Boy Scouts demonstrate creativity in Pinewood Derby

By on February 2, 2014

Photo: The Elburn Boys Scouts Pack 107 went all out with its creations for this year’s Pinewood Derby event, held at the former middle school building on Meredith Road on Friday. From Nascar and Spongebob to LEGO and Minecraft, the imaginations were endless. Joshua Duncan (below), 8, of Elburn, picked a Lego set as his prize from Friday night’s name drawing. Photos by Lynn Logan

MAPLE PARK—The Elburn Boy Scouts Troop 107 gathered together on Friday for a lighthearted and fun night of racing homemade cars in the Pinewood Derby.

This year’s Derby was conveniently located in the former Kaneland Middle School on Meredith Road in Maple Park, adjacent to the Kaneland High School property where Troop 107 holds its regular meetings. In years past, the Scouts held the Pinewood Derby at Family Life Church of Elburn on Keslinger Road.

A month and half prior to the racing event, Elburn Scouts Troop 107 and all other Pinewood Derby participants receive a racing kit that consists of a block of wood, four wheels and four axels. With the help of a friend or a parent, the Scouts turn these nine pieces of material into a car or car-like structure that reflects their respective interest.

Chuck Miller, a longtime volunteer for the Boy Scouts, notices each year that the kids really get creative with the assembling of their cars.

“A lot of the kids look around their own homes for ideas,” Miller said. “Their cars reflect their interests at the time. I’ve seen traditional racing cars, cars in the form of tanks, sharks, coffins, Swiss Army knives, an Elburn Herald paper, Thomas the Train, Minions from “Despicable Me,” Minecraft characters and many more.”

When it comes to the racing of the cars, each participant receives four chances to race their homemade car down a 30-foot aluminum track that has a timer connected to it. After each participant races their car four times, their total time for each heat is added up and the winners are announced.

From the Tiger group, in first grade, Nathan Z. from Den 8 received first place out of 16 cars. From the Wolf rank, in second grade, Ethan W. from Den 10 received first place out of 20 cars.

From the Bear rank, in third grade, Joshua S. from Den 7 received first place out of 20 cars. And from the Webelos, in fourth and fifth grade, Andrew S. from the Bacon Ninjas Den received first place out of 33 cars.

Out of 89 total cars, Joshua S. from Den 7 in the Bear rank, received first place.

A full list of winners will be available on Pack 107’s website,, later this week. And every Boy Scout comes home from the event with a door prize even if their car didn’t place in the event.

Each year, the pack leaders and volunteers noticed how the Pinewood Derby encourages camaraderie and sportsmanship among the Boy Scouts.

“The Pinewood Derby is one of our largest and most popular events where the Boy Scouts really get a chance to demonstrate their craftsmanship,” Miller said. “The Derby also promotes sportsmanship and healthy competition among the boys. All of the Scouts get really excited to race their cars especially the younger kids who are participating for the first time.”

Photos by Lynn Logan: