Pinewood Derby Help
Jan Mussler (mussler@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Tue, 11 Nov 1997 08:08:25 -0700
Richard, Welcome to Scouts-L. Pack 170 buys the cars for the boys and
give them to them when they re-register (pay their money). This happens
in January when we recharter. We don't run our race until March with
District Pinewood in April.
Do you have a District race? If not, would it be acceptable to purchase
"non-official" kits from another supplier? They would be a little less
expensive. S&W Craft advertizes in the back of either Boy's Life and
Scouting. I've gotten a couple items from them in the past and the
quality was acceptable. The car I got had a different axle system so you
might want to get one kit to make sure it clears your track.
Could you go in with a larger Pack in ordering your small number of kits
so you get a better price break. Our Council office is running a
"special" if we order our cars by the case in the next month.
We ran a three lane with no timing system our first year. The next year
my husband devised a simple device to make the judges job easier. Last
year we built a four lane with a more sophisticated timer (had to program
a chip). If you have some electronic hobbiests in the group, they can
come up with something for a small amount of money. Like maybe $10 for
the simplest - I think the 4 lane ran us $35.
We ran a modified Sterns method last year for the first time. Previously,
we ran a manual round robin. The Sterns method is the way to go. Other
Scouters will no doubt direct you to the website where the program is
kept. I lost my files in a crash so can't help you there. Basically, the
boys get to race lots of times to determine the winner. With 16 boys,
they could probably race each other boy. They would also get to race
several times in each lane which minimizes problems due to a "slow" lane.
The program generates the race heats for you. You can do the rest
manually by using overheads, flip charts etc. We registered the day
before so we had a rough count of how many boys would race because you
need that number to run the program. We then ran a couple more boys and a
couple less boys because we didn't want to bring the computer race day and
we didn't want to have a major problem because someone showed up at the
It's nice because it's not obvious until the end who's winning.
Good luck with your race.
Jan Mussler, Webelos Den Leader, Pack 170
Nederland, CO - Long's Peak Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City