Ten Steps to a Successful Pinewood Derby
STEP 9: Helpers
There a many ways to run a Pinewood Derby, and the size of the
Pack and the location of the Derby will determine the number of
helpers. The helpers do not have to be Cub Scout
leaders. Get as many parents involved as possible. Some of the
helpers you will need are:
- Set Up Crew (minimum 4-6 adults or older boys)
- Sets up track, tables, chairs, and microphone. At least one
person on the set up crew should have experience setting up and
testing the track. Run several test races, moving the cars to
all lanes, to ensure that there aren't any "bumps."
- Registration Table (2 to 3 adults) Adult(s) print Cub's name,
Den number, and Rank on name cards with a black marker. The cards
can identify the cars on the holding table, and/or can be used
on a Race Board.
- Weigh in car (maximum weight 5 ounces or 141.75 grams).
- Check car length (7"), width (2 3/4"), underside
clearance (3/8") and inspect each car to ensure that they
comply with BSA, Council, and/or Pack rules to be qualified for
- Have extra wheels and axles for replacement of any that do
not meet specifications.
- Pit Stop Table (1 adult) Graphite cars using dry or powdered
graphite. Cover table with newspaper, taped down at the corners.
A pie plate can be used to catch excess graphite.
- Car repair facilities can include an electric drill and bit,
hot glue gun, extension cords and three-prong adapters (if required),
small hammers and screw drivers, a fine-tooth rasp, emery cloth
or fine sandpaper, a knife, hand cleaner and paper towels, and
a trash bag or can.
- Holding Table (1 adult)
- Place cars by Den on carpet pieces.
- Track Crew (6-8 adults) Race Announcer: Announces Scout names
and lane assignments, says "Ready, Set, Go!" about 900
times, and makes other announcements as required. Needs microphone
and speaker with extension cords.
- Race Chart Controller: Determines lane assignments for each
heat. Can either use a clipboard or a large "Race Board"
which holds the Scout's name cards.
- Race Starter: Makes sure that cars are properly aligned on
the lane strips. (The Cub Scouts should place their own car on
the track.) Releases the cars to start the race.
- "Get Ready" Person: Assembles the next group of
boys to race, collects name cards and forms, all just a little
away from the track.
- Finish Line Judges: (2-3 adults) Make final decisions on race
finishes, and communicate winners to the Race Chart Controller.
If an electronic scoring system is not available, they will have
to "eyeball" the finish (and agree on the winner). Judges
are also responsible for control of the Scouts at the finish line.
- Clean Up Crew (minimum 4-6 adults or older boys)
- Disassemble and store track. Put away tables, chairs, and
microphone. At least one person on the clean up crew should have
experience setting up taking down the track. Sweep up afterwards,
paying particular attention to the Pit Stop Table area.
Back to Step 8
Ahead to Step 10
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