Pinewood Derby for Beginners

Save the date for Pinewood Derby on February 18th at Christ the King Catholic Church!

If you are new to the Pinewood Derby, here is how it works:  Scouts build, paint, and decorate a simple wood car kit at home.  Just building the car is the main point, and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy working with your son on a project.  Help your son to pick appropriate tools and materials, but let him do as much as possible.

At the derby, the whole pack gathers together to race.  We have a long sloped track, and cars roll down the track by gravity.   Every car races at least twice, and the winners move on to a final heat. Awards are given for the den and overall winners, and also for the most creative, the most realistic, the best paint job, and so on.

You do not need a lot of tools or woodworking experience to participate!  For a first time car, your son can simply shape the car with a file or sandpaper, paint it, and then carefully tap the wheels in with a hammer.  That’s it!

PinewoodKitTo get started, purchase an inexpensive Pinewood Derby car kit.  The kit contains a block of wood, four wheels and axles, and some stickers.  They are $3.99 at the local scout shop, and you can also find them at several local hobby shops.  The official BSA kit looks like this:

Your den leader will use a den meeting to discuss and possibly work on the cars, but plan on doing the work with your son at home over the course of a few days: cut the wood one day, sand it down another day, and paint it another day:

If you want to get really creative, check out some ideas from Boys’ Life:
Official rules will be posted shortly.

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