On an unusually warm Saturday afternoon in January 2017, dozens of Cub Scouts and their parents gathered at the LDS Church in Wake Forest with a unifying goal: design, cut, sculpt, polish, sand, shape and craft the best-looking, most original and fastest pinewood derby cars in the District, and take them back to their units to compete in their upcoming races.
Several experts were on-hand to give advice about wheel and axle polishing, preparation and installation, weight placement and other speed tips. Many others brought and supervised power tools. Multiple bandsaws, drill presses, milling machines, Dremels, drills, belt sanders, and a multitude of other woodworking implements were made available, all in one location. We think that over 45 blocks were cut into car shapes (after 40 we kind of figured that was "good enough" for a first-time event!), and many more came just to get speed tips or share their own wisdom and experience with others.
A huge thanks to all those that participated, especially these volunteers who helped with time, tools and expertise to make this such a successful event:
- Billy Bell, Troop 5 (winner of the 2016 Pinewood Derby Pro-Stock World Championship in NYC) and his father, who provided several boot-camp sessions on speed tips, and also brought a bandsaw and milling machine
- Nathan Jordan, Troop 303 (previous District and Council PWD winner), who demonstrated and helped with axle polishing
- Buddy Ferguson, Pack 303, who single-handedly cut at least 35 cars, helped core out blocks for weight placement, and supervised many different power tools
- Eva Lee, who loaned a bandsaw
- Rosi Rodriguez, who brought snacks to share with everyone
- Kevin Keough
- ...and all the Pack and Unit leaders who helped get the word out to their Cub Scouts, and provided transportation and other help
The buzz after the event says it was a success, so we'll take that at face value. We had fun making it happen, and are already planning to repeat this event next year.
Thanks again to everyone who attended and volunteered their time, and especially those who stayed to help clean up!
Neuse River District Technology Coordinator/Webmaster
Committee Chair, Troop/Team/Crew 303, Wake Forest