Cub Scouts Pack 75 were determined to hold their Pinewood Derby this year, despite coronavirus. The event is an annual highlight, so the Scouts raced 18 cars virtually in the driveway of the pack’s committee chair, former Cubmaster Jared Mittleman.
Each race was livestreamed on Zoom, with Cub Scouts across Weston eagerly watching the action on computer screens at home.
“Even though we couldn’t see the races in person, they were just as exciting,” said Cubmaster Monica Goldstein. “We used double cameras at the beginning and end of the track so the Cubs could see the action at home with real-time leaderboards flashing up on the Zoom screens with commentary by volunteers at the site.”
The winner of the event was Chase Coursen of the Bear den, third grade, whose Zelda-themed car completed the 32-foot course (plus landing zone) with an average time of 3.1855 seconds after four heats.
Wesley Melkonian came in second with an average time of 3.4257, and Micah Goldstein was third.
Scout siblings were also invited to join in. The winner was Chase’s sister Sloane Coursen, a kindergartener whose car recorded the second-fastest overall time of the event. Second place went to Kate Melkonian and third to Adeline Plant.
Wood, nails, wheels
Participants were given a kit containing a wooden block, four nails and four wheels. Their challenge was to fashion a vehicle that was both fast and looked good but wasn’t too heavy or too light. Some Scouts taped coins or glued weights to their cars to make them go faster. Others decorated them to look like crayons, animals, and cartoon characters.
“I was so impressed with how we all adapted to a socially-distant Pinewood Derby,” said Ms. Goldstein. “We didn’t let the loss of the usual fanfare get in the way. Our kids made fantastic, creative cars and we all had a blast watching them race.”
Ms. Goldstein gave “a special thank-you and shout-out” to Pinewood Derby volunteers Steve Coursen, Dorian Melkonian, John Wallace, Jeff Goldstein, and Christina Mattinson.
She gave “an extra big thank you to Marcus and Jared Mittleman for letting us use your driveway and all that computer equipment.”
About Cub Scouts Pack 75
Weston Cub Scouts Pack 75 welcomes boys and girls from kindergarten to fifth grade. Meetings are held about twice a month with larger activities such as overnight campfires for the whole family and smaller meetings focused on earning badges specific to each school grade with topics including hiking, nature, science, citizenship, first aid and sports.
For more information about the pack, contact Cubmaster Monica Goldstein at (203) 395-0431.
Full Pinewood Derby results
1st Place: Chase Coursen
2nd Place: Wesley Melkonian
3rd Place: Micah Goldstein
4th Place: Ethan Villepigue
1st Place: Sloane Coursen
2nd Place: Kate Melkonian
3rd Place: Adeline Plant
1st Place: Chase Coursen
2nd Place: Sloane Coursen
3rd Place: Kate Melkonian
4th Place: Wesley Melkonian
In the photo above, from left to right: Adeline and Barnaby Plant of Troop 75 with their Pinewood Derby cars, and their father, Jon Plant, Wolf Den leader.