Tag Archive: pinewood derby

Festivals and Derbies, oh my

Lots of fun for us this weekend, starting with a Futsal Festival bright and early Saturday morning.

Futsal 2015 U9 U10

This is the U9/U10 crew that we have been coaching in Futsal for this last training session. Futsal is a variation of 5v5 indoor soccer that emphasizes control of the ball. It’s a very fast moving game and a lot of fun to watch! Here are the rules if you want to learn more. We ended the training session with a Futsal Festival (tournament) that the kids loved. Here is Dane’s team.


And here are the girls + Alex that I coached. Great kids. It was so different to coach girls! I’m not even joking. It was nice to get that experience.



This weekend was also the district competition for the Cub Scout pinewood derby. This race is much more relaxed for us because all of the work was already done for the first race. Here are the boys at tech inspection.

pinewood derby registration

I love seeing all of the cars! The boys put so much work into these little cars and you can tell.

pinewood derby cars

The boys had fun hanging out with friends and getting ideas for next year’s car while they waited for their races.

pinewood derby

Aidan’s crew came back for the race because they were Cub Scouts when they qualified. The top 5 racers from each rank in the Pack are invited to our district event. And Dane’s crew is as silly as usual!

pinewood derby race

Watching the cars race down the track never gets old.

pinewood derby track

I wonder what our cars will look like next year…

pinewood derby cars

Here’s a pretty sunset for your evening.


We kept busy enough that I didn’t think too much about missing my first race of the season. I’m so happy for all of my girls who ran and did awesome though. Congrats girls. Next year…

Pinewood Derby 2015

20150126_222750Greetings from Blizzard – Dane’s first snowman of the year.

Our Cub Scout Pinewood Derby was last week and it was a really fun, super exhausting day. We spent so much time and energy on it that I had to take a break before I could write about it. Kind of like race days.

The Pinewood Derby is an event where the boys build race cars to very specific guidelines from a block of wood. Here is the original block of wood.


We spend a ridiculous amount of time on these blocks of wood and turn them into this.

2015-01-26 23.04.15

This is the first year I build a car too. We have a great time planning and building the cars, but the real fun comes on race day.


The boys are so excited to watch their cars race. One of the wonderful things about this race is that they are almost as excited to watch their friends cars race too. Most of the boys stay and watch all of the races, cheering on their friends.

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This year Aidan’s car was up first. The boys cars race against cars built by other boys the same age. After a few test runs on the track, they were off.


Our Pack’s track very accurately measures the speed of the cars – which is often necessary to tell which car won. Each car races in all six lanes of the track and the times are averaged to determined a winner. From there, the top six racers move on to a finals round to choose the final fastest car.


This year was Aidan’s year. His car was super fast and consistently placed first at a speed of 211 + miles per hour! I could not have been happier for him! :-) He was pretty excited too.

PWD 2015 025

Dane’s car was up next.


Dane came up with an original design for his car this year. We talk a lot about physics principles when choosing a car design and the boys have learned a lot. Dane decided to add wings in front of his back wheels to change the air flow and potentially reduce drag. I am so proud of him for understanding these concepts and coming up with this design!


It’s always trial and error with our car designs and we learn from them each year. Dane’s car did well this year, but was not a top three finisher like he is used to¬†from previous years. 210 miles an hour is still a very fast car! I am so proud of him.


It was so much fun racing my own car in the non Scout division this year too. It’s such a different feeling being on the other side of the track!


Mine wasn’t as fast as the boys’ cars, but raced a pretty consistent 208 miles per hour. I came home with a second place trophy!

As usual, it was an amazing day. Our tradition is to go to our favorite burger restaurant with friends for a late dinner. More fun. We slept late the next day. ūüėČ

PWD 2015 046

Dane's snowman

Pinewood Derby Days

It’s that time again! The time when we drive ourselves crazy trying to turn a block of wood into the fastest car possible. This year isn’t nearly as stressful as past years have been… yet. The boys are older now and we have a lot of experience at this point. Here are the boys cars from past years. Aidan’s (of course):


And Dane’s:


This is what we start with:

20150110_112224 Once the cars are built we race them down a metal track where they are powered only by gravity. It is so much fun.


We love this race. It is a great time to teach the boys (or review at this point) the physics concepts of gravity, friction and momentum. We talk about aerodynamic body designs and how to maximize the potential energy of the cars by strategically adding weight. We talk a lot about friction. Now that they are older, the boys get to use power tools and spray paint. Then on race day they get to show off their work.

There are a lot of ways to cheat at this race, but in our Cub Scout Pack, we stick to the rules. There are quite a few of them too!


The boys cars are well under way now. They have cut and sanded them.



And they are now painted. They just have to add the weight and the wheels and they are ready to go! I can’t wait to show you their cars after race day! We do have the tricky part ahead of us. This is always the toughest part for us.


We are hoping for a little luck with this one! This year I decided to make a car of my own to race in the non Scout division. Since the boys are old enough to make their cars on their own, this gives me an opportunity to still be involved. ūüėČ

Dane has basketball and he and I both have soccer on the day of the derby. It will be a busy day.



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It’s Monday run day. I am so happy to be back out there. The rain didn’t bother me at all. I hope I can keep going.


So, I am wondering, have you ever made a pinewood derby car?

Pinewood Derby 2014

Our Pack Pinewood Derby race was this past Saturday.  It was a fun and exciting, long and exhausting day.  The boys loved it.

starting gate1

The boys race by rank and Aidan was up first.¬† They start with a nerve racking technical inspection.¬† Aidan’s car weighed in at 5.04 ounces and Dane’s car weighed 5.03 ounces.¬† Exactly what we were shooting for.¬† I am happy to report that both boys passed without any issues this year.¬† Phew!

my guys

race today

Aidan’s Ninja Mobile had very good competition at the Webelos I rank.¬† The cars in this heat were very fast this year!

PWD cars A

Even so, Aidan took first place in a couple of races with speeds of 212 Р214 miles per hour!  His Ninja Mobile was one fast car!

A 1st place finish

As usual, it was so much fun watching the cars zoom down the track.  The boys all cheer each other on and are such good sports about each race.

A pwd

At the end of Aidan’s day he took home second place in his overall rank and fourth place in his rank finals.¬† It was hard for me to see him lose the third place trophy by a tenth of a second (check out his speed – it was a good race!), but he took it in stride and enjoyed the rest of the races throughout the day.

A results

Next, it was Dane’s turn to race with the Wolf rank.¬† He tried a new design with his “Black Hole” car this car year and couldn’t wait to see how it worked.

Danes Car

He was not disappointed with a number of first place races!

Dane 1st place finish

Both boys also had the honor of leading the Pledge of Allegiance for their rank.

D pwd

We had a great time cheering Dane and his friends on throughout the day.  Dane ended up taking home the second place trophy for his rank!

Dane results

Another successful Pinewood Derby put on by the wonderful volunteers of Pack 61.  These are the days our boys (and girls) will remember.  Here are some more cool cars.

minecraft car

pokemon car

So, I am wondering, why are really fun times always exhausting?


Pinewood Derby Countdown

It’s almost here!¬† Saturday is our local Pinewood Derby.¬† Usually the boys have finished their cars long before now, but we are happy to say that as of tonight they are complete.¬† Seeing the finished product really makes us so excited for the race!


Of course it was a long road getting here (ha, ha!).¬† From body design choices, cutting and sanding the wood, preparing the axles and wheels and¬†painting the body¬†to the final assembly.¬† Oh, did I mention weights?¬† It was fun and stressful all at the same time.¬† The boys and I love a good challenge.¬†ūüėȬ†¬†¬†Each year’s derby brings it own challenges.¬† And its own mess.

PWD mess

Now that I think of it, maybe it is the same challenge over and over each year.¬† For us it is the wheels.¬† Our first year Aidan’s car cracked while we were inserting them.¬† We ended up fixing it and he took home a second place trophy.¬† This was his car.

A car 12

Last year we had trouble with his wheels as well.  We learned at the race that we had inserted one wheel so that it did not touch the ground.  This is a speed advantage and illegal in our race.  Poor Aidan!  We removed the wheel at the race and realigned it, but it was not our best job.  He did not get in the top three that year.  Dane had much better luck with proper alignment and a first place trophy.

This year we were on the look out for wheel issues!¬† Of course one of Dane’s wheels was not touching the ground and had to be removed.¬† Inserting the axle at any bit of an angle can cause this.¬† The axle completely bent when we removed it and we had to start that wheel from scratch!¬† In the process his car cracked.¬† LOL.¬† I think our fix was successful though and I have high hopes for both of the boy’s cars this year.¬† Wish us luck!

