Posts Tagged ‘Pinewood Derby’


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?

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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 besttrack.com 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.

Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
Watch it online at the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.
Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES  (and rate the show)
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Nascar may be one of the most popular sports in the country but it may not be on a Cub Scout’s radar during the next couple of months as Packs across the nation prepare for one of the biggest annual Cub Scout events: The Pinewood Derby! Hundreds of thousands of Pinewood Derby cars are about to be distributed across the 50 states. Young boys and their fathers (or mothers or older siblings) will take that block of wood and attempt to create an awesome work of art that is also speedy enough to race down the track and earn its owner the victory trophy.

I attended Cub Scout Pack’s derby last year along with three of the Boy Scouts who had younger brothers in the pack. It was the first time I had been able to attend a derby in several years. The races were usually held the same night as our troop’s patrol leader council meeting. I brought my camera and became the evening’s unofficial photographer, taking dozens of pictures of the boys and their cars.

It took the fathers awhile to set up the track and get the lanes to run smoothly because it had been a couple of years since the last Pinewood Derby. The pack membership had dwindled down to just a couple of Cub Scouts, but last year there were eight of them. And they were ready to race!

The adults kept the atmosphere light. The emphasis was to keep the races fun and exciting. Even though it was a double elimination tournament, the competitive aspect of the evening was downplayed. Each of the eight Cub Scouts received a trophy, though the top place trophies were a little larger.

The Cub Scouts had a great time. They continued racing their cars after the formal races had been completed. Even the Boy Scouts got to race their cars against each other. Toward the end of the evening the Cub Scouts were racing the Boy Scouts to see who had the better cars.

The Pack has added a few more members this past year so the next derby promises to be a little bigger and a little more exciting. I plan to attend the event again and be the unofficial photographer. It should be a great night in February.

By the way, here is a fun thing I did with some of the pictures taken at last years Pinewood Derby. I used them to create Derby Cards of each of the racers. The boys thought they were pretty cool. Check them out at Pinewood Derby Cards (100 DoS: Day 6) .

Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose will be holding its Blue and Gold Banquet later this month. To provide a little entertainment during the evening I have volunteered to produce a slideshow of the pictures I have taken when I attended their den meetings and the Pinewood Derby. This slideshow is being sneak previewed for the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast.

How many of you have done something like this for your Pack meetings or Blue and Gold Banquets? How did your audience and the Cub Scouts like it?

Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast
or watch it at MSPP channel at PTC Media.

Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTunes (and rate the show)
or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
Leave feedback here, at iTunes, or on the forums at PTC Media.

The Scouter Mom blog posted an article today that caught my attention, and moved me to action. The article was about Cub Scout Trading Cards, similar to baseball trading cards. She described it as a possible den or pack project. (See the article at http://www.scoutermom.com/content/?p=1832 )

This gave me an idea. Now that I am a committee member of the Cub Scout Pack, and the photographer of this year’s Pinewood Derby, I thought I could take this card idea one step further and create 2011 Pinewood Derby cards. I opened the Pages program on my MacPro, picked out a business card template I thought would work, and went to work.

I had taken photographs of each of the Scouts holding their car, and a separate picture of each car. Both pictures were used on the front of the card with the boy’s name. On the back of the card I used a couple Cub Scout logos and the pack’s name and location. Then I printed them on business card stock. The picture above is the back of the card. The picture below is the front.

I think they turned out very well. I plan to make a set for each of the Cub Scouts who participated in the Pinewood Derby and present each Scout with a set at the Blue and Gold banquet this month. Have any of you ever done anything like this?

100 Days of Scouting, Day 6.