Pinewood Derby

What is the Pinewood Derby (PWD)?

For those of you who are new to Cub Scouting this year, the Pinewood Derby is a signature Cub activity where scouts convert a wooden block into the car of their dreams. On race day everyone gathers for a fun day of racing competition.

Participating scouts will all receive a Pinewood Derby Patch. The top three fastest cars will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals. There will also be awards for the “Most Creative” cars built by Cub Scouts, based on the design, construction, finish and overall appearance of the cars.

2023 - Key Dates to Remember:

  • Wednesday, Jan 11th — Car kits will be distributed at Gardner Bullis Elementary during the pack meeting. If you are unable to make the pack meeting please let your Den leader or me know so that we can arrange an alternative pick up.

  • Saturday, Jan 21st — Build workshop at the Foster City Scout Shop (1150 Chess Dr, Foster City, CA 94404 Phone: (650) 358-0588). This is a drop-in drop-out event from 10am-2pm for all scouts. The Carpenter's Union will be here to cut out your cars, design stations for you to design your cars, and activity stations for the kids while waiting for their car to be cut.

  • Saturday, Feb 25th - Practice runs and tune up from 4pm to 6pm; at Gardner Bullis Elementary. All cars need to be registered by 6pm for Sundays races.

  • Sunday, Feb 26th - Race Day at Gardner Bullis Elementary. Race bracket scheduled to start at 11am; Finals at 2pm. Awards will be given for speed, and a variety of appearance/creativity categories. As always we need volunteers for prep and takedown so please stay on and help if you can.


How to get started:

  1. Derby car kit consists of a block of wood, 4 plastic wheels, and 4 nails to serve as axles. Your job is to build a fast car.

  2. Check the Official PWD rules.

  3. Building the car

    • Check out the resources below.

    • Brainstorm design ideas - draw it out and perfect your design.

    • Use the PWD template to trace the side and top view of your design. there are lots of ideas on YouTube and the web. Scouts have been very creative on their own, making rocket ships for their Lego characters, racing fruit salads, a pickup truck, etc.

    • Check the length and width of your car (Width shall not exceed 2-3/4 inches; Length shall not exceed 7 inches).

    • Cut the block of wood as needed and sand it down as needed.

    • Add weights, decals and other car accessories as needed (check out Amazon, Hobby Lobby, Hardware or the Boy Scout Store).

    • Paint your car and install the axles and wheels.

    • Check the weight of your car (Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces).

  4. Chooses a name for your car and add the assigned car number.

  5. Register your car with Pack 78 by the 6pm deadline.


PWD Resources: