Cub Scouts competition is a legacy of love
Published 8:51 am Monday, April 1, 2013
By ANDREW FAISON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
EMPORIA—Carving, chipping and sanding a rectangular block of wood, making it into a race car of their own to compete with in Pinewood Derby racing, is one of the most exciting parts of a Cub Scout’s year.
“It is also about the quality time the scouts spend with parents to construct the cars and have fun doing it,” said Pack 17 Cub Master Kent Stephenson.
Sixty three competitors from eight different packs competed in the 2013 Siouan Rivers District Pinewood Derby, held March 23 at the Greensville Ruritan Club. The Derby showed just how competitive the sport is, with the top two finishers being separated by less than four-hundredths of a second.
“It was a good afternoon, with the biggest turnout we have ever had,” Stephenson said.
Stephenson bought the 42 foot-long aluminum speedway, an electronic starting gate and finish line, so the times of each car in every race could be monitored and recorded by a computerized scoring system displayed on a projector screen. He does this during all the local Pinewood Derby events as a way to honor his son Carter Stephenson, who lost his life at a young age.
“Carter loved Pinewood Derby,” Stephenson said. “He enjoyed making the cars even when he moved on to Boy Scouts, he still came back to help with races. After he passed I said I was going to buy a track myself and make it available to any pack that wants to use it.”
Stephenson has transported the track to be used seven times this Pinewood Derby season, from January to March, and as many as 11 times in a year since it was purchased in Jan. 2007.
“I look at it this way — it is not work if you love doing it, and I love doing this,” he said.
Also, during select races Kent Stephenson and his wife Jennifer present the “Carter Stephenson Memorial Do Your Best Award,” given to the Scout who exhibited good sportsmanship and stays active and engaged during the derby in spite of his car not performing well.
“The Scout motto is ‘Do your best’ and Pinewood Derby is not about winning; it’s about having fun and the camaraderie of the day and that is what my wife and I want to award,” Stephenson said.