Derby can offer valuable lessons

Teamwork and dedication will take center stage this weekend at Center Court of the Fort Steuben Mall when Cub Scouts from throughout the Two Chiefs District participate in the annual Pinewood Derby.

Preliminary action will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. today when adult volunteers and Boy Scouts run a series of exhibition races to ensure the track is in perfect shape for Saturday’s main event. That’s when more than 170 Cub Scouts from all parts of our area, from New Manchester to Weirton, from Wintersville and Steubenville to Tiltonsville, from Cadiz to Wellsburg will gather at 9 a.m. to begin a day of pretty serious competition.

All of that racing is expected to last until about 4:30 p.m. or so, when the trophies will be awarded.

While some may look at the cars that competitors will enter as just blocks of wood that have been carved and painted, the competition is actually about so much more. The preparation of each car teaches lessons about aerodynamics and basic design.

Each entry, in fact, faces a rigorous set of technical inspections before being allowed on the track.

The designs and graphics on each car also say something about the personality of its creator.

Even more important, the event offers a true learning experience and presents an opportunity for children to engage in some quality time with an adult, and it teaches Cub Scouts skills they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.