The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

February 24, 2013

Cub Scouts get a taste of racing in annual Pinewood Derby

The Daily Southerner
Staff reporter

PINETOPS — A racetrack set up inside the gymnasium of G.W. Carver Elementary School Saturday morning resembled a ski jump and the Pinewood Derby cars built to race down it weighed less than five ounces and the cars’ creators were 9- and 10-year-old Cub Scouts.

“It was just a good friendly competition and they learned good sportsmanship,” said Ronda Aycock, mother of fourth-grader Daniel Aycock, a member of Pack 961.

Daniel’s gold-painted car, entry No. 10, earned third place for the Webelos.

“It was fun,” said Daniel, adding his favorite part of the competition was receiving his trophy. Daniel said building the pinewood car took him “two or three days” and the hardest part was “shaping out the sides of it.”

“It’s shaped kind of like a Formula 1 car. It’s like an Indy car … It has a spoiler on the back,” Daniel said. “Last year, I made (a replica of) Richard Petty’s car.”

The Scout painted his car gold and decorated it with stars on the front and flames on the sides.

Coming in second place for the Webelos I was fourth-grader Hunter Denton. His No. 7 entry was a blue truck with a yellow stripe down the side, in the style of NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick.

“He’s my favorite driver,” Denton said. “He runs fast …”

Denton and his father, Harold, worked together to create the truck, along with another called the “Storm Chaser” featuring tornadoes and lightning bolts, which they chose not to run because it wasn’t as fast as the blue truck. The “Storm Chaser” reflects Denton’s career goal – to become a meteorologist.

The Pinewood Derby gave the Scouts a chance to put their creativity and construction skills to good use. A car resembling a mousetrap, a green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-themed car, and a car adorned with coins were among the other 21 entries.

The skills that Daniel has learned in Scouts, from assembling a pinewood car to building a catapult out of “popsicle sticks and tin foil” should come in handy in his chosen career field, as well.

“An astronaut” is what Daniel says he would like to be when he grows up.

Denton’s mother Teresa Denton said her son and Daniel have competed with each other in the pinewood derby for the past couple of years, but it’s all been in good fun.

“The biggest thing they learned is to support each other and not to be bad sports,” she said. “It’s about getting in there and having fun, not rubbing in who’s winning.”

Aycock said Scouting has also taught her son “respect” and practical skills such as “how to plan a trip” and “helping out around the house with chores.”