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Cub Scouts compete in annual Perham Pinewood Derby

Cub Scouts gathered at the Perham Center for the Arts on Saturday, Jan. 21 to race one another in the Pinewood Derby.

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Kids watch, shout and point in awe as their cars race each other down the track in the Pinewood Derby.
Eilzabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
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Bear Den winner and grand champion of the Pinewood Derby, Nathan Galbrecht, shows off his giant trophies with a large smile.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

PERHAM — Cub Scouts and family members alike crowded into the Perham Center for the Arts on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 21 for one of their most anticipated traditions of the year: the Pinewood Derby. Each Scout walks into the event with cars built and painted by themselves for the year's big race.

Participating kids receive a kit with a block of wood, four wheels and four axles a few weeks prior to the event. Cub Scout parent and former den leader Nick Murdock mentioned that kids get engineering exposure as they build their cars, making sure their wheels fit right. They get design experience through creating a unique miniature vehicle. Then, when the race comes around, they get experience in the competition itself.

A large, four-lane race track — donated by the Perham Rotary Club — links up with software that measures how long it takes each car to reach the finish line and calculates the winners each round. Competitions occur within each of the six dens before the winners of the separate dens all compete against one another for the grand championship. There is also an open class race available for parents, siblings, den leaders and other interested parties.

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Cars crafted and painted by Cub Scouts sit at the top of the track, ready to race their way to the finish line.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Cub Scouts pointed, yelled and applauded in awe as they watched each of their cars race down the tracks, hoping for a trophy or medal. Despite the passionate competition, Murdock said that everyone involved was a great sport. This was a good year for the boys and girls participating, he shared. He thought every single one of them did a nice job with their cars.

The winners of each race are listed below, based on their average time in seconds in four heats — one run on each lane.

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Lion Den

  1. Dominick Muer, 3.4265
  2. Evan Westall, 3.4425

Tiger Den

  1. Henry Veralrud, 3.6490
  2. Wyatt Swyter, 3.7972
  3. Oliver Dalsad, 4.5881

Wolf Den

  1. Teian Hartwig, 3.3888
  2. Peyton Haarstick, 3.4020
  3. Elise Faber, 3.4333

Bear Den

  1. Nathan Galbrecht, 3.3144
  2. Hunter Galbrecht, 3.3331
  3. Gabriel Gilespie, 3.4163

Webelos Den

  1. Isaac Kratzke, 3.7511
  2. Colter Gjerde, 3.8815
  3. Logan Riepe, 3.9015

Arrow of Light Den

  1. Levi Murdock, 3.3101
  2. William Lustila, 3.5587
  3. Jacob Westall, 3.6472

Open Class

  1. Ron Galbrecht, 3.2264
  2. Hallie Galbrecht, 3.2711
  3. Ed Keil, 3.3207

At the end of the races, Bear Den's Nathan Galbrecht reigned supreme as the grand champion, averaging a time of 3.3097 seconds.
Good work, Cub Scouts! See you again on the tracks next year.

Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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