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Cub Scouts race homemade cars in Pinewood Derby
Over 30 cars are entered in the annual event
computer equipment
Leaders and track helpers kept watch on computer equipment at the finish line that determined the official results of races during Cub Scout Pack 83s annual Pinewood Derby. - photo by Jack Knowles photo

More than 30 home built race cars competed in one of Cub Scouting’s oldest and most popular annual events....the Pinewood Derby, Sunday afternoon.

About 300 fans, mostly Moms, Dads, siblings, and grandparents, enjoyed the three hours of excitement as the small cars raced down a surprisingly long track running through the center of the Elementary School gymnasium.

All the cars were created at home by the Cub Scouts themselves, with an occasional, technical bit of advice from Dad or another “semi-skilled” adult!

All of the entries had to undergo an inspection as to weight and other building regulations. Several mechanical minded volunteers were “on call” to lend some  emergency  assistance  to concerned  builders  when needed.

One problem of a lack of weight was taken care of by several quarters taped to the car’s roof! Usually, the most unusual problem was solved by the most unusual solution! The important thing, after all, was that every Cub Scout became part of the race.

Pack 83 Cub Master Jim Fuchs, who served as emcee throughout the afternoon kept things running smoothly even without the help of a screen monitor that took a nap when it was needed most to post results of each race.

Competition was between the Wolf, Bear, Lion, and Webelo dens. As each group of “builder-drivers” was introduced, they walked down to the finish line and prepared to cheer their creation to victory while several judges and a computer made the winning calls.

Some of the races were amazingly close, within a half inch and a fraction of a second! And that’s exactly why high-tech equipment is needed at the finish line!

The cars were on display when not being raced, so spectators could vote on the most artistic design after viewing them in a special area.

One thoughtful addition to the program was an “Open Classification” so parents, grandparents, or other relatives or friends could try the track with an unofficial car.

Another extra treat was free refreshments for everyone, including freshly made popcorn!

Plenty of work, both in preparation and the actual event, was handled by many folks who were actually the stars of the show. Fuchs reported that setting up the massive track took two and a half hours just by itself. A large thank you is extended to the behind-the-scenes folks who make it all possible.

Fuchs also told the Sentry- Enterprise that the costs of the events take a large toll and any contributions to the Pack 83 Scouting program are certainly appreciated.

The Sentry-Enterprise will be publishing more photos and the names of the event’s winning “drivers” in a future edition.