King Ford hosts Cub Scout derby

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 18, 2020

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VALLEY — A newly-organized Cub Scout Pack held its first Pinewood Derby Thursday evening in an appropriate place for new cars — the showroom at King Ford.

Sponsored by the Beulah Methodist Church, Cub Scout Pack 610 was organized this past October. The Pinewood Derby is their first major event. The first, second and third-place winners will advance to district competition to be held in Auburn on Saturday, Feb. 29.

“We have seven Cubs and we hope to grow from there,” said Cub Master Bill Ward. “We have a good group to work with, and we are really pleased with the support we have gotten from the Beulah community.”

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Council Representative John Findley said he wanted to thank King Ford General Manager Richard Harrison for allowing the use of the showroom.

The Pinewood Derby is a racing event for unpowered miniature cars. With the help of adults, the Cubs build their cars from wood, usually from kits containing a block of pinewood, plastic wheels and metal axles. The tiny cars race along a sloped track that’s 30-feet long. The finish line is 24 feet from the starting line. Tracks can have from two to eight lanes. The competing cars are released at the same time, and gravity pulls them to the finish line along a slope of about 30 degrees.

With the first pack having been organized in 1930, Cub Scouting is celebrating its 90th year in 2020. The Pinewood Derby dates to 1953.

“We have to think our cub master, Mr. Ward, on having built our track in a shop at his house,” Findley said. “It’s 30-feet long with a plywood bottom that’s three-eighths of an inch thick with lattice on top.”

To the delight of all the children present, their small cars went fast along the track. It was their first competitive event with their new vehicles, and they could hardly contain their excitement.

“As much as they are running around and jumping up and down,” Findley said, “they want to have any trouble falling asleep once they get back home.”

A girl upstaged the boys in the Pack’s first Pinewood Derby. Madison Ward’s pink car won every race it was in. Colton Workman and Sykes Willingham entered fast cars, too. They came in second and third place respectively. The three of them have advanced to the district meet in February.

Hugh Smith’s car was chosen as the best-looking one at the Derby.

The new Pack has four Tigers (kindergarten and first grade) and three Bears (second and third grade).

“We are small, but we hope to build,” Cub Master Ward said. “We are hoping this Pack will catch on and to start a new Boy Scout Troop in Beulah in a few years.”