On 26th October this year we plan to hold our Annual General Meeting. We always invite all parents along but last year we managed to get only one person along. I know they can be a bit boring, so this year we are going to spice things up by running our first ever Pinewood Derby.

If you don’t know what a pinewood derby is then don’t worry. We didn’t until about 6 months ago when we found a YouTube video. Go and search for it to see what is in store. For those who are too excited to go and do that I will explain: Pinewood Derby is a racing competition where you get to build your own car in the weeks running up to the competition. The cars are gravity driven and they run down our custom made ramp and race track to see which is fastest. Every car entered will get more than one race in the heats. Those who win the final will win a trophy!

There are a few rules you need to know about and they are detailed in a much longer document that you will need to support your young person with so that the competition is fair. In summary, you have to use the kit we provide as the basis of your car. It will include wood for the body, some axles (nails!) and wheels. Beyond that you can customise your car to make it look and perform how you like, as long as it fits within certain dimensions and is below the maximum weight limit. We do want the completion to be fair!

Although it’s not mandatory, all of our young people are invited to attend but there are currently only 25 kits available, so we will sell them on a first-come-first served basis. We may be able to make some more kits up if we get a lot of orders, but we have had to balance buying in wood and parts with the likelihood of selling them all.

Adults, I know what you are thinking, and I am thinking it too; I want to have a go. Well you can. We have a further 25 kits available for adults to take part. The wood in these kits is a bit more dense so it is harder to work with and heavier. We can’t let these kits race against the young people, so you get your own category.

All you need to do to compete is:

  1. Buy your kits at our online store: https://1st-barton-scouts.sumupstore.com – make sure you select the right variant for a youth member or an adult. They are all £6.
  2. We will hand them out ASAP at Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers
  3. Build your car
  4. Turn up on the night at 6pm to race it
  5. Become the first ever Barton Pinewood Derby Champion

For those who love reading rules, you can do so here: