By Wayne Towner
Special to the Times
VIENNA, W.Va. - Hundreds of area Cub Scouts will gather to compete and, more importantly, have fun during the annual Pinewood Derby races held each February at the Grand Central Mall.
The 39th annual Davis Anderson Memorial Cub Scout Pinewood Derby - Allohak Council Championships will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the mall. Council finals will begin at 6 p.m. in the Center Court area.
Cub Scouts from all over the Allohak Council will compete, racing cars of their own design and craftsmanship, with 600 youth racing on five tracks around the mall.
At noon on Saturday, the Scouts will be hosting the Mayors and Area Dignitaries/Celebrities Race at the Center Court track. All mayors and area dignitaries/celebrities are welcome to compete, with registration at 11:45 a.m.
The model cars are made of wood to specified dimensions, created, carved, assembled and decorated by Cub Scouts under the guidance of their parents or helpers. Pinewood Derby racing requires participants to learn the crafts necessary to make the individuals cars, the rules that must be followed in the car making, the racing process and sportsmanship, which has to do with how the Scout acts while participating in the derby.
Organizers said the event is not just about winning, but also about how to be a good winner and loser and, more importantly, about having fun. The purpose of the derby is to help Cub Scouts build a team relationship with their parent or helper, experience the sense of accomplishment, learn new skills and sportsmanship and experience the excitement of competition.
All Scouts are required to build a new car each year. On race day, the cars will be weighed, measured and inspected to confirm that the race rules have been followed.
"The idea for the race is to give the boys an opportunity to experience good friendly competition and track good sportsmanship. Boys will come away from here with a sense of satisfaction that 'I may not have won, but I had a good time participating,'" said Kathy Anderson Wise, Pinewood Derby chairwoman.
While the first local Pinewood Derby was held in 1972, the derby has been an annual event at the Grand Central Mall since 1974. Wise credits the mall, its merchants and other area businesses for their cooperation and support as several hundred Scouts and their family members spend the day at the facility.
The derby kicks off Scout Anniversary Week as Scouts from the area and across the state celebrate the Boy Scouts of America's 101st anniversary. The Allohak Council has more than 5,000 youth participating in Scouting on an annual basis.
The Allohak Council serves 17 counties in West Virginia and Ohio, including Ritchie, Wood, Pleasants, Calhoun, Jackson, Roane, Wirt, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Barbour, Randolph, Tucker and Upshur counties in West Virginia and Washington and Athens counties in Ohio.
On the Web