Cub Scouts hit top speeds at 15th annual Pinewood Derby

More than 45 Cub Scouts and their families from Pack 317 got their pit passes ready and tuned up their cars for the 15th Annual Pinewood Derby at the St. Charles United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in Destrehan.

A Cub Scout tradition since the concept was created in 1953 by Cubmaster Don Murphy in Manhattan Beach, Calif., the derby’s namesake comes from the basic pine block kits used to create cars for the races. The pack provides each Cub Scout with an official derby car kit with a three-ounce block of pine, plastic wheels and nails that serve as axles. Scouts and their parents then work together to strategically cut, sand, paint and add weight to their cars in order to maximize speed through gravity. To compete, cars must weigh exactly five ounces and not exceed width of the tracks. The goal of the derby is to encourage Cub Scouts and their families to learn and exhibit skills in woodworking, engineering, creativity and sportsmanship.

At the Scout Super Speedway, which included six sleek aluminum downhill track lanes with electronic time chips calculating winners of each heat. Car designs included LSU, a gum ball machine, a hot dog and even Target, the big box store. Scout parents also raced their own cars. Webelos Arrow of Light Den Leader Scott Maronge, the undefeated champion of the parent category for the last several years, once again took the title with his car aptly named, “First Place.” When asked the secret to making a champion derby car, Maronge advised, “Besides weight, I find that smoothing and polishing axles and wheel hubs give the best results.”

Cub Scouts served their civic duty by voting for their favorites in the creative categories. Creative category winners included Ryan Comeaux for Best Paint Job, Kable Bynum for Fastest Looking and Most Unusual Shape, and James Domangue for Most Patriotic. Siblings also took creative accolades with Funniest Car went to Miles Delcambre, Best Sports Theme went to Brock Millet, and Most Artistic went to Oliver Henry.

First-place winners included Kameron Fonte, Kable Bynum, Lucas Wagner, Cain Bynum, Ryan Krebs, Landon Lawrence, Joe Fonte and Scott Maronge Jr.; second-place winners included Finn LeBlanc, Cole Armstrong, Christian Galle, Andrew Culver, James Domangue, Scott Maronge III, Evan Delcambre and Melissa LeBeouf; third-place winners included Collin Stewart, Vince LeBlanc, Jr., Benjamin Benoit, Julian Guidry, Miles Delcambre, Wesley Domangue and Andie Savoie. Winners from these categories advance to the River Parish District Pinewood Derby.

Cub Scout Pack 317 is sponsored by St. Charles United Methodist Church in Destrehan and welcomes both boys and girls from kindergarten through fifth grade who live or go to school on the east bank of St. Charles Parish. The pack is comprised of smaller dens for each age group of Cubs—Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. An Arrow of Light Scout has earned the highest rank among Cub Scouts and will move on to Boy Scouts in February. For more information about the Pack 317, visit http://destrehanpack317.scoutlander.com or facebook.com/destrehanpack317.

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