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Cub Scouts race their handmade creations

By Bianca Montes
Feb. 15, 2014 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 15, 2014 at 8:16 p.m.

Zakariah De La Rosa, 10, of Victoria, shows off his bullet-inspired race car for the 2014 Pinewood Derby. Zakariah made the car after being inspired by a similar design online, he said.

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For more information about Crossroads Boy and Cub Scouts meetings, visit the Victoria Guide youth activities website.

After making a plain, standard race car last year for the Pinewood Derby, 10-year-old Zakariah De La Rosa wanted to step outside the box.

This year, with the help of his dad and uncle, he shaped a solid piece of pinewood into a metallic gold bullet.

Area Cub Scouts raced their cars down a racetrack Saturday at the Victoria Mall.

The Pinewood Derby, which is part of Boy Scouts of America, is designed to teach Cub Scouts, who are in first through fifth grades, how to make something with their bare hands, said Troop 104 Scoutmaster Scott Cook.

The derby began in 1953, according to its website.

"It gives the kids a chance to create something out of a block of wood," Cook said. "And to have fun."

Each scout is given a box that contains wood, nails and tires. It's then up to the scout to create whatever he likes - as long as it meets Boy Scout standards.

On a table by the stage, several hand-painted race cars were lined up, and creativity ran wild in cars shaped like footballs, bombs and bullets. Some cars were painted similar to conventional race cars while others were designed to look like the Batmobile. There was even a crayon box-shaped race car.

In his second year, Zakariah said he's already learned a lot about what works when it comes to building the fastest car: Put a plastic film on the wheels and weights in the back of the car, he said.

The bullet-shaped car was a lot harder to create than the standard model he made last year, he said, but once he saw a similar car online, he had to make it.

"I honestly hope I can win at least third place," he said. "If I can do that, then I know I did a good job."

As for next year, he said it's too early to reveal what he might make. For now, he is building a clubhouse in his backyard.

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