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Local cub scouts participate in district pinewood derby competition

Pocatello

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Spencer Goodmansen of Pinewood Derby Racing briefs the racers on the track rules during the Scout Mountain District Pinewood Derby May 22 at the Grace Lutheran High School gymnasium in Pocatello. The district is part of the Grand Teton Council of the Boy Scouts of America. | Courtesy Scout Mountain District, Grand Teton Council

The following is a news release from the Scout Mountain District of the Grand Teton Council Boy Scouts of America.

POCATELLO — Local Cub Scouts raced their gravity-propelled speedsters at a championship Pinewood Derby event held Saturday at the Grace Lutheran High School gymnasium in Pocatello.

The event was sponsored by the Scout Mountain District of the Grand Teton Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The district includes units from Pocatello, Soda Springs, Malad, American Falls and other surrounding communities.

“Participating Cub Scout Packs this year included Grace Lutheran School’s Pack 108, the Pocatello Catholic Community’s Pack 315, and Pack 363 of the Pocatello Community Charter School,” said Scout Mountain District Chair Deborah McHugh.

In order to compete, racers had to have raced their cars earlier this year in their Cub Scout pack’s own pinewood derby competition.

“The pack derbies typically happen in the January-February timeframe with the district event in March or April, but everything was delayed this year as we had to work the events around changing COVID-19 guidelines,” said McHugh.

As the Cub Scouts arrived, they first had to visit the pit crew to have their cars weighed, inspected and get the axles lubed with graphite.

“We use small adhesive weights to adjust each car to exactly five ounces,” explained pit crew member Gary Davis.

When he is not in the pit, Davis serves as a scouting paraprofessional and Sea Scout advisor. Scout Mountain District Commissioner Terry Jensen was in charge of applying graphite to the cars’ axles.

Other than fitting into dimensions of seven inches long by two and three-quarter inches wide and three inches tall, the Cub Scouts can pretty much design the cars however they like. While there were many original paint schemes and designs, Saturday’s race cars also included many character themes including Star War’s R2D2, Car’s Lightning McQueen, Spiderman, Batman and Team Pokémon.

To add energy, excitement and professionalism to the event, the district hired Spencer Goodmansen of Pinewood Derby Racing. Goodmansen’s setup included announcing services, a four-lane aluminum track, electronic timing, instant replay and real-time NASCAR race sounds. After the event, racers can even see the results of the race on Goodmansen’s website.

At the conclusion of the races, awards were presented to the group according to their Cub Scout rank and to the overall winners of the event. Overall winners of this year’s Scout Mountain District Pinewood Derby were:

  • Tyler D., Pack 315, 1st Place with an average speed of 200.55 mph
  • Ben H., Pack 108, 2nd Place with an average speed of 198.55 mph
  • Ezra B., Pack 108, 3rd Place with an average speed of 196.26 mph

For more information on scouting opportunities for youth and adults, contact Deborah McHugh, District Chair, at (208) 406-1614 or the scout service center at (208) 233-4600.

Overall winners of this year’s Scout Mountain District Pinewood Derby. | Courtesy Scout Mountain District, Grand Teton Council
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