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Scouts race handmade cars in virtual, in-person pinewood derby

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    The handmade miniature cars that were raced in Pack 471's pinewood derby last month. Photos courtesy of Trey Ramsay
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    From left to right: first place winner Calan Glidewell, second place Wesley Gruetzner, third place Jack Ramsay.
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    From left to right: Will Gruetzner, Marshall Woehl, Wesley Gruetzner, Alex Gruetzner, Calan Glidewall, Jack Ramsay.  Jeremiah Jackson, Paxton Louvier and Lorelei Louvier raced virtually.
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    Jack Ramsay works on building and painting his car.
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Scouts from Pack 471 competed in Pinewood derby races, a mix of in-person and virtual, on Saturday, January 16.

For scouts to participate and watch virtually, the pack used a Zoom meeting. Two phones were set up on tripods—one at the starting gate and another at the finish line—pointed down the track so that online viewers could see a side-by-side live stream of the cars racing from the start to the finish line.

The scouts built their own cars from a block of pine wood measuring 7 inches long, 1.75 inches wide and 1.25 inches tall. They designed and worked on the cars during two work days where volunteers helped them cut out their cars with a band saw, or they cut them out at home with their parents. The scouts then finished their cars, which included sanding, painting, installing wheels and adding weight not to exceed five ounces. Some of the scouts worked on their cars over Christmas break, spending several days or even weeks to finish them.

Pack 471 is looking for new scouts to join their pack. For more information, call 512-309-1571. The pack has Den Meetings at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 216 West 3rd Street, at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of the week.