It was a scouting day all around.¬† We took Dane’s den on a tour of ShopRite as an important place in our community.¬† It was more fun than it sounds, I promise.¬† And they got to decorate cupcakes at the end of the tour.




Tomorrow is supposed to be a long run day, but I am not sure if we will go.  It is so cold here.  This morning was 6 degrees when the boys were going to school.  I have reinstituted my rule of not running when the temperature is below 20 degrees.  Too great a risk of injury for me.  I hope it gets a little warmer!

So, I am wondering, what are your plans for this weekend?

Build Your Own Pinewood Derby Car Stand

Today I have been working on a project for our Wolf Cub Scout Den to complete at our meeting tomorrow.  In preparation for the Pinewood Derby, we are teaching the boys about tools and safety while building a stand for their car.  It is a cute project and it sounded pretty easy when I first saw it.  This is what my completed sample looks like.  The car will sit on top with the wheels hanging off either side.

PWD car stand3

The materials needed are really only an 8′ length of 1″x3″ wood, screws, screwdriver¬†and sandpaper.¬† Not too bad.¬† Well, you really do need a table saw to make the angled cuts and my dad and I decided¬†a drill press was best to align the screws on the angled joint.¬† The one above I made with my drill rather than the screwdriver, but in my defense I had not predrilled the screw joints yet.¬† Wood glue is a good idea as well.¬† If you want to make this pinewood derby car stand, you can find the directions here: http://www.pinewoodpro.com/pinewood-derby-car-stand.htm¬† Good luck following them!¬† You might do just as well to look at my picture and figure it out yourself!

Here are the materials once the 1″x3″ is cut.

pwd stand 001

Or in my case,

pwd stand 004

Tomorrow the boys will sand the three pieces of wood and then glue and screw them together.  We have predrilled the screw holes for their projects.  Once assembled they should look like this.

PWD car stand1

Then they will write their names or the year on the base and paint them with watered down paint.  Hopefully they will have fun, learn a little, and enjoy their completed project.

Have I mentioned that Fezziwig thinks he is the boys’ bus driver?¬† Every morning when the boys put their coats on and pack up their backpacks, Fezziwig comes running down the stairs with his little tail wagging away.¬† He stands by the door waiting for his car coat so that he can drive the boys to school.¬† LOL.¬† He is so sweet.¬† On weekends he stands there for a minute looking sad before going back to his activities.¬† Here he is doing his chauffeur duties.

Fezzy driver

So, I am wondering, how does time pass so quickly?

Two Words – Pinewood Derby

Yup, it’s that time again.¬† The craziness of our Cub Scout Pack’s Pinewood Derby has begun.¬† In case you are not familiar with the Pinewood Derby, it is an amazing event held by the Cub Scouts each year (across the country) where the boys build their own race car out of wood (pine, of course!).¬† Once built the cars enter one of the most fun competitions you will ever witness – they race against each other on a metal track with the boys gathered around cheering them on.¬† These are the boys’ cars from last year. A PWD 13 D PWD 13 I love this competition because it is such a great learning opportunity for the boys.¬† They learn about physics when we decide which car body design they would like to use.¬† They learn how to use tools when we build the car.¬† They learn about competition and sportsmanship when they are racing their car.¬† It is also a great family event for us.¬† We spend many hours on our cars and Nana and Popop get in on the action too.¬† Last year Popop built his own car and won first place in his division!



This competition is a lot of work too!¬† The specifications on how the cars are allowed to be built are extremely detailed and meticulously upheld.¬† The dimensions, materials used and total weight of each car is carefully examined before the competition starts.¬† If a car falls outside of any of the boundaries, it must be fixed on location in order to race.¬† Over the years we have found that our Pack runs the event better than anywhere else we have competed.¬† Our track is so exciting for the boys and so fair.¬† We would not miss it for the world, but you will probably hear us moaning during the process!¬† For security reasons we will probably wait to share this year’s designs until competition day.¬† Just kidding.¬† Sort of….

We went to the coolest birthday party this past weekend.¬† It was a “make your own pizza” party.


The kids each made their own individual pizza.



Then they played “Minute to Win It” games.



Happy Birthday Christian!

Today the girls and I ran 6 miles in my new favorite location.  No hills at all.  My ankle thanks me for that!  Time flies when you are running with friends.

Dane came home with a surprise he made in school today.  Butter!  So yummy, which made perfect sense when he told us it is made entirely out of heavy cream.  Thanks Dane!

Butter D

butter A

So, I am wondering, have you made a Pinewood Derby car?


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