The Cub Scouts of Decatur County staged the group’s annual Pinewood Derby Saturday afternoon at City Hall.
Chris Kachur, Cub Master for Decatur County Pack 577, told the Daily News that each Scout builds his own Pinewood Derby Car to Race in the event
“They take a chunk of wood,” Kachur explained, “and whittle it down into the shape of a car. They design it, shape it, put wheels on it and paint it. Each boy has his own car, with plenty of input from parents and siblings.”
2013’s race included some 60 Cub Scout cars and roughly another 35 built by parents and Cub Scout siblings.
“We held separate races for parents and siblings,” Kachur said.
According to the Scout Master, the cars are completely non-mechanized, with gravity being their primary fuel.
“We use four-lane tracks for each race,” he explained. “The boys start their cars at the top of the track and release them. Each boy participates in four races, and the runtime of all four are averaged to give each boy a final score.”
In each pack, Kachur added, the first-place winners advanced to the district competition, to be held in Columbus Feb. 2.
2013’s Derby was unique in that three Decatur County Packs participated.
“In the past, packs held their own races separately,” he said. “Back in November, we started wondering if we could get all three area packs together to hold the event on the same day. We thought it would be good to get all the boys in one place and make the event really big.”
Kachur thanked Greensburg Fire Chief Scott Chasteen for helping the scouts secure the use of City Hall.
“He [Chasteen] went before the Board of Works and requested the use of the facility,” Kachur explained. “If he hadn’t helped us, we wouldn’t have been able to bring this together. We just wouldn’t have had enough room.”
As it was, Kachur estimated that more than 200 Scouts and their families attended Saturday’s race.
“We also had help from local Boy Scout Packs,” Kachur added. “They helped staff the races, and with serving food and drinks, and with set-up and tear down.”
Additionally, in the downtime between races, organizers kept the boys busy with learning stations, Kachur said. At those stations, the young Scouts learned about playing chess and marbles, and about various aspects of geography.
The boys earned belt loops for participating in those lessons, the Cub Master further explained.
“Belt loops go toward earning the Arrow of Light Badge, which ultimately makes the boys eligible to take the next step and become Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts helped us at the teaching stations, too,” Kachur added.
Winners in each den category (which are organized by grade level, first through fifth) received a variety of trophies and ribbons.
Additionally, each pack created its own awards for participants.
“There was an award for most creative, best fuel economy, Fire-Chief’s Choice, Cub Master Choice, Scout’s Choice and Best Public Service Vehicle,” Kachur said.
In regards to the Public Service category, he continued, “There were some very creative entries, including a dump truck and lots of police cars.”
Kachur lauded the event for fostering “creativity, engineering, tool use and sportsmanship.”
“Those are among our core values in cub scouting,” he said. “We work to instill those values into our scouts with everything we do.”
“This event also promoted Cub Scouting and family,” he added, “which is crucial to what we teach. Family and Cub Scouts go hand in hand. We include family in everything we do.”
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.