Girl Scouts Championship Race

General topics of interest to racers and race coordinators alike.
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Vitamin K
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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Vitamin K » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:43 am

FWIW, the blue (and red!) wheels tested considerably worse than the blacks or yellows when my kids and I did pre-build wheel selection this year.



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Speedster » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:20 pm

2. The Derby Worx tool seems to do a good job if it is used carefully. I do wish it was made out of some kind of hardened steel.
4. My big problem with all that room is I fear Dad wants to show us what a great woodworker he is. He probably is good. All the Physics about speed goes out the window. Why bother learning anything? We do have one District in the Erie council that does not have a design category. Anyone and everyone can bring their car to the District race, put it on the table and show it off. No sign in, no guards to protect the cars, no awards. That part I liked but then found out they had the 4 on the ground rule. I just can't be pleased. 2 years ago my District was complaining they were losing too much money on the District race. I told them to get rid of the Design category and save the cost of 15 fancy trophies. What followed after I said that was not pretty.



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:08 pm

Sorry, but having a design category, to me, is an essential part of the competition. Not everyone can, or wants to, build a fast car. So, doing away with design awards, just stifles creativity and frankly is a snub to many potential participants. "If you can't build a fast car, don't bother entering the competition" is the way that it can come across.

Since we are talking Girl Scouts, and girls in general, they bring a lot of creativity to the table. I've been to many a Cub Scout race and most of the cars look like cars. For the most part, they are pretty unimaginative. I've also been to many an Awana race, which has both girls and boys participating, and I've seen a lot more creativity in the car designs. The girls actually cause the boys to start building more creative designs. With STEAM, the A is for Arts, so there is that aspect of this race that Ford and the Girl Scouts are also trying to promote.

So what if the girl wants to make a pretty animal design with a fuzzy tail sticking up past 3"? As long as it doesn't hit the timer unit, why not let it race? If someone wants to make a cool trojan horse, why not let it race? They may not win for speed, but so what. That's why I think that it is important to have a design competition. Of course, I've seen some bulky designs do well in speed, so aerodynamics is not everything, as we all know. We've had a 5" height limit for our Awana races for many years and have never seen that as in anyway a detriment to the competition.

If the district race is losing money, you should be looking at where else you can reduce cost. I've been involved in 4 district races, running two of them and we would at least break even. We would always get the race facility for little or no cost. Usually, they would be churches and would have a soft spot for Cub Scouts. Is there a less expensive source for trophies? Is the entry fee too low? What about selling concessions during the race?


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Speedster » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:10 pm

Come on, Randy. You can't have the tail sticking up past 3" because past 2 1/2" the car is illegal. Don't throw me off Derbytalk. Sure, the District could give out medals or ribbons instead of these big, fancy trophys. Actually, it costs our Pack more to rent Jerusalem Elementary school then it does for the District to rent Waite High School. Jerusalem charges us for the school rental plus we have to pay for the janitor who is there all the time during the race and then charges for clean up after we leave, even though we leave it spotless. We can have the township hall for nothing where we hold our workshops. No, No, it's not fancy enough. The District does have food and there are so many people at District the stadium seating is wonderful. Everybody can see.

Back to my attitude about the design competition. You, of course, know that you have already won. The design competition is not going to go away. But when did the design start? Why did it start? Laziness perhaps. All the pictures I see of the first race are of race cars. If a group wants to build creative designs out of a block of wood, go for it. Don't jump on the tail of some other activity because it's popular and you're afraid to even try. Just "Do Your Best". What if you have 5 racers in Webelo 2, the cars are 2 bathtubs, 2 Swiss Army knives, and 1 Hershey bar car. Probably the Hershey bar car is going to win. He'll have to wait to get to his District race to actually race anyone.

OK, enough. If anyone could ever convince me that a scout had absolutely something to do with a car built for the design category, I would congratulate them. That is my opposition to the design category. The involvement of the scout ?????? Did he really have anything to do with the building of the car? Was his attitude the goal of the race or was it directed someplace else by the adult helper. "We don't care if we win or not, we just want to build something". That actually was said to me. I became so upset I lost control. My fault. The following year he came in with a beautiful design and we talked about Physics. Bless the man what he did for his scout.

