At 100 members and still growing, Pack 1576 is huge.
Large packs have their advantages — trips and events are especially fun occasions. And there are plenty of qualified leaders, which helps distribute the work evenly.
But on Pinewood Derby day, one disadvantage became apparent. After check-in, inspection and several rounds of races, the Pinewood Derby took four hours. It finished at 10 p.m.
By then, says pack trainer Zeeshan Rasheed, “Cub Scouts, siblings and the parents were all showing ‘E’ on the fuel indicator.”
A change in strategy was needed, and that’s exactly what the pack did. Pack 1576, chartered to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling, Va., and part of the National Capital Area Council, divided the Pinewood Derby experience into three phases.
Phase 1: A Pinewood Derby workshop to help boys and their parents build the cars.
Phase 2: An inspection held days before the race. After cars were weighed and OK’d, they were “impounded” and stored in a secure case. (More on that in a second.)
Phase 3: Race day.
But there was still one problem: Where do you store more than 100 cars between Phases 2 and 3?
“I put my handyman hat on and got to work,” Rasheed says. “With two weekends and a few nights well spent, I made this cabinet on wheels that can store 150-plus cars and can also be used for display purposes.”
The beautifully made cabinet has two sides with six shelves each. Individual slots hold 13 cars per shelf, and the cars can be viewed through a Plexiglas window.
The whole thing is 40 inches tall, 50 inches long and 9 inches deep. It has eight casters so it moves easily and a long hinge in the back that makes opening and closing a breeze.
“We take our Pinewood cars seriously, hence I made the car slots with insulation foam so they don’t bang around when the cart is stowed away,” Rasheed adds. “On the Derby day, there were lots of oohs and ahhs when we opened the case in front of the audiences. We love Pinewood Derby!”
Here’s a full photo of the finished product: