Cub Scout Pack 681 transformed the lunchroom of Shackelford Elementary into a pit area Tuesday evening to tune up their wooden race cars for Saturday's Pinewood Derby.
The scouts are hoping for a high turnout and invite the community to see their racers leave it all on the track at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
While most of the scouts were putting the finishing touches on their cars Tuesday, others were just getting started building their hopeful winning entry.
Tiger Cub Vinicio Chapas and his mother Carolyn Vinicio added weights to beef up his car for the required weight and maximize it's velocity right off the starting line.
The scouts will first compete for a first, second, third place in each of the four dens. Then top racer from each den will then face off to crown the victor of the pack as a whole.
While Vinicio was working on weights, Eathan Carlino waffled on a tough decision — which car to run in the derby race. Carlino listened to the wisdom of his step-father Karl Easley, an experienced, second generation Pinewood racer.
“I’ve picked up a few tricks over the years that I’ve passed on to Eathan,” Easley said, unpacking his case of supplies.
“My secret to winning is putting the weight in just the right place in the back of the car and getting graphite all over the inside of my wheels,” Carlino said.
Easley will get a chance to ply his racing secrets and compete against the other cub scout dads in the outlaw class. It will let the adult racers compete and tap their love and nostalgia of building a pinewood derby car capable of leaving the rest in its dust.
Some scouts were nearly ready to set their Pinewood Derby racers on the track Tuesday for a test run, just one obstacle stood in their way—the weigh in.
Cub Master John Knepler had the all-important duty of weighing each racer and deem it fit to hit the track.
“You’re over. You need to take off some weight,” and “You’re a little under, let’s add a little more,” Knepler said, levying out his judgement of which racers made the cut and which needed a second adjustment in the pit.
“5.0 – spot on,” He shouted, congratulating a cub scout on hitting the five ounce requirement on the dot.
“While it's OK to be a little, it's best to be right on the mark,” he counseled the cubs.
By the end of the evening, most of the cars were ready for the Saturday morning check in. In the meantime, the scouts will finish their final paint and decal decorations.
The scouts and their cars will start checking in at 9 a.m. with the tiger class rolling off first at 10:30 a.m. The outlaws will start around 2 p.m. after the scouts have finished.
Pinewood derby racing is a Cub Scout tradition that has been a part of scouting for more than 60 years, and Pack 681 hopes to share that tradition with the community this weekend.