Pinewood Derby

The pinewood derby is an annual racing event. The Scout is given a block of wood made of pine with two notches for wheels, four plastic wheels and four nails. The finished car must use all nine pieces, must not exceed a five ounces, must not exceed a 7 inches in length and 2 3/4 inches wide (Complete specification are on the rules attached below).
Who can race?

Pinewood is a family event. However, racing and door prizes are limited to Pack 379 Cub Scouts.  Everyone is welcome to bring cars and display them in the special display area.  Parents, please remember that this is an opportunity to do something WITH your son, not FOR your son. Let him plan, dream, design, research, draw, cut, sand, paint, assemble, lube, carry, register, hope, and cheer as much as he can safely do.

 What do the scouts do on race day?

When the racers arrive they can take their car to Pit Row for a preliminary inspection, or they can proceed to the Registration Area. 

At the Registration Area, the car will be inspected and weighed. The racer/adult partner will be given the choice to proceed with registration or to go to Pit Row. If they proceed with registration a number will be assigned to the car.  The number will be placed on the top of the car and on the racer's nametag.  The Scouts will receive a voting ballot for the special awards.  The car will be placed in a secured viewing area.

At Pit Row, the car can be weighed and inspected (Please remember: The Officials at the Registration area have the final say on Weight and the Inspection rules). The Pit Mechanics can help add or remove weight, fix wheels, apply graphite, and make minor repairs. They might even give you some last minute speed tips. 

While waiting for the races to start, look around. Check out the other cars. Talk to others about how you built your car. Get your picture taken by some of the racing banners or posters.  Get something to eat.  When the races start, listen for your car number. Cheer for your friends on every race and have fun!

 How are the winners determined?

At each race, three cars will run down the track. The winning car will be determined based on the race judges determination.  Winning cars continue to advance.

 What awards will be made?

- The first and best award (reward) is that the boys can see the car they made and be proud of their accomplishment.  The adults get the reward of working on a project with the boys and having fun with them at the race.

- Every Scout that enters a car will receive a Pinewood Derby Patch.

- A trophy will be presented to the First, Second, and Third Place overall winners in the Speed Competition. 

- Other awards will be determined by judges (for example: Most Patriotic, Best Stickers/Decals/Colors, Most Scout-like)

Planning Ahead notes:

  1. Reserve location - High School or Middle School (should be scheduled beginning of the year with annual planning meeting and reserve site with the school in advance)  On a Saturday in January, usually Sat. right after that month's Pack meeting, start event at 12:00, end by 2:00/2:30.
  2. Pinewood Derby Race Track - in storage, pickup day of and assemble before event (45-60 min.) - bring tools with to take care of any adjustments needed and assembly
  3. Drink coolers - in storage, use both, one for water and one for Lemonade or other drink mix
  4. Decorations - Racing paraphernalia, streamers, signs, etc. (some in storage, but some may have gone missing, can add to this for next year)
  5. Trophies & Certificates - 1st, 2nd, & 3rd for fastest racers; 1st, 2nd, & 3rd for best design; print other certificates for other design elements, i.e. most scout like, most patriotic, 
  6. Weigh-In of cars - need a couple scales for weighing in.  Also repair kits, hot glue gun, smaller tools, drill, etc.
  7. Scoring - Have computer at event, with software to track race results, also projector
  8. Food (2014):  Hotdogs (between 80-100 depending on attendance), Hotdog buns, Ketchup/Mustard/Relish, Lemonade mix, Fruit snacks (2 boxes of 4), Granola bars (1 large box-qty 60 this time), Popcorn snack bags (box of 20), Chips (2 boxes of 50 qty each), & Fun size candies (bag of 105)
  9. Prices for food (2014): Hotdog=$2, Hotdog combo (with chips/snack)=$2.50, Candy, popcorn, chips, fruit snacks (or other side items)=$0.50, Chips=$0.50
  10. Money Box (2014):  Quarters-3 rolls, $1-70, $5-40, $10-40
  11. Supplies (2014): Gloves for serving food, Chlorox wipes, tongs for hotdogs, crock pot (2 or 3 depending on size)
  12. - used this in 2014, worked great, sign up categories included: 
    1. Pick Up & Drop Off of track from storage - 2-4 people
    2. General Event Setup 11:30-12:00 - 4-6 people
    3. Track Setup 11-12:00 - 4-6 people
    4. Concessions-Food & Drink pickup before event - 2 people
    5. Concessions-Setup - 2 people
    6. Concessions-Serving - 2-4 people (allowing for rotation)
    7. Derby car check-in & weigh-in 11:45-12:15 - 3-4 people
    8. Derby car garage - holding station for cars while not racing - 2-4 people
    9. Scoring station - 2 people
    10. Floater (as needed) - 6 people (allows some people to rotate and watch the event when their Scout is racing)
    11. Clean Up after event - 6-8 people
  13. Continually (annually) add to and make changes to this list so that we have a running reminder and notes for subsequent years

Jennifer Erdmann,
Feb 4, 2015, 9:17 AM