Pinewood Time at OLGC School

Originally published 1/28/13

Local Cub Scout Pack 976 held its annual Pinewood Derby at OLGC last Sunday, and by the end of the afternoon, determined the winners from a total of 74 young participants.

In the summer, the Cub Scouts are at camp, learning how to pitch tents, tie knots and paddle a canoe. But in the winter, the Pinewood Derby is King. This activity was introduced about 60 years ago, and is wildly popular across the country. About 50,000 groups participate. Winners of local groups go on to compete against other regional groups.

It’s quite simple, really. Each boy is given a block of wood and some wheels, and the object is to turn it into the fastest car he can. The boy gets help from Mom or Dad, but is expected to do most of the work himself.

Then comes Derby Day, where all the cars are raced down a sloped track in an effort to find the three fastest cars in the room. In the old days, this was usually determined by adults standing over the finish line and trying to call it, while another adult put the information on a large chart. A tedious and almost impossible chore to get it right.

But in the last two decades, with computers and electronic equipment designed expressly for the Pinewood Race, accuracy and efficiency are pretty much assured. There are other categories besides speed for which awards are made. Lots of fun, and some good pizza too.

The fastest single run on Sunday also set a new record for the track: 2.3581 seconds, turned in by Charlie Logman. The fastest cars among the Tigers (in order) were made by Scott Shields, Shane Lynch, and Jack Bacarra. Among the Wolves were: Paul Pantzer, Charles Wise, and Jacob Limb. Among the Bears were: Charles Logman, Alexander Longo, and Caleb Callen. Among Webelos One were: Mark Provost, Patrick DiTulio, and Reilly Glass, and among Webelos Two were John Hollingsworth, Will Hemmingson, and Vinnie Allegra. Winners in other categories were: Most Unusual, Luke Francese; Coolest Idea, Mark Provost; Most Aerodynamic, Thomas Jenkins; Most Humorous, Reilly Glass; Funniest Driver, Corey Knauf; Most Colorful, Jack Koenig; Most Patriotic, Will Hemmingson; Creative Use of Weights, Stephen Argauer; Best Decaling, Patrick DiTulio; Fastest Looking, Jack McNiff; Most Futuristic, Eddie Hughs; Smoothest Paint Job, Chris With; Most Realistic Looking, Spencer Schmid; Judge Favorite, Jack Shields; Overall Best Craftsmanship, Micah Weisenberger. Congratulations to all!