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pinewood trophiesChampionship winners

Don't blink or you may miss the exciting finish! Twenty-six Cub Scouts from Lansing Pack 48 competed in their annual Pinewood Derby on Saturday 9th February at Lansing Elementary School. The Pinewood Derby is an event that originated in California in 1953 when a Cub leader wanted to have a competition for Cub Scouts similar to the soap box derby run for the older boys. He had the Cub Scouts build cars from a block of pine wood with wheels and then race them down a track. The event was a huge success and has been replicated by many Scouting units across the country since that time.

Each Cub Scout in Lansing was given a kit, this year donated by the Rejman Family of Genoa, of a wooden block, 4 nails and 4 plastic wheels. They shape and decorate the block into a car or truck either at home or at the annual 'pit day' hosted by the Pack 48 leaders and families at the Middle School shop.

pinewood shawnmurphyShawn Murphy, 'Slug Doug' winner

pinewood arrowoflightArrow of Light cars. Rogue Grocer, car #51 by Henry Larson was the winner of the artistic medal

The event started with the younger Cubs racing first. Two Lions, kindergarten boys, joined the Tiger den, first graders, at the end of the track where they waited with anticipation. They gave their den cheer and the racing began! Each car was placed carefully on the track by Frank Benenati (Bear den leader) and Shawn Murphy (Arrow of Light assistant den leader) then they raced in each of the five lanes of the track to ensure parity. Their cars hurtled down the track and flew through the finish line in under 4 seconds. The Cub Scouts waited anxiously for the races to finish to see which car had the fastest average time. Awards were presented by Cubmaster Doug Fink to big cheers from the crowd. The next den to race were the Wolf Cubs, with seven 2nd grade boys. The races were announced by Boy Scout Dominic Loga of Lansing Scout Troop 48. Dominic entertained the audience by interspersing the commentary with some awful 'punny' car jokes. He was joined by fellow Scouts Sean Quinn, Dominic Ronsvalle and Zachary Lynch who helped 'run' the cars from the finish back to the starting line.

At the intermission, participants and their families were encouraged to eat and drink the concessions provided by Kids in Action Now. The money was donated to the Nothing But Nets program that provides mosquito nets to countries around the world with the aim of reducing the impact of malaria and other insect-transmitted diseases. The artistic portion of the competition was also judged during the break. Each Cub Scout was asked to choose their favorite car from each den (though they were not allowed to vote for themselves) and the votes were tallied to provide one winner from each den. The designs were highly varied and incredibly imaginative. The winners were a 'Megalodon' car built by Tiger Cub Jackson MacDonald and the RAMS football field car won for Wolf Cub Owen Wallace. When the Bear den votes were counted, trouble brewed as there was a tie. Both the car 'Mountain Lightning' and 'Pool Haul' received equal votes. Fortunately they were made by twins Kenny and Troy Casbeer who agreed to share the medal! The winner of the Webelos den was Max Mosier with his car 'Yeet!' and 'Rogue Groceries' by 5th grader Henry Larson received the most votes in the Arrow of Light den.

pinewood pack48

The racing continued in the intermission with the sibling race, a 'fun only' opportunity for family members to join in.

The second half the derby saw racing by the Bear den which comprises of six third grade boys, three members of the Webelos den (4th grade) and the Arrow of Light den with four 5th graders. Once all the den winners had been announced the adults had their turn. This year saw the third 'Slug Doug' race, instigated by Cubmaster Fink who challenged other adults to make a car that would cross the finish line in the slowest time. There were five entries in this year's race, which was won by Murphy with his 'stinky cheese' car. Murphy received a splendid trophy, hand-made by Fink in honor of his win.

The final races of the Cub Scout event were the 'championship' races. The winners of each of the five dens race together to find the fastest in the Pack. This year's races were close, with Sam Fink winning the title with an average of 3.4173 seconds per race, with Quinlan Meloney coming a close second only about one hundredth of a second behind. Turner Hidlay was third in his first Pinewood Derby with a time of 3.4307 seconds.

Pinewood Derby den results:
  • Lions and Tigers: 1st Turner Hidlay, 2nd Joaquin Benson, 3rd Jeremy Clark
  • Wolf den: 1st Ryder Jetty, 2nd Ben Brown, 3rd Carlton Dean
  • Bear den: 1st Abram Benson, 2nd Eafan Chen, 3rd Braydon Hewitt
  • Webelos den: 1st Sam Fink, 2nd Alex Baur, 3rd Max Mosier
  • Arrow of Light den: 1st Quinlan Meloney, 2nd Nathaniel Ronsvalle, 3rd Logan Murphy

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