Pack 20's Pinewood Derby Info & FAQs

Race Day
The 2017 Pinewood Derby will be held Saturday, January 21st at Madeira Silverwood Presbyterian Church starting at 9 AM.

"Be Fast... or Look Good Trying"

The pinewood derby is one of the most popular 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. Every Scout can design and build his own "grand prix" car to enter in the race.

Derby Workshops

There will be several opportunities to mold and shape the block of pinewood into a mean lean well-decorated racing machine.

Workshops will be held Saturday, January 7th and 14th. Come to one or both workshops at any time between 10AM and 2 PM. Parents and volunteers will assist Scouts in creating cars and all the tool needed will be on hand.
Decorating the cars are up to the imagination of the Scouts and is done at home. (Parents are encouraged to assist the child but they should let the child do most of the work.)

Equal Ground

All entries in the derby will start with the "Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit" which includes the body, 4 axles, and 4 wheels.  All nine pieces MUST be used before the car can race. All active Scouts will receive a kit from their Den leader. Finished cars may not exceed 5 ounces in weight and must conform to certain size restrictions and specifications.We'll hold a weigh-in for PWD cars at the Pack meeting on Tuesday, January 17th.  

How much does it cost?
The car kit is covered by your dues paid to Pack 20. For participants outside of Pack 20, it's $5 per car kit.

Can siblings or parents participate?
Yes, please pay $5 for each additional car kit you would like to order. There will be a OPEN race after each rank of scouts. Siblings and parents and scouts of different ranks can race for fun during this time.

What are the rules for how to shape the car?
Read the instructions provided in the kit.  Our pack follow those rules.

How much time will my son need to build his car?
Depending on the complexity of the design, each car will take a different amount of time. For a basic design, plan on spending 2-3 hours assembling and fine tuning the car. This time estimate is assuming you are assisting your child and not building it for them.

I am a first time participant, how do I get started?
You should come to one of our workshops. (See dates above and on the Pack calendar.) At our workshops, several experienced Pinewood Derby veterans will be available to answer your questions and offer their experiences as lessons-learned.

I don't have any tools, how can I make the car?
You should come to one of our workshops.
(See dates above and on the Pack calendar.)  We have several power tools that parents share and you can work with your child to create their car.

How do you teach the scouts to operate the power tools at the workshop?
We don't allow Scouts to operate the power tools. Adults are the only ones allowed at the power tools. Adult volunteers are available to show other adults what to do. 

We can't make any of the workshops, how do I build my car?
You are welcome to build your car at home. We distribute the cars prior to the holidays to give you extra time to make it fit your schedule. Most Packs do not offer a workshop option. 

Does my car have to weigh 5.0oz?
It is highly recommended that you help your car reach the maximum weight, but no it is not required. All other variables being equal, heavier cars travel down the ramp faster.

Can I add an engine to my car?

How does inspection and turn-in day work?
You car will be weighed and measured to fit within our inspection box. It must have enough clearance to roll freely down our track and start completely behind the line. We have a single pin that holds the car in place. No special car shapes allowed to give your car an advantage at the start.

Important Dates

PWD Workshops

Saturday, January 7, 10AM-2PM
Saturday, January 14,

PWD Weigh-In

Tuesday, January 17,


Saturday, January 21st


9:00 - 9:40          Bears
9:45 - 10:20        Webelos II
10:30 - 11:05      Webelos I
11:10 - 11:45      Wolves
11:45 - 12:30      Siblings / Parents / Friends race

(volunteers lunch)

12:30 - 1:10       Tigers
1:15 - 1:45         Girl Scouts (Venus Moose's troop)
1:45 - 2:00         Girl Scouts (Carolyn Brewer's troop)

2:00                     Pack Finals & Madeira Grand Championships!