Saturday, June 29, 2013


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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Get Ready for Pinewood Derby!

What is Pinewood Derby?
Every year, more than a million Cub Scouts and adult partners team up to participate in a Pinewood Derby, a tradition that goes back generations. Building a car from a block of wood helps Cub Scouts build confidence and take pride in their own growing skills and hard work.

The Pinewood Derby was begun in California in 1953 by Cubmaster Donald Murphy, who was looking for a fun project to do with his son, who was too young to compete in the city's soapbox derby. He conceived of the small wooden gravity-propelled cars, and wrote a rule set for the race.

Scouts in his Cub Scout pack (280C) were issued a simple kit consisting of a block of soft pine wood, 2 wooden axles, 4 nails and 4 wheels. The kits for Pinewood Derby cars today are very similar to those original kits! (The contents of your derby box kit are pictured to the right)

The first Pinewood Derby race was held on May 15, 1953. It was an instant success, and was adopted by the national office of the Boy Scouts of America the very next year for use in Cub Scout packs nationwide. To date, more than 100 million Cub Scouts have participated in the Pinewood Derby.

Building Your Car
•  The length of the car shall not exceed 7"
•  Overall width including accessories shall not exceed 2 3/4"
•  The overall height of the car shall not exceed 3"
•  The bottom clearance of the car shall be no less than 3/8"
•  The inside wheel width (distance between left front and right front wheels and distance between left rear and right rear wheels) shall be no less than 1 ¾" and no more than 2 ¾"
•  Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces
•  Wheel bearings, washers, and bushings are prohibited.
•  The car shall not ride on springs.
•  Only official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby wheels and axles are permitted
•  Only dry lubricant is permitted
•  The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices.
•  All body parts, weights and accessories must be securely fastened.
•  Accessories and details are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the size and weight specifications.
•  Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it may compete.

The Rules
The rules for the Pinewood Derby are firmly established (see details below). Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it may compete.

If, at registration, a car does not pass inspection, the owner will be informed of the reason for failure, and will be given time within the official weigh-in time period to make the adjustment.

After approval, cars will not be re-inspected unless the car is damaged in handling or in a race. Therefore, it is vital that your child's car meet the guidelines, but there is plenty of room for creativity within those rules!

Many many unique designs have been made by scouts over the years, in the shape of the car, paint job, decals and stickers. Your Scout can 'pimp his car' any way he likes within the guidelines.

Samples of the creativity of Cub Scout Pack 43 in years past!

The Derby track may be 2 or four lanes (ours has 2) on which the cars race. Each lane has a central tail that the car straddles. This keeps the car in the lane and prevents it from sliding into the lane of another car.

The race is run in a series of qualifying "heats" in which scouts will compete through a double elimination style competition.

A champion will be chosen for each den, as well as an overall champion for the pack based on the speediest car. Additionally, Pack 43 gives awards for creative designs.

The winning cars' times will be submitted to the district, and may qualify the scout for the district derby race. Winners in the district race go on to compete with other winners in the state, and state winners go on to compete on a national level.

While only scouts are eligible for the official competition, siblings and parents are encouraged to make and race their own cars! Pinewood Derby is fun for the whole family, and prizes and awards will be given to unofficial racers as well.

We'll see you all on February 23rd. Good Luck Pack 43!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Join Pack 43 at the Scout Carnival!

Mark your calendars! The Threshers Boy Scout Carnival takes place on Saturday, July 14th at the Clearwater Threshers vs Ft Myers Twins baseball game at Bright House Field.

The entire concourse will be surrounded with activities, games, challenges, information, demonstrations and fun, fun, fun!

The carnival begins when the gates open at 5pm and continues until the fireworks are over at the end of the ballgame (around 9:15pm).

Be sure your scouts wear their uniforms to get these goodies*: Free patch, Free BSA Physical, Free guitar lesson, Free food from 5-8pm at Hot Corner Cafe. Cub Scouts in uniform who bring a Pinewood Derby car and sign up at main gate get to sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at 7th inning stretch, shown on the big scoreboard.

