Monday, January 25, 2016

Cub Scout Pack 70, Fort Thomas, Holds Annual Pinewood Derby

Cub Scout Pack 70, Fort Thomas, held its annual Pinewood Derby Sunday

Sunday, Cub Scout Pack 70, Fort Thomas, held its annual Pinewood Derby. Established by Boy Scouts of America in 1953, the Pinewood Derby offers Cub Scouts the opportunity to design, carve, weigh and paint a car with the help of a parent or mentor. Cub Scouts then get together with their Packs to race their cars on specially designed tracks.

Cub Scout Pack 70 draws from St. Thomas School, Woodfill Elementary, homeschooled scouts, and scouts from schools in Dayton, Bellevue and Newport, Ky., that don't have active Cub Scout Packs. "Our pack is open to anyone who is interested regardless of where they live," says Michelle Hathorn, Cub Scout Pack 70's Webelos I/Bear Den Leader and Boy Scout "Stem" Troop 437 Scoutmaster.

Hathorn says there are three Cub Scout Packs in Fort Thomas—Pack 771, Pack 706 and Pack 70. These Packs serve kindergarten/first grade through fifth grade. Older Scouts in 6th grade through 18 years of age are members of Boy Scout Troops 70 and 437 in Fort Thomas. Boy Scouts from Troop 437 helped out at Sunday's Pinewood Derby.

Pack 70 celebrated its 50th anniversary two years ago. And the Pinewood Derby has been a long-loved favorite, by Cub Scouts and parents/mentors alike. "I'm not sure when Pack 70 first did theirs, but it is a staple of our Scouting year," Hathorn says.

Cub Scouts receive a basic kit, and then they are in charge of designing, carving, adding weights and decorated their pinewood cars.

Prior to this year's event Cub Scout Pack 70 held two Pinewood Derby clinics, complete with woodworking tools for those Scouts who might not have access to tools at home. Hathorn says the hands-on nature of the event is, in part, what makes it so much fun. "I think it is loved by the Scouts because they are able to be hands on in the building of their car from start to finish," Hathorn says. "It is something that every Scout can have a part in, with the help of an adult, and experience the excitement of seeing how their cars perform. Our Pinewood Derby is the event the boys are most excited about and look forward to each year."

Wil Martin, treasurer of Pack 70 has been involved in scouting for 40 years. He was at yesterday's Pinewood Derby cheering on his son, Jonah Martin, a Weeblo I. With two sons in Boys Scouts, Martin says he's participated in 14 Pinewood Derbys as a dad, and he still owns all the Pinewood Derby cars he built as a child.

Den leaders and Boy Scouts from Troop 437 helped out with yesterday's race.

"This is my first year involved in the Derby, but I hear it's one of the best-attended events," says R. J. Frey, Cub Scout Pack 70's Tiger Den Leader. "It's a great opportunity for families to work together on a fun project. The boys also seem to really get into the race!" 

Cub Scouts watch as cars near the finish line.

Elmer Grosser, who has two sons in Cub Scouts, agrees. "It's a great parent and son bonding experience," he says.

Frey's son, Matt, participated in the race as a Tiger Cub this year. "My favorite part was watching the cars racing, especially mine!" he says.


The Pinewood Derby is always a well-attended event.
Pack 70 also offers an "outlaw" division, as well as a siblings division, allowing family members and friends to build cars and race as well. (The outlaw division is for parents and mentors and is called "outlaw" because no rules—including weight restrictions—exist.)

Justin McCoy, Cub Scout Pack 70's Webelos II Den Leader, has built a car alongside his son every year. McCoy says it creates a much more positive experience, and he enjoys designing his own cars—not to win, but for style. (Past designs have included a semi with six wheels and Richard Scarry's Busytown Banana Car.)


Cars race at least four times, once in each track.

"One of my favorite things about Cub Scouts over the years has been the Pinewood Derby," says Alex Lacourt, a Webelos II in Pack 70. "We got to build our own cars, and it was fun seeing all of the different cars racing together. And the snacks are always good, too." This was Lacourt's fifth and and final Pinewood Derby as a racer.

1 comment:

  1. So weird... had to do a double-take. One kid looks enough to be ME when I (lost miserably) in the Pinewood Derby!

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