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Pinewood Derby’s Fastest Car Champion

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derby_4070Wins by Seven Thousandths of a Second

by Heather Worrell

Hoots of hollers of excitement could be heard at Cub Scout Pack 251’s Annual Pinewood Derby last Thursday, April 2nd at the Gilpin County recreation center. The event was a ton of fun for the scouts, their siblings and family members. The Pinewood Derby is one of the most popular, successful and anticipated events in Cub Scouting. The boys are given a pinewood derby kit to design their own wooden model of a grand prix car with the help of their families. The kit includes a car body (a small block of wood with lines scored on the bottom for the axles), wheels and axles.

The cars are then raced in competition. First, each car must be weighed to make sure it weighs exactly five ounces. If any minor weight adjustments are needed, the pack leaders bring various washers and tape to complete them. After the perfect weight is obtained, the cars are numbered and placed on a table to get ready for racing and to be viewed and voted on by the participants and their families. There are two categories of winners, the first is fastest car and the second is best of show which is given to the car that is voted as having the best-looking design.

The wooden derby cars are powered by gravity and raced on a metal track. The track includes three individual lanes and each car gets the opportunity to race in each lane. The racing times are averaged and the finalists are then determined for a final round of racing. The pack has worked to raise money to upgrade their track in the last couple years and to equip it with an accurate digital timer that measures car speeds to the thousandths of a second. This accuracy was absolutely necessary in this year’s Pinewood Derby competition as the champion won by seven thousandths of a second!

The fastest cars in this year’s competition were designed and built by Caleb Murphy (1st Place), Aiden Zeilbeck (2nd Place) and Max Tanner (3rd Place). Best in Show winners were Dusty LeBeau (1st Place), Lance Prewitt (2nd Place) and Keggin Murdock (3rd Place). All six winners from both categories are invited to represent Pack 251 at the Boy Scout District Pinewood Derby on April 4th in Arvada.

Cub Scout Pack 251 focuses on having several family-friendly and inclusive events for boys in grades one through five in Gilpin County. Pack co-leader Suzanne Murphy comments that siblings are more than welcome at all the scouting events. In this year’s Pinewood Derby, many of the siblings also designed and created cars to race for fun after the scouts’ formal competition had been completed. Twelve scouts and their families participate in hiking, camping and learning various outdoor skills in the program throughout the year. This year they have been building survival kits and working on their fire starting skills. If your child is interested in participating or trying out Cub Scouts, please call Suzanne at 303-582-9491 to get more information, including the summer event schedule.

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