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Different Positions at the Committee Table

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I am sorry I am new to all this and feel like I wear many hats and some stuff I don't even know what I am doing I just do what I think is right. But my question is we have a Derby Chair position and I am looking online for what exactly they need to do. I am having no luck. Basically the only thing he was told was that he needed to make sure he has all the rules in order and submitted to the council. But everything I find says the rules come in the box. What can someone tell me about this situation. Thank you.


Also another position is the Party Chair? We have very big; Halloween, Thanks Giving, and Christmas parties but what does that person do?

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Yep lots of hats. Some with funny names. A party chair sounds like something you'd set around a table with cake and ice cream! Really, a lot of stuff is made up as we go along. Hopefully some folks out there can give you a few ideas of how they handled some of those tasks.

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Rules, rules rules. The box will have basic rules depending on the pack and if you plan to have the winners advance to the council tournement. If you plan on having the winners advance ask council for a copy of theirs and mirror them. If you don't plan on advancing to council you need to determine what you want to allow or not allow. There is a cottage industry of faster wheels and nails. There are also different lubicants that some allow and some do not. does it have to be made out of the block or can you use pre cut blocks. You can also make the car faster my extending the wheel base. You may also want to have rules about how check in will go, adding / removing weight, official scale etc.


Not that this website is not a good source for scouting but for specific you might want to look on some of the pinewood derby specific forums... some parents get really into the pine wood derby and searching those forums will give a lot of info on how to run a fair (or not so fair) race.


Personally I am not a fan of the derby. I think the skill level to cut the block and even get the wheels straight is beyond that of a tiger and wolf. I think they are often limited to painting the car.


If you go with the rule that it must be cut from the block and you have a new pack with little experience it would be helpful if the chair is someone who knows a little about building the car and is willing to scheduled some building clinics to help pack members who do not have the tools or the experience.

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#1 Derby Chair: Awesome title. He/she would ( I feel) be in charge of all the PWD arrangements: Track. décor, judges, awards/ prizes (speed, paint, most Scoutlike, most historic, best 60's theme, etc.etc.), snacks, music, weigh in, registration, break up fights ( hope not).. I hope she/he has seen a few PWDs so as to be able to pick and choose the best stuff from each.

Do you have a Boy Scout Troop to work with? It's good to have some assistance, and the Scouts can do a bang up job for you. My home Troop runs the whole shebang for their Pack.

#2. Yes the rules are in the box, but they only cover the bare basic stuff for the car. Doesn't say anything about how you run the show. Single elimination? Double elimination? Give points ? Rotate cars thru the tracks to even up variations in the tracks? Your Derby Chair and his/her support committee (!!) need to sit down and plan all this out. After all, "It's for the Cubs".

#3. Have classes of racers: Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelos, Siblings&Guests, Unlimited (adults) are my suggestions, or whatever you feel is appropriate for your group. At "Check In & Registration" where you make sure the car is made according to the rules (weight, dimensions, axles, wheels) , the Registrar should be someone impartial ( your Commissioner? Your DE? A Boy Scout Leader? Pastor?) and able to defuse dads who are SURE the scale is incorrect.

#4. In the building days before the race day, it is nice to have a "workshop " for folks that have need for tools and advice in car creation. Some one in the Pack has tools and someone doesn't, get them together. Race day ,provide a table off to the side as "The Pits" with glue, spare parts, tools for adjustments to cars that didn't make check in the first time....

#5. Council does NOT have final say over the "Rules". Your Pack sets the standard for its event. The standards "in the box" are the ones the cars must meet. All the rest is on you. If your District/Council holds a PWD event, then the car standards will be the same, but the race day rules may be a bit different.

#6. If you have a large enough group ( only one entry per Cub? Multi entries in different classes? ) you can have a display , in the auto world called the "Concours de Elegance" ( I think), where the entries are lined up for folks to ooo and aaah at. Make sure the local paper and tv station is notified ahead of time. This kind of local event is always a favorite. Provide photos and a write up for them, if they don't come out. PR is always good for a Pack.



"Party Chair"..... plan the parties..... Again, not an offishul BSA position (make 'em a shoulder patch?) this needs to be a real extrovert, a Pearl Mesta, but remember the Cub Mantra: KiS MiF, KiS MiF,

"Keep it Simple, Make it Fun"

Good Scouting to you!

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True, council doesn't have say over your rules..... BUT.... they have a set of rules they use for the council race. In my neck of the woods, the district race also uses those rules...... so to fit in, so do we. Actually, the council rules are written more like a guideline to how to make rules..... but everyone just points to them as "The Rules"


For us, we look for a parent volunteer form the WEBELOS 1 den every year to chair the derby.

That person pulls together a team, or can do it all themselves if they want

coordinates buying the trophies

coordinates set up and decorations

we have a cash sale of food, something like pizza and drinks, so the chair will coordinate that

he'll line up an MC, or just do it himself

and someone to run the timing software

car runners & track operation


we don't have pack level workshops, but sometimes the DL's will have one. think it's a good idea and might help to encourage boy participation and help to reduce the store bought ready made kits that I think should be completely outlawed...... when I see one,. i'll ask boy or dad, did you make that? answer is always the same..... "Yes"

Scouts Honor and Do Your Best!


Sometimes I agree with Sidney Porter. The grey line between dad made and boy made is to fuzzy, and to be competitive at the district ad council levels is way out of reach for most all the boys.

I think it's good to help your boy engineer a winner and to do your best together as a team, so I'm always torn....... sometimes I think it would be better if all cars were made by the boys at a workshop or two in a group setting with limited hand tools..... so that it's an even playing filed.

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I ran the derby for 3 years with our Pack. I developed these rules over the years, and they worked great for the last derby I ran. These rules are consistent with the rules in the box and with our Council-wide PWD rules.



PACK ___

Dated: _____


NOTE TO PARENTS: It is important to let your Scout know that there will be winners and losers in this event and prepare him accordingly. Every participant will receive a medal, but you can use this as an opportunity to stress some of the goals of scouting:


• Sportsmanship and good citizenship - Follow the derby rules, cheer on the others, and be a gracious winner and loser.


• Personal achievement – The scout has learned woodworking skills and turned a block of wood into a race car. He has followed the Cub Scout Motto – Do Your Best!


• Family time – The scout has worked closely with his mom, dad, or other adult partner to learn about woodworking and to construct the car.


Parent Involvement – The pack recognizes that adults will be involved in helping their scout construct the car and that there is a lot of variation in the abilities of the individual scouts and adults. The only requirement we have with regards to the level of parent involvement is that the Cub Scout learn to work with his mom, dad, or other adult and that the effort be one of the Cub Scout doing his best.


Rules for Construction of Cars:


In order to race in the competition, the car must adhere to the following rules. If you have any questions about the rules, contact _____.


• Only one car per entrant.

• No cars, wheels, or axles used in previous years’ races may be used.

• Cars must be built from the official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit supplied by the pack. The main body must be made of wood, but other materials may be added to embellish the car.

• Wheels must be “BSA Pinewood Derby†(included in kit). Wheels may only be cleaned up slightly to remove casting marks and square tread surface. Any attempt to remove material or tread or alter shape of the wheels, will result in disqualification. You must have all four wheels attached to the side of the car.

• Only official Cub Scout axles may be used (included in kit). Removing burs and polishing is allowed.

• Pre-cut kits are prohibited. The pre-cut wedge kit is not allowed either.

• Width shall not exceed 2-3/4 inches.

• Length shall not exceed 7 inches.

• Total weight of car shall not exceed 5 ounces. Weights attached to car must be firmly affixed and are not allowed to shift.

• The car must fit on the track. (The car will straddle a center guide rail that is 1 5/8†wide and 1/4†high, so make sure you have enough clearance.)

• Wheel bearings, washers on the wheels, and bushings are prohibited.

• Only dry lubricant (graphite or silicone) can be used. Liquid lubricant not allowed.

• The car shall not ride on any kind of spring.

• No double-stick tape allowed.

• The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting or propelling devices.

• Cars must be labeled with entrant’s first and last name on the bottom.

• If the front of the car is not completely obvious, then the front must be clearly marked on the top of the car, to ensure it is loaded onto the track facing the correct direction.


WEIGHTS: Any weights you attach to the bottom of your car run the risk of dragging on the center rail. It is recommended that you countersink weights that are attached to the bottom of the car. Why use weights? Your block of car starts at 5 ounces. When you carve out the design of the body, you are taking weight off the car. Adding weights back on gets it back up to the maximum of 5 ounces and helps the car go faster. You can buy pinewood derby weights at the Scout Store or at Michaels, or you can use washers, coins, fishing weights or whatever. Any kind of weights are allowed, and they can be attached anywhere on the car provided that the dimensions and weight of the car stay within the maximum allowed.


Decals and embellishments are allowed and encouraged. Although the winners are based on speed, it is fun to see the different designs and creative ideas the scouts come up with.


There are a lot of resources available on the internet for how to design and build cars, and tips for increasing speed. A good place to start is on the official Pinewood Derby website: www.pinewoodderby.org


Race Day Rules:


All cars must pass inspection to qualify for the race. Modifications may be made to the car at the designated repair station prior to official check-in.


The scale at the event is considered the official scale, and all cars must comply with the weight limit according to the official scale.


[fill in info here regarding what your race format will be, such as double-elimination, fastest car if you have a timing system, etc.]


All decisions of the judges are final.

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