Greenwich Cub Scouts race at annual Pinewood Derby

Jessica Reid Cub Scouts from all over town participated in the Pinewood Derby, getting an up-close view of the action on the tracks set up inside police headquarters.

Cub Scouts from all over town participated in the Pinewood Derby, getting an up-close view of the action on the tracks set up inside police headquarters.        —Jessica Reid

Greenwich Scouts went to the races recently but it wasn’t quite NASCAR. Rather, it was the annual Pinewood Derby.

The race, which took place March 9 at Greenwich Police Headquarters, was open to Cub Scouts in the first through the fifth grades and had them taking part with homemade derby cars as they tried to see who had the fastest and coolest car. The small cars were raced on a track inside the police station. The Greenwich Council of the Boy Scouts of America said this tradition teaches skills in design, construction and sportsmanship to the kids.

The big winner was Declan Garrett, of Old Greenwich Pack 3. He was declared the Cub Scout Champ after building and racing the fastest car with a calculated speed of 187.6 MPH (take that Dale Earnhardt Jr.). He won after two months of work to turn a block of pine into a detailed and decorated car which had to be designed and built under strict specifications. Each Pack competed internally and the top three finishers then went on to the town championship.

“Pinewood Derby races are a highlight of the year for Cub Scouts and the competition also happens to teach life lessons, sportsmanship and strengthen bonds with parents who help them construct the cars,” Scouts spokesman Jessica Reid said in a press release.

Honors also went to Ethan Miklautsch of Pack 23 in third place and Carter Simko of Pack 10 in second place. Declan’s car won the top honors after he tied for third place last year.

But it wasn’t just speed that was honored. The Best in Show competition for the coolest looking pinewood derby cars included winners  Milan Baratta, in third place, who designed a car that looked like a minion from the Despicable Me movies. Second place to David Levine, who designed a car in honor of the AFC Champion Denver Broncos. And first place in design went to David Zelenz, who attached flashing blue lights to his car and took home the honors of “coolest car.”

“Adventure, leadership, service and learning, especially in the outdoors, have remained essential to the Greenwich Scouting experience since its inception in 1912,” Ms. Reid said. “Nearly 2,600 local youth participate in fun programs, such as the Pinewood Derby Championship, run by 350 dedicated volunteers, all of which help prepare local boys and girls for life.”

For more information about local scouting visit GreenwichScouting.org.

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