Pinewood Derby kits are usually distributed to the den leaders at the final pack meeting in December. The leaders may give the kits to the boys at the pack meeting or may wait until the next den meeting. The kits contain a wooden block, four wheels and four axles. The axles are simply small brads (nails).
The boys, with the help of their parents, create a design for the car and shape the block. During January, the pack usually holds a work event, usually on Friday evening or on Saturday, where parents and leaders help the boys construct their cars. Tools are available to shape and sand the cars, and to add the necessary weight to bring the cars up to the proper weight. The boys take their cars home for final design touches and for painting.
The cars are judged for appearance at the final pack meeting before the race day. All the cars are displayed by dens and judged for appearance. The judging procedures and awards are determined by the Pack Committee and tend to change from year to year. Uusually, everyone at the meeting, Cubs, parents, brothers, sisters, all cast votes for their favorite cars. We try, when possible, to invite Scouts from the local Boy Scout units to conduct the judging. The winning cars are acknowledged at the end of the meeting.
The actual Pinewood Derby race is help on the Saturday after the judging. Lately, we have been holding the race at the Timberlane school. In addition to the race itself, we provide a television and some video tape, or some other entertainment for younger brothers and sisters. The pack offers hot dogs, nachos, soda, other snacks for lunch.
The race usually takes about three or four hours, depending upon how many boys are registered. At the end of the race, winners are acknowledged and awards are handed out.
Remember that all the boys who race are winners. Be sure to tell your boy how well he did and what a fine design he had. Have a great time and we will see you next year.