Pinewood Derby Trophies

Written by Charles Peacock
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One of my favorite things about being a Boy Scout was our annual Pinewood Derby event. For those who are unfamiliar with the Pinewood Derby, it is a model car race where all of the competing cars are designed and hand-carved (out of pine wood, of course) by youth participants. Pinewood Derbies are a fun way to teach kids about woodworking and mechanics.

Setting Up a Pinewood Derby Race

Most Boy Scout troops have an established set of rules for their annual Pinewood Derby, detailing the acceptable specifications for the cars and the track. The cars all have to be made out of the same type of wood (to ensure fairness), but latitude is given for creative aerodynamic designs and shapes. Before the race, each car should be examined by a troop leader to ensure that it passes the regulations.

Pinewood Derby tracks are relatively simple to build, and partially-assembled tracks can actually be purchased from many Boy Scout supply stores. The track is usually about 10 yards long, with a steep incline at one end that represents the starting point. The track is divided by four or five grooves, depending on how many cars you'll be racing at once.

If you're organizing a Pinewood Derby, one thing you'd better not forget is your winner trophies! It's a good idea to present trophies for first, second and third place, as well as some other awards for car design and aesthetic design. One neat idea would be to to get a trophy base for the winner, who can then mount his own winning car on top!


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