Adam and James Gifford watching Todd Gravert place cars on track.jpg

Adam and James Gifford watching Todd Gravert place cars on track during the Saturday Pinewood derby.

Samantha Pidde/Clinton Herald
Herald Staff Writer

Children and families buzzed around the Clinton Armory on Saturday as they crowded a sloped track and cheered while homemade pinewood cars sped down the lanes.

The Boy Scouts Camanche Pack 621 held its pinewood derby on Saturday, with approximately 20 children participating. In the weeks leading up to the race, children are given a block of wood and wheels and create a car with the help of their parents.

“And they take it and create it into whatever they want to,” Cubmaster Sally Jacobs said.

By 11 a.m., children and their parents took the cars up to be weighed and registered. Four-year-old Adam Gifford stood next to his father, James Gifford, shyly holding out his red car. While Adam is not in the scouts, his older brother Grant, 9, is and Adam participated in the adult and sibling category. James had a lot of fun working with his sons on their cars. The boys designed and decorated the cars and he built Valerie Erps said her son, Tyler, 9, also had a lot of fun creating his car with his father. This was Tyler’s third pinewood derby. His car was bright yellow, designed after the Bumblebee Camaro.

They worked with the wood, cutting it, sanding it and painting it to get it just right.

“It’s good family entertainment,” Valerie Erps said.

The races where held in each den category, with three cars racing at a time and each car racing a total of three times. Tiger Cub Den Leader Todd Gravert stood at the top of the track and placed each car on it, before releasing them for the race.

The children handed their cars to him before running back to the finish line to watch the race with the other participants.

This was Gravert’s first pinewood derby. Not only did he get to work the race, but two of his sons raced cars as well. He said he had a lot of fun helping his children with their cars.

After the races were complete, everyone was invited to have lunch. An awards ceremony followed.

“Oh the boys just have a blast,” Jacobs said. “They get to see something they created race.”

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