LIBERTY — On your mark … Get set … Go! The annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby took place March 12 where kids from all over the district competed for the glory of pinewood victory.
“We probably had around 95 kids there competing,” said Gary Dean, Cub Master of Pack 227. “A couple hundred people total. It was a great turnout, bigger than last year’s. We all had a good time.”
Pack 227 from Flat Rock Baptist Church in Liberty hosted this year’s derby.
“We (our pack) did pretty good. We had two boys that placed third,” he said.
To create their car for the derby, scouts pick up a “kit” that claim to contain all the basic elements to build a car, but really it’s just an unfinished block of wood for the car’s body — and yes, it’s really made of pine — along with four wheels and two sets of nails to be used as axles. They sell online for around $4. All the pieces must be used.
In keeping with derby tradition, the kids usually add their own embellishments and decorations to their cars, although certain regulations, like weight limits, are strictly enforced.
“There were some really cool looking cars this year,” said Dean. “But it was kind of funny … In general, the cooler the car looked, the worse it performed. I don’t think it mattered too much, everyone had fun.”
According to the Boy Scouts of America, like most Scouting traditions, the Pinewood Derby we know and love today began with nothing more than one Cub Master’s idea at just one location in 1953.
Cub Master Don Murphy of Pack 280C (present day Pack 713) in Manhattan Beach, Calif., had a little boy who couldn’t compete in a local soap-box derby car competition because he was too young. Not wanting his son to be left out, Murphy came up with a way for his boy (and his pack) to make and race miniature gravity-powered cars on a small indoor track.
The Pinewood Derby was born.
Just two years later, the derby had grown enough in popularity to be part of the official Cub Scouting program.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.