Cub Scouts Pack 574 Pinewood Derby: Gentlemen, start your engines

Cub Scouts from Pack 574 took part in a ritual of carving, painting and racing also known as the Pinewood Derby.

The young Scouts’ work culminated in a race recently, in the service department of the Mazda dealership on Spur 327.

In the end, a blue car with a red stripe down the “hood” took the top honors. Travis Dickens, the Bear Cub Scout who helped his father, James Dickens, create the car, said this was his first time to take first place.

Travis, 8, said he designed the car after researching the best designs from previous cars online, and he helped his father make the car by sanding and painting it.

Dickens said it took about a week to complete the car, but he said Travis really looks forward to the project.

“I think it’s a great confidence builder for him to learn to put something together,” Dickens said.

The time spent together on the project is great as a father-son bonding moment.

“More importantly, they get used to working with fathers, tools, construction,” he said.

Assistant Webelos Den Leader Charlie Longanecker said he and his son, Caleb, 10, worked on their car for about a month, on and off.

Caleb’s car won second place in the Webelos division and third place overall in Pack 574.

Longanecker said his son gains the feeling of accomplishment that goes along with building something and having it win.

Caleb nodded in agreement.

“Especially when you don’t think you’re going to,” Longanecker said. Caleb has placed higher in the past, but he was just as excited this year, the boy’s father said.

Those who place at the Pack 574 Pinewood Derby can take part in the South Plains Council District Derby.

Another father at the event was attending for the first time ever.

Patrick McKinney said he was not in Cub Scouts as a child, so when he saw 8-year-old Brayden’s car win second place in the Wolves division, it was exciting.

“I didn’t know what to expect at all,” McKinney said.

Together, he and Brayden spent about four or five hours working on the car.

“I think it’s good to spend time together. It helped him to learn some responsibility,” McKinney said.

The initiative for taking part in the pinewood derby had to come from Brayden, he said.

“I didn’t push him to do it. It had to be something he wanted to do,” McKinney said.

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