I'll stick with Derbytalk even if they have an article on how to build a "Bathtub" car in 3 easy lessons or 1 hard one.
You guys are Great.
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Bill



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:50 pm

I find the 2-1/2" height limit rather surprising. I've seen many a rule with a 3" height limit. Maybe the district's timer is really just short? It is not a competitive advantage to have a tall car, so that should not be an issue. Again, the only reason that I see for setting a height limit is to keep from hitting the timing unit. If the timer can fit a 5" tall car under it, for example, then any lower height limit is just arbitrary and only serves to limit creativity.

Laziness? Not in my opinion. I think that it was to recognize that some people are more technically minded and many others are more artistically minded. If you only cater to one type of person, then you limit participation. To me, I think that that is the more likely reason why a design competition was added to the race. It gets broader appeal and will help boost participation. Especially from those that have seen just how nasty the speed competition can get at some races. If you are going to promote a race with the Girl Scouts, then I really don't see how you could neglect having a design competition.

I do find it strange that you think that the kids don't have much contribution to nicely designed cars. In all of the workshops that I have put on over these many years, I have seen some kids do some amazing work. Work that many adults would automatically think that an adult did it all. Of course, there are those people really don't care much about building a competitive car (for speed or design), but that is no reason to not to have the competition.


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Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by whodathunkit » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:08 pm

gpraceman wrote:I find the 2-1/2" height limit rather surprising. I've seen many a rule with a 3" height limit. Maybe the district's timer is really just short? It is not a competitive advantage to have a tall car, so that should not be an issue. Again, the only reason that I see for setting a height limit is to keep from hitting the timing unit. If the timer can fit a 5" tall car under it, for example, then any lower height limit is just arbitrary and only serves to limit creativity.

What's even more surprising about the height limit rule is this..
The only height limit that was ever given or seen on any of the car instruction sheets..
was the 1" height limit for the nose height for the very first Pinewood derby car drawings in the OCT 1954 Boy's Life and then in the June 1955 c.s.p.q
Plus the 4 1/2'' height limit given in the 1997 Big Rig kit instruction sheet.

From 1956 .. to the rules in the box or instruction sheet in the kit boxes you get now for the cars there has been no height limit given on any of them!
And the only height limit to where the 3'' limit can be found most in is rather surprising as well..
care to take a guess at where you'll see that limit most in!
That's right in the pinewood derby books by David Meade & Troy Thorne and then maybe from time to time you'll also see it on few web sites.

Randy I just thought id share that.. Hope you don't mind that i did!
Last edited by whodathunkit on Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:55 am

whodathunkit wrote:What's even more surprising about the height limit rule is this..
The only height limit that was ever given or seen on any of the car instruction sheets..
was the 1' height limit for the nose height for the very Pwd car drawings in the OCT 1954 Boy's Life and then in the June 1955 c.s.p.q
Plus the 4 1/2'' height limit given in the 1997 Big Rig kit instruction sheet.

From 1956 .. to the rules in box or instruction sheet in the kit boxes you get now .. there has been no height limit given on any of them!
And the only height limit to where the 3'' limit can be found most in is rather surprising as well..
care to take a guess at where you'll see that limit most in!
That's right in the pinewood derby books by David Meade & Troy Thorne and then maybe from time to time you'll also see it on few web sites.

Randy I just thought id share that.. Hope you don't mind that i did!
You've got me curious now. When were those first published?


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Speedster » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:42 am

Height limits in the Districts in the Erie Council.
Commodore Perry District. 2 1/2"
Eagle Bay District 2 1/2"
Northwest District 2 3/4"
Swan Creek District 4 1/2"
Wood County District Derby Rules not Published. I'll see what I can find.

Perhaps the height limits are to keep a high, unstable car from racing and damaging the timer or another scouts car.
My presentations at our workshops are about speed and the biggest groups are always the tigers. We do not cut out cars that are intended for a Best Design category. That would not be fair to the other scouts because of the time involved. Actually, that has never been a problem. We don't tend to get cars that look like they were intended for a Best Design award. The last creation I saw was many years ago when the Pack leader made a Swiss army knife with wood blades that actually folded out. He did a beautiful job. It truly had a lot of detail. What often happens is the scout who wins the race tends to have a beautiful car and he then wins the award for Best Design. You then know what happens. He chooses to race at the District and the next winner for Best Design goes to District. Judges for our Best Design awards are always folks with no connection to the cars being judged. I'm smiling now. In case it's on your mind, no, I am never a judge. I can hear you saying, "Thank Heaven for that". I'm not really a bad guy. Really, I'm not.
I wish everyone well in their Pinewood Derby.
Cheers
Bill



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:03 am

I have yet to see a tall car topple over at a race. Even if one did, we would only disqualify it if it interferes with other cars. Again, I see no legitimate reason to restrict car height, other than making sure that the cars will go under the timer.

