Racing in a Cub Scout derby is great fun. You’ll get to design your racing vehicle, work with a parent to build it, and see it perform on race day. Win or lose, you’ll take pride in having done your best. When you race in a Cub Scout derby, you learn craft skills, the rules of fair play, and good sportsmanship—things you will remember all your life.
Types of Derbies
The main types of derbies are the pinewood derby, raingutter regatta, space derby, and Cubmobile derby.
The pinewood derby is one of the most popular and successful family activities in Cub Scouting. Pinewood derby cars are small wooden models that Cub Scouts make with help from their families. Then they race the cars in competition. The cars are powered by gravity and run down a track. Most packs have a pinewood derby every year. It can be run indoors or outdoors. Every boy can design and build his own “grand prix” car to enter in the race.
In the raingutter regatta, boats race down a narrow channel. There are two versions. The wind-powered version uses sailboat designs, and the boats are blown down the channel. The propeller-powered version uses motorboats driven by propeller.
Another popular family-son project is the space derby. It’s like the pinewood derby except the models are miniature rockets. The rockets “fly” along a heavy line that hangs in the air. They’re driven by propellers powered by rubber bands.
Each den works together to build a “Cubmobile,” a pint-sized racing vehicle. Each den has one racer, and each Cub Scout in the den races in the car once. Usually, a ramp helps start the cars, and they roll downhill to the finish line. The race is held on a smooth street that slopes downhill.
Kits and supplies for the pinewood derby, raingutter regatta, and space derby are available from the national Supply Division. See their Web site at www.scoutstuff.org.
Competition and Prizes
Each family that competes in a Cub Scout derby follows a set of simple, easy rules. The winners get prizes, and every boy is recognized for taking part. Always remember that in Cub Scouting, it’s more important to “Do Your Best” than to come in first. The big thing about a derby isn’t the competition or the prizes. It’s the fun you and your family will have.
You can find more about derbies in the Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Guidebook No. 33721.