Annual Pinewood Derby Brings Fun, Creativity

Wyatt Wilson (left), Trevor Lunz (center) and Gregory Mattinsky (right) watch their cars cross the finish line during one of the races at the Old Sycamore District Pinewood Derby on Saturday morning.
Staff Writer

A day at the races was closer to home than one might think. Cub scouts flocked to New Knoxville School on Saturday morning for the annual Old Sycamore District Pinewood Derby and some of them are moving on to the council level races later this month in Findlay.

For the past eight years, New Knoxville has served as the raceway for the district which spans across Auglaize, Mercer and Van Wert counties and is home to more than 350 scouts. Before that, New Bremen has hosted races as have other towns in the district.

"New Knoxville School has always been good to us," District Derby Chairperson Larry Weimert said. "They work with us every year to make this happen and the kids love it. They get so excited for it and that's always good to see."

Though only 20 of the 60 scouts move on to Council, an emphasis on fun was made on Saturday as each scout got to race his or her car in three races.

Best paint and best design champions also move on to council but their cars will not race.

All of the cars, regardless of the category they were entered in, had to meet specific standards to compete in Saturday's event. All cars had to be 7 inches long, could not weigh more than 5 ounces and had to be made out of a block of pine wood and a kit supplied by Scouts.

And imaginations ran wild with a new category the district implemented for this year's derby. The advisers created a theme category which allowed scouts to come up with a design that portrayed the theme of "Crazy Scouts," which Weimert described as being all about scouting in the most fun way the kids could portray it. Designs could include the fleur de lis — the symbol of scouting — or could display an aspect of scouting such as a camping scene or another Cub Scout activity.

"It's a blast," Weimert said of seeing the creations kids come in with every year.

Weimert also took time to thank the parents and volunteers who help put on the derby every spring. At the check-in table alone, five advisers and one Boy Scout helped weigh, measure and inspect each of the 60 cars that came through the door.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the April 8 print edition of The Evening Leader.