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Randy Lisano
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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Speedster » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:13 am

Toledo Regional Powder Puff Derby Construction Rules.

They use the Official BSA kit. The rules sound like they used the Commodore Perry District and Swan Creek District rules and took what they wanted from each one.
3. Height: Not exceed 2 1/2"
9. Details: Details such as steering wheels, driver, roll bars, fenders, etc., are ok as long as they do not exceed the overall dimension specifications listed above (unless the entrant only wishes to go for design only), and are securely fastened to the car.
I'm not sure how to read that. Perhaps the car is not required to go down the track.



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:57 am

Speedster wrote:Toledo Regional Powder Puff Derby Construction Rules.

They use the Official BSA kit. The rules sound like they used the Commodore Perry District and Swan Creek District rules and took what they wanted from each one.
3. Height: Not exceed 2 1/2"
Still, the question begs to be asked, what is the justification for the 2-1/2" limit? Every rule should have a well defined purpose. If the only justification is that some other district race has that rule, then that would be a very poor reason. If there is a council race, then I can see that setting the standard for the district races, assuming that there is justification for it. However, from what you posted, there is significant variation with height limits from district to district, so there seems to be no council standard.
Speedster wrote: 9. Details: Details such as steering wheels, driver, roll bars, fenders, etc., are ok as long as they do not exceed the overall dimension specifications listed above (unless the entrant only wishes to go for design only), and are securely fastened to the car.
I'm not sure how to read that. Perhaps the car is not required to go down the track.
I have seen some races allow design only entrants. It can be that racers only can enter either for speed or for design (more rare in my experience) or that the racer can opt not to race the car and only be considered for design, while others might opt to race.

If you want to continue this rules discussion, then we should go ahead and create a new thread.


Randy Lisano
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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Speedster » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:00 pm

I think rules are fairly standard. The 4 on the ground seems to be the worst one. You got my interest up when the height rule became important to some. We have had 2 1/2" for 31 years that I know of and I never gave it any thought. Until today I had no idea what the height rule was in Erie's other Districts. I have a feeling it has something to do with home built timers and "We've always done it that way." Since the Derby is once a year for most people I think they just accept it and go on with life. Perhaps it's past time to address it since the popular timers have lots of room. I'll go along with you. I'll try to get it changed to Swan Creeks height.
I am curious what the height rules are around the country. It seems we have something on Derbytalk that runs a question for a period of time. Maybe more Districts have low height rules than we can imagine. Would you set something like that up? Maybe you will change from low height rules to higher ones in the entire country. It wouldn't hurt trying.



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:06 pm

You can create a poll, if you like. Start a new thread and look towards the bottom of the page to setup the poll.


Randy Lisano
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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by whodathunkit » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:00 pm

gpraceman wrote: You've got me curious now. When were those first published?
Here you go for the publishing dates and the pages to where the height limits can be seen in all the Fox Chapel Books.

2006 publishing - David Meade's pinewood derby speed secrets book.. page 4 .. 3" limit.

Troy Thorne books:
2007 publishing - pinewood derby designs and patterns book.. page 3.. 3" limit.
2011 publishing - getting started in the pinewood derby book.. page 3.. 3'' limit.
2012 publishing - building the fastest pinewood derby car book.. page 17.. just shows the 1 1/2" car body block for height.

Newest Book Out:
2017 publishing- pinewood derby fast & furious speed secrets book..by David Meade, Troy Thorne, Jon Deck, and other derby experts.
page 12.. 3" limit.

Then there is this older Dec 9th 2010 topic on height restrictions by dfscott ,
where the height limits talked about run wild from pack to pack.
viewtopic.php?t=5747


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:01 pm

I've been involved in this type of racing since about 1999 and the 3" height limit seemed to be typical back then. So, I don't think that any of those books really set the standard.

I dug up some old rules and found that our old Awana club had a 4" height limit (2003) and old Cub Scout Pack had a 5" limit (2004). The Awana club had a custom timer, which I built, so I don't doubt that it was a bit lower than the Fast Track timer the pack had.


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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