VIENNA - The fifth annual Powder Puff Pinewood Derby of the Girl Scouts of America of the Black Diamond Council had a record turnout Saturday at the Grand Central Mall.
"We have more than 200 girls registered this year, which is our highest number participating yet," said Denise Davis, event coordinator and membership development coordinator for the Black Diamond district of the Girl Scouts.
Davis said the rise in the number of participants in the derby is mostly due to the fact that the district added several more troops in Ohio - in Washington, Noble and Morgan counties - and West Virginia last October. Locally, the council serves Wood, Wirt, Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Calhoun and Jackson counties.
Photo by Jolene Craig
A row of decorated and uniquely painted wooden model cars line a table at the Grand Central Mall before the fifth annual Powder Puff Pinewood Derby of the Girl Scouts of America of the Black Diamond Council Saturday morning.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Maya Wolfe, of Girl Scouts Troop 1269 in Albany, Ohio, gets pointers on how to set up her model car before the race by starter Pat Wigal and competitor Alayna Jones of Troop 1274 of Beverly, Ohio, at the Grand Central Mall Saturday.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Wooden model cars stand ready for action on a table at the Powder Puff Pinewood Derby at Grand Central Mall.
"This is our first time here and we are very excited," said Eileen Wooley, leader for Troops 51 and 1276 in Ohio.
Wooley said there were fewer than a dozen girls between her two troops who made cars to compete in the derby.
"I had hoped a few more of our members would have decided to do this, but with as much fun as the girls that are here are having, I hope their excitement is contagious and more girls will choose to race next year."
The first Powder Puff Derby began in 2005 with about 75 girls participating and the event continues to grow each year, said derby co-organizer Mary Farnsworth.
"Every year we see more and more new faces and longer lists of names on the registration forms," she said. "It's really wonderful."
Pinewood derby racing requires participants to learn the crafts necessary to make the individuals cars. Derby rules must be followed in the car making, the racing process and most important, sportsmanship. The model cars are made of wood in specified dimensions, created, carved, assembled, and decorated by Girl Scouts under the guidance of the parents or helpers.
Sara Truax, 7, with Troop 1109, said the best part about the derby was the week before when the girls made and decorated their own cars.
"It took me all week, but I really, really like it," she said. "I made it look like a dog, that was fun."
Davis said every participant used different theories, designs and ways of building their cars in hopes of winning.
One such racer was Kate Wooley, 9, of Troop 51.
"I made mine with a lot of holes in it to make it lighter and so it would be more aerodynamic," Kate said. "The holes should work to make it faster."
The pinewood derby is a long-standing tradition in Cub Scouting, with the Allohak Cub Scouts Council having held its annual Davis Anderson Memorial Pinewood Derby at the mall on Feb. 6. The Girl Scouts of America has become involved in the pinewood derby within the last few years and has adopted the same rules for their race event as the boys.
"We started the Powder Puff derby because many of the girls in our troops have brothers who race in the Boy Scouts' pinewood derby and the girls wanted their own race," Davis said. "They asked for it and the Boy Scouts have helped us organize it from the very beginning."
The girls' pinewood derby had participants from all age levels of the organization from Daisy troops, which is for kindergarten and first graders, through Cadets troops, which is for sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
All of the participants received a badge for their vests and sashes as well as ribbons for their hard work while the top three winners in each category were given trophies.
"We even have some pretty fun awards for things like the funniest car and coolest paint," Davis said.
The purpose of the Pinewood Derby is to help Scouts build a team relationship with their parent or helper, experience the sense of accomplishment, learn new skills, the excitement of competition, learn Win/Lose good sportsmanship, and to have fun.
One fun aspect of the event was the fake speeding and drag racing tickets the girls were issued by Vienna Police Department D.A.R.E Officer R.M. Nichols.
"Writing the tickets is a good way to boost the department's relationship with area kids and I enjoy being part of the derby," Nichols said. "Also, the kids really seem to think it is fun to get a speeding ticket... until they turn 16, that is, and then they won't like it too well."
The final results of Saturday's fifth annual Powder Puff Pinewood Derby were:
First: Brooke Buchannan.
Second: Alexis Wendelken.
Third: Haley Smarr.
Fourth: Carly Scholl.
Fifth: Gabrelle Smarr.
Sixth: Jaden Garner.
Seventh: Aleah Dye.
Eighth: Morgan Antill
Ninth: Lydia Hostottle.