue and Gold the Cub Scouts and their families will not soon forget.

PinewoodDerbyDesignGuess what. It is time for the Pinewood Derby! Has there ever been a more powerful comment that causes so much excitement for a Cub Scout and also creates a higher stress level for his father or mother?

Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose, Minnesota, held its Pinewood Derby on Tuesday, February 25. Thirteen Cub Scouts, from Tigers to Webelos, and their families came together at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on the north side of town. It was going to be a fun filled Tuesday evening.

The track had been set up a couple days earlier and everything had been tested. A few Cub Scouts arrived early and had started racing their cars down the track. Unfortunately, their moved something on the track and caused the electronic timer to work improperly. It took the cubmaster and a couple of the fathers several minutes to discover what the problem was and to fix it.

During this time I was taking pictures of the Cub Scouts and their cars. The pack also used this time to have the boys vote on their favorite car design before the races actually began.

The pack leaders decided to run the derby as a double elimination events so the each Scout would be a part of at least two races. While most of the boys took their loses in stride, there was one or two younger ones that took it a little hard. Most of the boys cheered on the ones still racing as the championship bracket began.

The final race for the 1st place trophy came down to the cubmaster’s son, Ethan,  and the committee chairman’s son, Spencer. Both boys were smiling from ear to ear as I took a picture of them with their cars as they were place on the track.

The lever was dropped. The cars began moving, quickly picking up speed as they moved toward the end of the track. Both cars were nose to nose all they way. It was going to be a photo finish.

Even with a photo finish it would have been hard to declare a winner. Good thing the pack had bought an electronic timer when they purchased a new track last year. The timer showed that Ethan’s car had beat Spencer’s car… by one thousandth of a second! Could the final race have been any closer? No.

Trophies were presented for the top three places. One trophy was presented for the best looking car. I took plenty of pictures during the event and promised the parents that each of them would get a cd of them all. I also had one of the Boy Scouts sitting at the end of the track recording the races with my video camera. It will be fun to see what he recorded.

How did things go with your pack’s Pinewood Derby?




2014pinewoodderbyThe Scouting program snuck up on me a little as this week became a bit busier than usual. I guess I knew of everything that was coming up, but I was not really paying attention. Oh well, I can not think of many other programs I would rather spend my time on.

On Monday the patrol leader council of Troop 68 met at my house for their monthly planning meeting. It did not take them long to plan the three March meetings, the court of honor, and other things, plus review how things went in February. They began at 6:30 and were finished before 8:00. That included eating the meat and cheese tray I set out during the meeting.

On Tuesday I attended Cub Scout Pack 68’s Pinewood Derby. Thirteen Scouts participated in this year’s event. It was the first time I had seen a derby since the pack bought a new track with an electronic timer. I attended the activity to take some pictures. I ended up being the official photographer. I might have gone a little overboard. I ended up with over 100 pictures of the boys and their cars. I am going to burn the pictures to cd’s and give one to each family who had a Scout participate in the derby.

On Friday the members of the Striking Cobra Patrol will be coming over for pizza, sodas, and a movie. They won the patrol flag competition in December. I am not sure what movie the Scouts will decide to watch but I have a feeling I better have at least two large pizzas ready for them. Boy Scouts always seem to be hungry, especially for pizza.

How has your Scouting week been going? Is it a busy one?

Pinewood Derby StandsIt is that special time of year. Plans are being made. Special designs are being considered. Bodies are being formed. Weights are being adjusted. Tracks are being calibrated. No, I am not talking about your local Snap Fitness center or the local gym. It is Pinewood Derby season! It is time to create those cars for the big races in Cub Scout Packs across the country.

The Cub Scouts of Melrose Pack 68 kicked off their season on Tuesday, January 28, by making display stands for their cars. Cubmaster Mark and his brother Gary had cut out and prepared the wood pieces. The Cub Scouts, with a little help from their parents, screwed and glued the pieces together. The next step will be to paint or stain the stands at home and then bring them to the Pinewood Derby.

I have not been to a Pack meeting for a year so I decided to attend this one. I did not realize the Cub Scouts would be assembling display stands. I did have my camera along so I made myself useful and started taking pictures of the Scouts and their parents. Once all the stands were assembled I took a group picture of the boys holding their project. The cubmaster will send it to the local newspaper for a short article.

Cub Scout Pack 68 will hold its Pinewood Derby on Tuesday, February 25th, at the local Lutheran Church. I will probably be there, with my camera in hand, snapping lots of pictures.

Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose will have a new Pinewood Derby track this year when the big day arrives. To tell the truth, it is long past time for a new track. The pack has been using the same one for the last 30 years. It is made of steel and is very heavy. It is also worn out. The pieces do not fit smoothly any longer. During the last two years some of the derby cars would jump their lanes when they hit the splices, even though the fathers did all they could to smooth the lanes with duct tape. Coats were used at the end of the track to cushion the cars as they came to a stop. Some races had to be rerun because the judges could not pick a winner during the close races. The pack does not have a track timer.

Two local Lion Clubs have donated money to purchase a new track. The cubmaster has been doing some homework to determine which track might best serve the pack’s needs. Pack 68 is a small pack with only 16 Cub Scouts. Chances are the new track will have two lanes, just like the old one does. He is also checking out timers so we know who wins those close races. I joked with him that he should sell the old track for scrap steel to raise the money for the timer.

The Cub Scouts and families are looking forward to this year’s races on a new Pinewood Derby track. It will be sleek. It will be smooth. It will be faster. And it will be super cool! It looks like it will be a great racing season in 2013 and beyond.

UPDATE! The cubmaster has made his choice and ordered the track. It will be a two lane Besttrack, from along with a two lane timer. he also said there is software available that allows us to organize the entire event and that the timer plugs into the computer to track everything. He might buy the software and donate it to the pack. I am starting to looking to attending this year’s derby.

Have any of you used a Besttrack track and timer? How do you like it?

The Pinewood Derby is a highlight of nearly every Cub Scout’s program year. The Cub Scouts love to race their homemade car down the derby track, and hopefully, their car will be the one to cross the finish line first to advance to the next level of the races. Even the siblings and parents, especially the fathers, really get into the races. It ends up being a great evening activity.

I attended the Cub Scout Pack 68 derby in March 2012. I took video during the races (which still has to be edited) and pictures before and after the races, including the presentation of the awards. This video entry to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast features these pictures in a slideshow style format. There are a lot of smiling faces to be seen, along with a picture of each Scout and his car.

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