Cub Car Culture


Photos and text by Marilynn Young

Members of Pack 38 and family celebrate the outcome of a race.

Wolfs, Bears and Webelos in Laguna Beach Cub Scouts Pack 38 transformed rough blocks of wood by shaving, painting and precisely adding spinning tiny wheels to create aerodynamic machines.

Their inaugural race, the annual Pinewood Derby, was held held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Park Avenue last month.

With cars named Flaming Skull, The Ming Mobile,  Downhill Jet and Silver Bullet, they raced 18 times for the coveted title of overall winner. Webelo Emerson Gallard, 10, emerged holding the winning trophy with the most wins, taking first place in all 18 races with his racer Mach 5. It was his third year racing and his best finish.

Derby racing started with the Scouts in 1953. The contest is meant to foster sportsmanship, good citizenship and personal achievement while having fun.

Cub Scout Leader Craig Fish prepares the cars for the start of the race.

Pack 38 committee chair Shirlyn Kesler said, “As long as it goes down the track, they are a winning participant and that’s why I made sure every boy got an award.


Isaac Carter added a Lego driver to his car, the Red Baron.


Ten-year-old Emerson Gallard’s “Mach 5” won all 18 heats in the pinewood derby race.
(from left to right) , Ben Keller, 9, Cal Nielson, 10, Emerson Gallard, 10, Beck Kessler, 10, Ming Yen, 9, Drake Fish, 10, Isaac Carter, 8, Sasha DeMilly, 8, and Geste Bianchi, 10.
Chad Carter uses the post office scale to weigh his son's Pinewood Derby entry to ensure it stays under the 5 oz. limit. Isaac Carter’s car was the Red Baron.
Geste Bianchi, 10, center, cheers the results of his “Car 49” along with Beck Kessler, left, and Ming Yen, right.
Cub Scout Leader Craig Fish releases the cars.


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