Scouts enjoy annual Pinewood Derby

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Fri., Mar. 11, 2011
Boy Scout Pack 203 assembled at St. Gabriel School for the Pinewood Derby races. Photo by Jennifer Coe.
Boy Scout Pack 203 assembled at St. Gabriel School for the Pinewood Derby races. Photo by Jennifer Coe.

It’s an annual tradition played out all over the nation. Boy Scouts get together in early spring to turn a block of wood into a racing competitor.

Pack 203 and Pack 56 joined together at St. Gabriel School’s auditorium on March 6 to host their Pinewood Derby competition. In just one month, all of these boys, some as young as 6, took a block of wood and four plastic wheels from austere to astounding.

According to the Boy Scouts’ Pinewood Derby website, www.pinewoodderby.org, the very first Pinewood Derby was held in 1953 by Cub Scout Pack 280C of Manhattan Beach, Calif. It was the brainchild of then-Cubmaster Donald Murphy. The race is still run today with the same rules as in 1953. “The Derby is run in heats – two to four cars starting by gravity from a standstill on a track and run down a ramp to a finish line unaided. The track is an inclined ramp with wood strips down the center to guide the cars,” the site says.

Even before the races began, the excitement level was high. As boys arrived to check in their vehicles, they compared designs and eyed the competition. But, race day was really just the culmination of what was hopefully a great family experience, designing and building a race car from scratch.

In the end, among many champions, trophies were sent home with the following first-place winners: David Stone (Tigers), Boden Gapko (Wolves), Ian Martineau (Bears), Zachary Giguere (Webelos 1), Christopher Dowd (Webelos 2) and Pack 56’s Alex Triff.


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