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Fast cars and fast friends: Perham Cub Scouts cheer each other on at annual Pinewood Derby races

The event brought out young racers from grades kindergarten through fifth, along with their family members, who could compete in the Open Class rounds.

A row of kids excitedly watch homemade cars travel down a race track.
Kids soak in the excitement of the annual Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby on Jan. 22 in Perham. Four cars at a time whiz down the sloped track in about three seconds flat.
(Rebecca Mitchell / Perham Focus)

Perham Cub Scouts raced into the start of the year with their homemade wood cars bolting through race after race in the 2022 Pinewood Derby, held Jan. 22 at the Perham Center for the Arts.

Kids were bursting with excitement on race day. A large sloped track, donated by the Perham Rotary Club , held four cars per race. Each round advanced the top three finishers to compete for their den in the Grand Champion races.

The event brought out young racers from grades kindergarten through fifth, along with their family members, who could compete in the Open Class rounds.

After a nerve-wracking set of Grand Champion races, second grader Hunter Galbrecht won first place, with an average time of 3.2396 seconds.

The rapid race rounds are usually about three to four seconds long. Kids track their wins at every round and then run to add their cars to the next race.

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“It’s awesome,” said Tucker Kyle, a third grade member. “It's fun. You get to race, you get to meet new people at the race.”

Four cars lined for racing.
A young Cub Scout watches as the next set of cars are prepared to launch down the race track at the annual Perham Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby on Jan. 22, 2022.
(Rebecca Mitchell / Perham Focus)
Kids gathered around a race track in a church.
Rows of families and friends line the Pinewood Derby race track at the Perham Center for the Arts on Jan. 22, 2022.
(Rebecca Mitchell / Perham Focus)

Kids always clamor along both sides of the race track to watch, full of hope, pride, nerves and excitement. They easily find friends and supporters as they cheer for the racers.

In her third year of racing, fifth grade member Casey Carlson cheered on all the cars on the track because, as she explained it, “it makes them feel better about themselves, even if they didn’t get first place.” Carlson's support of fellow Cub Scouts earned her this year’s sportsmanship award.

“There’s a lot of good people and there’s a lot of friendship that’s going on, and a lot of people make friendships,” she said. She designed her car, the E-racer, as a pink eraser.

Two boys pick up homemade race cars.
Each race at the derby was only about three or four seconds long.
(Rebecca Mitchell / Perham Focus)
Rows of homemade cars.
Kids make their own cars, with some help from their parents, creating fun designs for the Pinewood Derby. This year's event was held at the Perham Center for the Arts on Jan. 22.
(Rebecca Mitchell / Perham Focus)

Volunteers said seeing the kids so excited is the best thing about the gig for them, and for the kids, working toward race day is a good lesson in delayed gratification.

“The younger scouts watching the older scouts and seeing how maybe they handle a loss or a win is a really big thing for us,” said Katie Murdock, co-chair of the Pinewood Derby Committee. She and her husband, Nick Murdock, have chaired the committee for four years.

Kids also enjoy the display of colorful and uniquely-designed cars, where their inspiration wheels for the next year start turning.

“It’s fun to see them kind of critique the cars: ‘Oh, look what that kid does,' or, 'Look what this person does,’” Murdock said, "And then next year they try and improve their car.”

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Young boy with awards.
Second grade student Hunter Galbrecht of the Wolf Den receives his first place trophy at the Pinewood Derby on Jan. 22. He won first place in the Grand Champion rounds.
(Rebecca Mitchell / Perham Focus)

2022 PINEWOOD DERBY WINNERS

Lion Den (Kindergarten)

  • First: Avery Yokom
  • Second: JJ Hemberger
  • Third: Cooper Ahlschlager

Tiger Den (1st Grade)

  • First: Calvin Flink
  • Second: Leo Neuerburg
  • Third: Graham Berube

Wolf Den (2nd Grade)

  • First: Hunter Galbrecht
  • Second: Dylan Muer
  • Third: Eva Maul

Bear Den (3rd Grade)

  • First: Brynn Berube
  • Second: Aubree Arndt
  • Third: Logan Riepe

Webelos Den (4th Grade)

  • First: William Lustila
  • Second: Levi Murdock
  • Third: Jack Tuper

Arrow of Light Den (5th Grade)

  • First: Charlie Murdock
  • Second: Karson Kimball
  • Third: Hannah Boll

Grand Champion Race-Off

  • First: Hunter Galbrecht
  • Second: Avery Yokom
  • Third: Calvin Flink

Open Class (Non-Scouts)

  • First: Ellen Neuerburg
  • Second: Hallie Galbrecht
  • Third: Addie Metzler

For more information on the Perham Cub Scout Pack, you can call Gordy Przybylski at 317-946-7007. All kids, kindergarten through fifth grade, are welcome to join . The Perham Boy Scouts is open to kids following fifth grade, you can email scouts321perham@gmail.com, call 218-298-2482 or visit the Boy Scout Troop 321 Facebook page to learn more.

Related Topics: PERHAM
Rebecca Mitchell started as a Digital Content Producer for the Post Bulletin in August 2022. She specializes in enhancing online articles as well as education, feature and health reporting.
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