Tri-Village News

Scouts feel need for speed at derby

Car designs range from Angry Birds to rubber ducks at local race

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LORRIE CECIL/THISWEEKNEWS
Members of Cub Scout Pack 17 rubberneck as the cars zoom by during the pack's annual Pinewood Derby, held Saturday, Feb. 9, at Trinity United Methodist Church.
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It was derby day Saturday, Feb. 9, at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Cub Scout Pack 17, an Upper Arlington-based pack that meets at the church, held its annual Pinewood Derby competition that day.

More than 30 scouts participated in the event, racing their handmade wooden cars on an aluminum track set up in the church basement.

"This probably is one of our most popular events we hold each year," said Gregor Gilliom, who has coordinated the Pinewood Derby the past four years with his wife, Jamie.

"The Pinewood Derby is something the scouts always look forward to," he said. "It's always fun to see what creative ideas they come up with for their cars."

Each scout is given a kit containing a small block of soft pinewood, four nails and four wheels -- apart from aesthetic improvements, they're the only items scouts can use to make their cars.

"We see cars in the shape of everything from a space shuttle to the Angry Birds," Gilliom said. "Star Wars is also always popular. The scouts tend to come up with a design that reflects what they're interested in."

The first portion of Saturday's event featured preliminary races in which members of each of the pack's five dens competed, he said.

Each den is composed of youngsters in the same grade, Gilliom said.

Two representatives from each den participated in the final races and trophies were given to the top three finishers as well as for most creative and coolest car.

The 2013 winners are Jackson Weeks, first place; Elliot Atcheson, second place; and Griffin Gilliom, third place. Peter Longhitano won for most-creative car and Avery Voss received the coolest-car trophy.

Peter, 7, won for his design of rubber ducks sitting in a bathtub.

"I came up with that because I like taking baths with my rubber ducks," he said. "I have a whole collection of rubber ducks, maybe 10 or 12 of them. They make taking a bath a lot more fun."

Winning a trophy was a lot of fun as well, Peter said.

He said he was excited to hear his name called.

"This is the first trophy I've ever won," he said. "It's cool."

Sam Short, 6, didn't win a trophy for the racing, but he received a special award for selling $704 worth of popcorn for a pack fundraiser.

"I guess I'm just a good salesman," he said.

Sam designed his car in the shape of a wave, he said.

"I think waves look cool and I wanted my car to look cool," he said.

The derby was exciting, Sam said.

"I love how fast the cars go," he said.

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