Some of the fun activities that will be there include:

  • See Order of the Arrow Lodge Chief Jacob Fritz throw out the first pitch, flanked by his Vice-Chiefs, all decked out in ceremonial regalia
  • Try out the all new, newly invented Gator Bridge.
  • Test your balance skills on the Monkey Bridge.
  • Test you Pinewood Derby car on the track to race against your friends.
  • Race a Raingutter Regatta boat
  • Check out our Model Campsite and learn how to strum a chord around the campfire 
  • See a demonstration of how branding irons work 
  • Get a Shark-Do hair gel style 
  • Try out a Space Derby Race 
  • Learn or show off your knot tying skills 
  • Stroll into a Dance Zumba Class
  • Draw sharks and scouting symbols on a big mural 
  • Win a prize for completing a stamp pad booklet(by visiting each exhibit) 
  • See three showcased Eagle Scout Projects 
  • Get latest leader training opportunities list of dates 
  • Participate in Hula Hoop games 
  • Show off your throwing accuracy at the Corn Hole game 
  • Visit the Patch Trader Tables
  • Take aim at the Shooting Sports Area
  • Buy Camp Cards!
Tickets are $14 at the door, which includes the all you can eat food if your scout is in uniform. Seats will be unassigned, so we can all sit together once we get inside.
*some restrictions apply, subject to availability

Friday, May 11, 2012

May Newsletter

The May pack meeting was great! The Bears kicked off the meeting with a solemn flag ceremony, then the Tigers showed us the food pyramid poster they had made in their Den Meeting. The WEBELOS 1 gave us a skit on just saying no, and the WEBELOS 2 gave us a hilarious show for their Showman badge. A great time was had by all!

Read this month's news in the May Newsletter

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

SCOUT STORIES: From Tiger to Boy Scouts

 by Hunter Wurtz, WEBELOS 2, Arrow of Light

When I joined Cub Scouts as a Tiger, I made a lot of new friends. I also built things, like my first derby car. It was a little blue car that I named Speedier. We also had a boat race, which I won.

I went with daddy on my very first camp out. I helped my dad set up the tent, it was big and blue. Daddy and I had a lot of fun that day: we cooked hot dogs and hamburgers and sat around a big fire. We had hot chocolate and played games, like tag and hide and seek. We made skits like:

"We are the Tigers, the mighty mighty Tigers. 
Everywhere we go, people wanna know... 
who we are.. so we tell them: 
We are the Tigers!" 

That was also my first year of Cub Scout Family Camp. We had a lot of fun! I got to shoot a BB gun for the first time, and bow and arrows. We also learned about safe swimming. My Mom was our den leader.

When I was a Wolf, we went on trips to the dinosaur dig where we dug for fossils and found really cool things. We did nature hikes, and my first Coastal Clean Up! We made up den songs, and went camping with our friends. I made another Pinewood Derby car that looked like an Army tank, and I won that year!  I also went  to summer camp again and learned to fish with bamboo poles. I also got shoot marshmallow shooters!

As a Bear, I learned how to tie knots, how to grow plants from seeds, and how to take care of my self. At camp I learned how to play Jedi Ball, Which I really liked that game, it's FUN!

My first year as a WEBELOS I learned first aid, and how to use my pocket knife. This is when I met my new best friend, Marcus, and my Mom met Mr. and Mrs. Drennen, they are the nicest people I ever met, they are like a family to me. I met a new friend Jonathan too.

That year my mom became the Cub Scout pack leader, and she was special, and my dad too. I got to make another derby car, it was a tank, it was really fast, I won 1st place, and again went to Cub Scout camp.

As a WEBELOS 2, I earned my whittling chip badge, and in three weeks, I will have earned my Arrow of Light! I will miss all my friends, but I have had alot of fun as a Cub Scout, The only sad part is I don't get to make derby cars anymore. I'm looking forward to being a Boy Scout.

Goodbye everyone, I'll see you when you come to Troop 43!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April Newsletter

The April Pack 43 Newsletter is now available for download here. Read Tyler Merrifield's tale of the Pack Campout, see pictures of our trip back in time to the Civil War and more!