Cub Scouts race to the finish line in Pinewood Derby

Scouts, siblings and parents from all over the Eastside gathered at Bellevue's Crossroads Mall Saturday - where they registered their cars for the big race.

Technical difficulties at the finish line couldn’t stop eager cub scouts from participating in the Cascade and Alpine Districts Pinewood Derby this weekend. In fact, scouts, siblings and parents from all over the Eastside gathered at Bellevue’s Crossroads Mall Saturday – where they registered their cars for the big race.

The derby, which was open to registered Cub Scouts from either district, featured 50 unique derby cars made by participants of all ages.

Laurie Beck, who currently serves as Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner for the Cascade District, brought back the Pinewood Derby last year, after the race was absent from the Eastside for several years. Beck said she wanted to bring the derby back because she thought it would be an exciting event for cub scouts in this district.

This year’s derby featured scouts from Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Medina, and Mercer Island, as well as Issaquah and Sammmamish. The races were categorized by cub scout level – Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos. The derby also featured a younger sibling race for siblings up to the age of 10 and a special “Vintage” race for adults and/or cars made more than a year ago.

Weston Hunt, 10, has been in the Cub Scouts for three years and is a member of a Webelos pack in Bellevue. Weston, who placed third in his category last year, registered two cars in this year’s race.

Although Weston said he didn’t car about placing in this year’s event – his favorite part is seeing all of the other cars – both of his cars placed. Weston’s “Red Lightning” placed third in the Vintage Category and his “Silver Bullet” placed first in the Webelos Category.

Kenna Burch, District Executive for the Cascade District, said the Chief Seattle Council consists of 12 districts – most of which hold a Pinewood Derby event. Most of the individual packs host an event as well, which means the majority of the cars had been “track-tested” prior to Saturday’s event.

All the cars must have been built in the last 365 days and used official Boy Scout Pinewood; registered cars must way no more than 5 oz., in addition to meeting other specifics.

“The heavier the car is, the faster it goes,” Burch said. “So some parents want to get right on the money.”

Weston said he added titanium weights to the silver Bullet, a feature that made the car heavier – and faster.

Saturday’s event was the third derby race for Zachary Fields, 9, of Sammamish. Like Weston, Fields registered two cars. Also like Weston, both of them placed. Zachary’s “Zachary Rocks” car place third in the Vintage Category, behind Weston’s “Red Lightning.” Zachary’s “Alien Autopsy” – which featured a green alien atop a black base – placed second in the Bear Category.

“Crossroads was gracious enough to let us have it here,” Beck said. “Which is so great because there are a lot of packs that meet in this area.”

Beck said there are packs meeting at several churches and elementary schools in the area, including St. Louise Parish School and Bennett Elementary. As such, having the event at Crossroads likely made it easier for more scouts to attend. Last year’s derby was held at Factoria Mall.

Following the races, the winners were presented with a variety of medals and trophies.

“We try to go all out for the trophies,” Burch said. “Because that’s what all the boys want  – to win the trophy.”

And while Burch admits the parents tend to get as involved – if not more – than the children, the feeling of friendly competition could be found amongst participants of all ages.

“They get really competitive,” Burch said. “But it’s really fun.”