Kyle Pitts, Wolf Scout, sands his pinewood derby car last year. Courtesy Jill Wagner.

When the weather turns cold, Forest Park Cub Scout activities go inside. January is race time for the boys from Forest Park Cub Scout Pack 109 as they proudly present their homemade vehicles at the Pinewood Derby.

The race takes place Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Howard Mohr Community Center, 7640 Jackson Blvd. Fitted with regulation Boy Scout (BSA) wheels and axels, the handmade cars are created from a 5-ounce block of pine, seven inches long. Built with a little adult help, the cars are carved, sanded, painted and stickered by Cub Scouts ages 6 and up.

The weigh-in will take place at 10 a.m. With a pace car submitted by the Forest Park Kiwanis Club, the boys handmade cars will be shot down a 32-foot wooden track with a 30-degree slope.

Prizes will be awarded for the three fastest cars, said Pack Leader and mom Jill Wagner, but here will be some other prizes too.

“The scouts will vote for their choice of Funniest Car, Best Craftsmanship, Coolest Design, Kid’s Choice and Most Scout Pride,” Wagner said.

This year, a “best fuel economy” category was added, Wagner said. As gravity and inertia pull the cars down the track, overcoming air drag and friction are common challenges for the hotrods. A streamlined design can help, but sometimes speed must be sacrificed for creative vision.

Last year, Scouts designed cars shaped, “from the Batmobile to a platypus,” Wagner said.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...