Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. The Nederland Community Center meeting room exploded in periodic cheers that always ended in disappointed groans from all but one scout: the one whose car won the race. The annual Boys Scouts Pinewood Derby, which took place last Saturday, runs four cars at a time, making sure that the winners have zoomed down the graceful curving wood in each of the tracks; some, for one reason or another, being faster than the others.
As the dads gather round the finish, their cell phones aimed at the finish line, the tension is thick. Although the scouts build the racing cars by themselves, the dads always have a little bit of advice, some input into the finished product. Just a touch of ego.
Nederland scouts have been holding pinewood derbies for decades, it is part of the merit badge process, and a way of bringing the scouting community together for an afternoon.
Nederland’s Scout Leader, Josh Lake, told the kids and parents that this would be his last year leading the troop, that he needed some help if the Nederland scouting program were to continue. The Pinewood Derby has been a long-standing event.
The derby went on as usual, the boys putting the final touches on their carefully weighed and standardized formula cars which were individualized in an extraordinary burst of creativity.
After the first and second place winners were determined, the next two places had a showdown for third place. Morgan Lake and Drew Hertzfeld entered the finish so close to each other two times in a row, that they were both awarded the third place.
Then a race for the top took place. Mason Ivie and Jack Roszell brought out their vehicles and each took a run once down every track. And the winner was Mason, with Jack coming in second.
Accepting the one-year traveling trophy, Jack said, “I am happy, proud and excited to win. I made a good car and I liked how it looked with all of the smeared paint on it.”