Pinewood Derby this weekend

Leslie Silverman

The fifth annual Pinewood derby is slated for March 21 at 4p.m. at the Hill City Boys and Girls Club.

The event is a fundraiser for Hill City Cub Scout Pack 10. It’s also an opportunity for cub scouts to earn a new rank.

“Cub scouts have to meet certain requirements,” says Carl Doaty. “One of them is to build something from scratch.”

The Pinewood Derby is a Cub Scout tradition dating back to the 1950s. Scouts are given a 7-inch long by two-inch wide wooden block they can design into a car.

The biggest parameter the car has to meet is that it can’t weigh over five ounces.

Carl holds workshops for scouts where they learn about the physics of Pinewood Derbying.

“We have a speed shop where we learn about center of gravity and friction,” he said.

Doaty teaches them secrets like angling one of the four wheels to help the car reach top speed. Adults assist with the cutting of the car. Scouts can paint and sand their finished product.

Cub Scout 10 currently has eight members in it, ranging in age from 5 years old to 5th graders. Numbers fluctuate yearly.

Each pack follows a set curriculum but how that curriculum is delivered is at the discretion of the pack leaders. Cark is able to take a more hands on approach and likes to teach outside whenever possible.

His wife, Stefanie, has 13 years of scouting experience. She was den leader in Pennsylvania and did fundraising once she moved to the Black Hills. Carl was in Cub Scouts as a child before he got involved with the civil air patrol. He ended up back in the scouting world as a committee member.

The Pine Derby event is a great way to get people aware of the scouts in Hill City, promote the organization and to get youth involved in scouting.

The larger the Cub Scout pack is the greater the quality of programming can be offered.

So far there are 20 entrants in the race. Businesses and individuals can buy a wood block from the scouts for $20 and build their own car. For $25 a pre-cut scout altered car can be designed for the business or individual in mind.

“We can design a car around a business or a person’s likes,” Carl said.

The “poo” car entered by Black Hills Septic last year won the funny car award. Carl always does “something unique to blow the kids’ minds” in terms of his car’s design.

He’s built a Wild Land Fire engine and this year is entering an Ecto-1 from “Ghostbusters.”

The in-person event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 concerns, but cars raced live on Facebook.

Interested community members can get involved in the derby by viewing the event in person. This year the event is once again being made open to the public. While admission is free, various organizations have donated prizes that will be raffled off.

“Community members can buy raffle tickets for $1,” says Stefanie. “We have Rapid City Rush tickets, a year pass to Reptile Gardens, a car pass to Bear Country and a pass from Black Hills Aerial Adventures for a 2 person helicopter ride.”

Money raised during the raffle goes to a campership, a camping scholarship for low-income scouts. This is the Cub Scout’s biggest fundraiser and concessions will also be available for purchase.

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