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Cheating at the Pinewood Derby!

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Before we do anything PWD related, we bring it up at a pack meeting. WE explain everything in advance including the rules ( we follow district rules), the dates, and what is expected of the parents .


Next we start selling or giving out cars at the Christmas party. Selling or giving depends on the vote by leadership before hand and on pack budget.


Then we bring it up again and again at pack meetings.


We have two workshops where the offical District rules are available to be viewed. I and another Adult leader will divulge any and every trick we know.

Smothing out axles, raising one wheel just a hair, squaring and trueing up the axles, slick finish paint,weight placement/ weight balance,and graphite, graphite, graphite!


We also have two test run sessions with our older track set up. It's a nice wood track, but not as nice as our aluminum one. Thing is though..if your car runs good on the wood track,it usually runs awesome on the aluminum one.


We had to disqualify two cars this year. One had the axels 6" apart, the other had wheels that were about 3/16th wide.


At registration/ weigh in, the first thing we do is weigh the car, then we put it in a test box. We do this before we collect the first dollar.


We give them until the end of registration time to add/subtract weight and bring the car down to proper length.


We do tell boys that they want to add weight if their cars are less that 4.5 oz. We tell them to aim for 4.9


They need to graphite before they check in as once we get it, it's quarantined. Only offical PWD staff are allowed to touch it after that.



People sometimes try to bend or sneak around the rules. WE catch tghem, they are disqualified.



Yeah it sucks for that scout, but sucks worse for all the other scouts who did follow the rules if we allow that car to race.



On the rare occasion that mom or dad protests, we tell them that we explained multipkle times about the rules as well as having copies of the offical rules laying on tables for everybody to see and follow at all test runs and workshops.




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2.5 years ago I started working to revive a pack that was down to one Scout.



I tried to get rid of the PWD for all the reasons you see people objecting to it in this thread.


Unfortunately, the then current Cubmaster was a big PWD fan who made and raced his own car each year, and I couldn't do it.


Now that CM has moved on. I brought up my plan to hand out PWD cars for boys to assemble and race the same evening, organizing their own races and competitions themselves.


I had one parent --- a MOM, who objected that this would cause wear to the wheels which would cause the cars to run slow (sigh!) She wanted boys to use cars they had built in previous years.


Frankly I think the PWD is like a disease and there is no vaccine available.

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Gotta say I too am caught up in the PWD madness. I try not to be as bad as some dads I've seen, but after the practice race last nite, and the upset look on my son's face, I asked him if wants to redo the car, specifically removing weights in one location and moving them, he said yes. Yep I am goign to remove the weights for him as I do not have enough time to cut a new car for him and have him sand and paint in time for saturday, but he will be doing the gluing and painting.



Now I admit how some dads can get upset with cubs playing with cars before the race. My car, my district has a leaders' division, had a dragon's head and wings on it to promote Cub Scout day camp. One of son's friend's was carrying the car, and dropped it before I had a chance to put it on the track. Upset, you bet caause I did want to see it go down the track at least 1 time, even if it came in last place. Hopefully it'll get fixed ASAP.

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Another thing my old pack tried for the Dads one year was let them build their own cars and have their own race after the boys were all done. At stake was bragging rights and a tiny leftover plastic trophy from the prior year. Man you should have seen these guys you woulda thought they were competing for a million dollars with all these aerodynamically styled cars entered to race. The dad who won was so excited with his 99 cent trophy, and all the dads comparing and examining each others cars, exchanging tips, it was a riot.

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