GUERNSEY--If you’re a NASCAR fan, you know the significance of Daytona Beach--considered to be sacred ground for drivers and fans alike! It is considered to be the birthplace of stock car racing.
But completely across the United States, in another little beach town, there’s a place with historic significance to another well-known and popular form of car racing--and the drivers aren’t even old enough to have licenses!
It was 1953 in Manhattan Beach, California, and a Cub Scout Pack leader by the name of Don Murphy was brainstorming an idea that would keep a group of eight, nine and 10-year old boys busy! Based on the popularity of the Soap Box Derby, a nationwide competition that put boys who were at least 12 years old behind the wheel of a homemade car made from crates on a life-size race course of a steep hill, Murphy’s idea would bring fathers and sons together to design and carve a race car they would then assemble and race against other scouts on a track built for the cars. With the basic components put together in a kit, the idea caught on locally, then nationally as the Boy Scouts of America adopted the idea and made it an official part of their program across the country.
Now 63 years later, the Pinewood Derby is still going strong, a much-anticipated event every spring in Cub Scout Packs around the world.
On Saturday, April 22, Pinewood Derby Day arrives in Guernsey as the Cub Scouts in Pack 49 bring their entries to the West gym at Guernsey-Sunrise High School.
Car weigh-ins begin at 8:30 and drivers will send their cars down the track beginning at 9 a.m.
The pack also joins forces with the local Girl Scout Troop #1472dddf and together, hold their largest annual fundraiser during the derby--an auction of cakes made and decorated by the scouts and their parents. This year’s cake auction begins at 10 a.m.
Races will continue until this year’s winners are declared.
The public can get in on the racing action in an open class competition--kits are available-contact Ray VanNatter for more information on obtaining a kit.
(e-mail [email protected]).