Derby teaches life skills

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 26, 2007

CONWAY – There were moments in the basement of Zion United Methodist Church that one might have thought Cub Scout Pack 834 was an actual pack of tigers, wolves and bears.

As shouts reverberated off the wall, Cub Master Joe Turner had to use the Cub Scout sign to quiet scouts, den leaders and parents alike.

Right arm extended in the air with his index and middle fingers upright in a “V” shape, the signal symbolizes the ears of a wolf and also “obey.”

Turner empathized with the crowd’s excitement because everyone loves a good race, even if the cars are made out of wood, can only weight few ounces and adorned with designs like Sponge Bob, flames or smiley faces.

“I think there’s a bigger reaction from the parents,” said Turner, who has been involved with Cub Scouts for 17 years. “They (the scouts) have a good time…I enjoy watching them.”

It was Pinewood Derby time for the Pack, an annual happening where the scouts build their own car and race them on a wooden regulation track.

The derby is designed to teach Cub Scouts craft skills, rules of fair play and sportsmanship.

Any of the scouts can go to the district wide Pinewood Derby, which will be held in Rocky Mount on April 14, to race their car.

Tuner said last year the Pack earned third place.

The event was split into 10 races where scouts competed against each other two at a time, first competing against each other in two races within their respective dens, and then the scouts who came in second and first place in the dens squared off in the grand races.

The Tigers were up first where Joshua Duncan edged out both Colin Vaughan and Will Matthews to take first.

Next the Wolves vied against each other where Jeffery Flythe and his red with orange flames car beat out his den mates for first.

Nathan Rowe captured first place in the Bears and Daquan Robinson took top honors within the Webelos.

Alex Hasty, 9, who came in third, said he still liked watching the races even though it was his fourth race he competed in.

“It was great,” he said about the races. “You get to see cars go fast.”

He built his red spider patterned car with his grandfather, Kenny Smith, in Smith’s woodshop.

In the grand races the Wolves nearly took the whole race with wins from Flythe and Ethan Burgess, who took one-two. The Bears’ Nathan Rowe came in third with his Matt Kennseth look-a-like number 17.

“I didn’t know I was going to win,” said Flythe, 7, whose father helped him build his winning car. “I’m going to put (the trophy) in my room on my shelf where all my other trophies are.”

Den mate Burgess, 7, said he was happy with both of his second place finishes.

“Now I have a second place trophy,” he said. “I’ve already got a first and third place.”

Rowe, 8, who had help from his dad, Pat, worked two weeks on his car.

“I think I did great,” he said.

The siblings and parents of scouts got a chance to have their fun in their own race held after the original competition, where they competed against each other with their own cars.

Turner also built his own car to race, but wasn’t quite sure about how well he would do.

“The more I (race) mine, the slower it gets,” he laughed.

Race winners:

Tigers: Will Matthews (3rd), Colin Vaughan (2nd) and Joshua Duncan (1st)

Wolves: Josh Byrd (3rd), Ethan Burgess (2nd) and Jeffery Flythe (1st)

Bears: Cody Wells (3rd), Will Martin (2nd) and Nathan Rowe (1st)

Webelos: Alex Hasty (3rd), Travis Warren (2nd) and Daquan Robinson (1st)

Overall: Nathan Rowe (3rd), Ethan Burgess (2nd) and Jeffery Flythe (1st)