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Down and Derby – are you ready?

January 16, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Michelle Janzen


No, this is not about the 2005 movie of the same title staring Greg Germann and Lauren Holly; however it does follow a similar story line.

The Shelburne Scouts Parent Group are proud to present the 2nd Annual Down and Derby being held at the Shelburne Legion on Saturday, January 21, as a fundraising initiative.

“Last year we had 80 entries and were amazed at the support we received,” says Event organizer Courtney Halkett.

With Scouts Canada having more than 100,000 members nationwide, their programs give children opportunities to go on fun adventures discovering new things and experiences they wouldn’t discover elsewhere, while earning merit badges along the way, helping to develop today’s youth into capable, confident and well-rounded individuals that are better prepared for success in the world.

This kind of derby, a racing event, is typically for Cub Scouts in the Boy Scouts. Cub Scouts purchase a Kub Kar kit and with the help of parents, build their own cars from wood from the kit, which contains a block of pine, plastic wheels, and metal axles.

In the United States, this is known as a Pinewood derby.

This event will be more like the movie where the adults take over the build and end up racing the cars instead of the children.

The first Pinewood Derby was held on May 15, 1953 in Manhattan Beach, California and was created by Cubmaster Don Murphy, whose son was too young to participate in the popular Soap Box Derby races. That is when he came up with the idea of racing miniature wood cars.

The cars had the same gravity-powered concept as the full-size Soap Box Derby cars, but were much smaller and easier to build.

Over the years, the Kub Kar kit has seen changes to the pieces provided in order to improve the speed these cars can go.

Each car must be made to basic design rules then participants are able to carve and decorate them however they like. Sometimes modifications are allowed and are aimed at maximizing the potential energy in the car design and minimizing the air drag and the friction, making them as fast as possible.

Some cars have been known to reach a speed of nearly 20 mph, and if a derby car and track was enlarged to the size of a real automobile, the car would be speeding at more than 200 mph! Wow!

The race is run on a track that usually consists of two to six lanes and slopes down to the ground, since they are powered from gravity. The track being used at this year’s Down and Derby has been graciously loaned the Shelburne by the 1st Fleshterton.

“Last year’s Down and Derby helped us raise just over $5,000 that bought us a trailer to help while going on our adventures!” says Courtney. “This year we’re looking to try and raise the same to update our equipment, some which is over 20 years old, or gifted to us by other groups.”

The cost of this event is $45 per couple or $25 for a single and includes 1 Kar Kit, dinner, a silent auction, door prizes, DJ, live band and more.

Registration of Kars will be from 12 noon  until 5pm in the back hall of the Shelburne Legion.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please contact Courtney at or 519-278-0333.



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