Nearly 100 New Albany-area boys had the opportunity to experience the fruits of their labor Jan. 23.

Nearly 100 New Albany-area boys had the opportunity to experience the fruits of their labor Jan. 23.

The Cub Scouts of Pack 150 gathered at the New Albany United Methodist Church for their annual pinewood derby competition. The nearly vertical racetrack was set up in the church's sanctuary, and the boys and their family members gathered around the end of the track to watch their handmade wooden cars plummet to the bottom.

The triple-elimination derby was divided into two races, the first with the Tigers and the Wolves (first- and second-graders) and the second with the Bears and Webelos (grades 3-5). Each Scout is given a block of soft pine, wheels and metal for the wheel axels and is sent off to build a car he thinks could win the race.

The boys and their parents have to decide the shape of the car, how much weight to add and, of course, what color or colors to paint the car.

The derby teaches the first- through fifth-grade boys many lessons, said Jeff Cotrill, committee chairman for Pack 150.

"They get to learn more about tools," he said. "Some of the boys get to learn a little bit about sportsmanship. For some, it's the first time losing anything."

He said the derby also gives boys a chance to work with their fathers.

"The fathers and sons get to spend a little bit of time together," Cotrill said.

He said each Scout who participates in the derby receives a trophy, and other awards are handed out for such things as best crash and for being the first one out of the competition.

Third-grader Derek Long, 9, finished sixth last year in the first- and second-grade race. He has been working with his dad, Jeff, for about two weeks on his car, which was painted red and black.

"I just like it," he said. "My goal is to be in the top 10."

Jeff Long, a den leader for Pack 150, said the pinewood derby gives the boys a chance to do something different.

"It's fun to see their creativity," Long said.

Fifth-grader Parker Lehmann, 10, who is about to transition out of Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts, said he also placed sixth last year in the older boys' race. This year, he received an award for best crash.

Lehmann said he and his father designed his black and yellow car to roll on three of the four wheels.

"One won't touch the ground, so it will go faster," he said.

For him, it was all about the enjoyment.

"My favorite part is having fun," Lehmann said.

Winners