Start Your Engines - Pinewood Derby Comes to NYSCI
Queens, N.Y. — The pinewood derby is an annual event of the Cub Scouts (the young-age division of the Boy Scouts of America). It is the most popular event for many Scouts and is probably the best known Scouting event among non-Scouts. The pinewood derby has been named part of "America's 100 Best" by Reader's Digest magazine. Since 1953, millions of young people have built pinewood derby cars. The competitive pinewood derbies remain very popular and are a highlight of each year in many Cub Scout packs.
The Cub 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, and cannot exceed five ounces on weight, 7 inches of length and 2 3/4 inches wide. Other than the previous basic design rules, the Cub Scout is able to carve and decorate the car as he chooses. Many Cub Scouts also add weights to the final design to bring the car to the maximum allowable weight. Cars typically vary from unfinished blocks to whimsical objects, to accurate replicas of actual cars.
The idea behind the pinewood derby is for an adult partner to spend time helping the child design, carve, paint, add weights, and tune the final car.
At the City Finals, the winners of each Cub Scout division (Tigers, Bears, Wolfs and Webelos) in each one of the eight Scout Districts in the city, compete for the title of Citywide Champions.