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December Cubmaster Corner - No Pack Meeting, Pinewood Next Month!

posted Dec 11, 2018, 9:09 PM by Micah Weinberg
First, thank you so very much to Jesucita for organizing a super successful Toy Drive Skate that over 130 Scouts and Scouters attended!

As a reminder, Dens are meeting this month but there is no pack meeting this month since it would fall during the Winter Vacation.  Pack fun will resume next month with tons of Pinewood Derby activities.

Speaking of which ...


You should be receiving your Pinewood Derby cars at your den meeting this month.  The rules for our Pack Pinewood are at the end of this message.  Do not consult rules online, they vary by Pack.

Pinewood Schedule

All of these dates can be found at our Pack Website

Big Cuts Night - Former Pack 296 Cubmaster Eric Runge is now the industrial arts teacher at Montera and will be letting us use his shop at to be determined dates in early to mid January to make the major cuts for the car.  You do not have to wait until then.  You can make your cuts with a coping saw (old school style).  But this will be an option for you and you'll find out about the schedule from your den leaders over the holidays.

Impound - This will be held at the regular Pack Meeting date, January 30th from 6:30-9 at Sequoia Elementary.  This is where we will be checking and checking in your cars and having you make modifications there to make them legal if necessary/possible.  Bring your car in a shoebox because you'll be leaving it there after checking it in.  

THE BIG (PACK) RACE - The race this year is going to be on Saturday, February 2nd at Montera Middle School at 2pm.  This should give us more time to get through the races and it'll be easier for kids to stick around until the final races.  We'll have food and other fun activities.

THE BIG (DISTRICT) RACE March 19, 2019 in Kaiser’s personal airplane hangar at the Oakland airport.  Mark your calendars now. Formal invitation to follow closer to the date. No pinewood derby car should race just once! This race is Former Cubmasters of 296 are organizing this event. Anyone can participate (you don't have to win our race to race in this one.)

Pinewood Rules


For those of you who are new to Cub Scouts or those who want to learn more about how to build pinewood derby cars, I encourage you to search online via Google and YouTube with your scout.  There are many resources available - almost too many. Your scout will enjoy the research.  However, there are a number of techniques you may find online that are not legal for our race.  See below. Basically, they boil down to - use the kits we gave you and check before you do anything fancy.

1.    Official Class cars must be built new for this season and cannot have been raced in previous years

2.    Use an official BSA Pinewood Derby kit, not a Revell nor PineCar nor any other kit.

3.    Aftermarket wheels and axles are not accepted.

4.    Car must weigh no more than 5.0 ounces on the official scale weighed on all 4 wheels

5.    Width shall not exceed 2-1/4 inches

6.    Length shall not exceed 7 inches

7.    Car must have a wheelbase of between 4” and 4-1/2”.

8.    Wheel treads must NOT be modified in any way (no trimming or sanding).

9.    No professional lathe may be used on wheels or axles.

10.  Axles may not be modified nor bent (removing the burrs is okay).

11.  Only dry powder lubricant may be used.

12.  The front of the car may not be modified to shorten the length to the finish line.

13.  No loose materials of any kind are allowed in the car.

14.  No springs or starting devices are allowed.


If you have any questions, ask.  If your car does not pass muster at impound you can race in the "Outlaw" class but it won't be against the members of your den and you won't be eligible to move on to the finals.  Again, many of the techniques online will make your car illegal for our race, so be careful. But also have fun!  This is a great activity for akelas (you) and your Scouts.  You can spend one hour preparing your car or one hundred. Up to you!!