FORT MILL TOWNSHIP — Nearly 100 Cub Scouts came to Pack 250s Pinewood Derby to race their stylish and fast box cars but the annual competition was more than just about crossing the finishing line first.
Getting there at all turned out to be a challenge in perseverance.
The Jan. 26 race at Grace Presbyterian Church, which has been held every year since the start of the pack in the late 1970s, is a big hit for the Cub Scouts in the 12 dens making up Pack 250. However, a winter storm that brought sleet and frigid temperatures to the area the night before threatened to put the brakes on the event.
That would have been a huge disappointment for the 97 kids and their parents who spent hours building their cars and getting ready to race.
To have a pack this big with this much involvement, the enthusiasm of all the scouts is what makes this event so much fun, said Chris Herron, one of the den leaders.
The race was not only postponed three hours due to the weather, but the annual meeting the Friday night before had been cancelled. That meeting would have been a chance for the Scouts to test their cars run and make sure they met the strict requirements, including a five-ounce weight limit.
Kids came to race their car without seeing it run or knowing the weight, so some had to fix their car a little before the competition started, Herron said.
Although the race revolves around the competition, the sense of community and sportsmanship was the main topic throughout the event.
The celebrity judge, CN2 sports anchor Rob Jones, started the competition off with a talk about sportsmanship.
Winning is important, but it is not the most important thing, he said. You must strive to be the best.
That feeling was contagious throughout the whole competition. A scout did not necessarily need the fastest car to win. Top Speed and Top Den were two of the winning categories, but Best Design, Cubs Choice and the Sportsmanship award were prizes that many of the scouts hoped to win.
With the designs of the cars ranging from an original wooden boxcar to a corvette with lights, a snake as the driver, a castle with a drawbridge and even a swimming pool with a diving board and a yard with trees and bushes, the Best Design and Cubs Choice were tough choices to award.
The Mindcraft Mobile created by Nate Shive won Cubs Choice award.
Having everyone scream for my car and getting the trophy was the best part, Shive said. Everyone knows what Mindcraft is.
For those who dont, its an online game popular with adolescents.
The race was a bracket-style tournament. Each den raced on two tracks in the middle of the room to determine the top three finalists from that den. Once all the dens raced, the finalists raced each other to determine the winners.
Although the scouts were there for the competition, friendship and respect is what they portrayed throughout the event.
After every race, each participant shook the others hand, win or lose, saying good job.
The sportsmanship award went to Jackson Settle, who won because of his great attitude cheering for the others in the competition, even after his car lost a wheel and he couldnt continue competing.
Seeing the love of the competition is what it is all about, Herron said.