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On your mark…get set….GO! August 16, 2006

Posted by Joe in Scouts.

During the course of Benjamin’s first year in Scouts, we carved an Army jeep for a Pinewood Derby, a Great White Shark-shaped rocket for the Pinewood Shuttle Derby, and a pirate ship (complete with skull & crossbones on the sail), for the Raingutter Regatta.


But this summer our vehicle competition reached a new height! This summer, we built a car for the Soapbox Derby. Benjamin and two of his Wolf Scout buddies, Alan and Zack, spent several Saturdays and weekday evenings measuring, cutting, drilling, priming, and painting this vehicle of high velocity.


For those who have never participated in a Soapbox Derby, the object is to build a gravity propelled car that the Scout can drive. There are a handful of specifications to which you must conform, such as it must have a seatbelt, a steering-stop to prevent it from turning too sharply, and the wheels cannot have air in them. Of course, since it’s gravity propelled, you race downhill without any means of propulsion save Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery.


Saturday, was the day of the big race. Our initial attempts left a little to be desired. Our wheels were lawnmower wheels. That, in itself was fine, but the tread was causing significant drag on the car – so much so that our first run didn’t even make it down the hill.

Fortunately, our race was being held in the parking lot of the Ashland City Tractor Supply Company. After a quick upgrade – 11 inch wheels with no tread – and we were ready for competition.


The races, including the trial runs, qualifying runs, and various competitive heats lasted the better part of 3 hours.


Here’s a picture of the winning team.




1. Grams - August 22, 2006

Congratulations on building a FINE machine!!!

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