Forever friends, across the miles
Pinewood Derby pride swept Kasson-Mantorville Middle School on Jan. 7, as 66 youngsters in kindergarten through fifth grade – Cub Scout Pack 231- raced their model cars down the big track before a large crowd.
The youngsters were judged by K-M Elementary School principal Ariana Wright, Wayne Hendrickson of Kasson, and Bob Melin, commander of American Legion Post 333, which sponsors Pack 231.
“It is so difficult, because the kids do such a great job of thinking of all these ways to make their cars stand out. You can really see the kids’ handprints on those derby cars,” Wright said. “It’s a great family event, too. But the boys are so proud of the cars they build. It’s just so fun to see those kids’ eyes as their cars head down the track for the first time. There were so many great cars to choose from. The kids make it so hard for us.”
Each boy races six times on the six-lane track. Car speeds are computer-generated.
The goal is to make your car as aerodynamic as possible, keep the wheels well lubricated, and have the car’s weight as far toward the back as possible, taking potential energy into account.
Scouts also were judged in “Sweetest Ride” (best-looking car) and “Outlaw Class” competitions.
A normal Pinewood Derby car weighs five ounces; “Outlaw” cars can weigh up to 12 ounces.
“It’s to try and get parents to build their own car, rather than their son’s car, so then you do it together,” assistant Cubmaster Tim Hruska said. “They can build a car alongside their kids.”
Hruska said the scouts put lots of effort into building their cars, “and it’s fun to see the enjoyment they get out of it.”
“They put lot of work into it,” he said, “and they have a lot of pride. And they learn a lot about sportsmanship, too, during the day.”