Use your Pinewood Derby track as an advancement ceremony centerpiece

You can get twice the use out of your Pinewood Derby track — and make an important point about the Cub Scouting journey.

It just takes some advance preparation to make your pack’s existing track the focal point for an advancement ceremony.

Use the track as a visual aid to symbolize a boy’s progress through Cub Scouting.

What you’ll need

  • Pinewood Derby track
  • Rank logos printed on large sheets of paper (logos are easily located via a online, or you can draw/paint your own)
  • Eight-inch sticks (or paint stirrers)
  • Tape
  • Awards to present to the boys

What you’ll do

  • Print the rank logos on cardstock or heavy paper (or print on regular paper and tape or glue the sheet to something heavier)
  • Attach the logos to the eight-inch sticks
  • Tape or tack the sticks to the siderails of the Derby track in this order, from bottom to top: Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, Arrow of Light. If you also have a boy crossing over into a Boy Scout troop, add a Scout badge to the top. Make sure the ranks are spaced evenly.
  • Tape the badges to be presented at appropriate points along the track. That way they’re handy during the ceremony.

What you’ll say

“We all had a great time at the Pinewood Derby watching cars race down this track. They really speed downhill, don’t they?

“Well, you can go uphill on this track, too. It’s a little harder, but it’s worth the climb from Bobcat to to Tiger to Wolf to Bear to Webelos and the Arrow of Light.

“Some of our Cub Scouts have been climbing this course, and now we’re going to show how far they’ve gotten. Will the following Cub Scouts who have made the climb as far as Tiger please come forward with their parents?”

Present the badges to the new Tiger Scouts. Then continue with Wolf, Bear, Webelos and Arrow of Light.

(Note: The illustration below is from 1977 and doesn’t include the Tiger rank, created in 2001. But it gives you a good idea.)


Like this? Find more in our app

This idea was adapted from a story I found in the November-December 1977 issue of Scouting magazine. You can access every issue of Scouting magazine ever printed — 1913 to today — in our app for iOS, Android and Kindle devices. It’s just $4.99 a year.

Just search “Scouting magazine” in your favorite app store.

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Special thanks

This post was powered by BestTrack, the company that designed and patented the first-of-its-kind, fully aluminum Pinewood Derby track in 2002. Learn more about how BestTrack can accelerate your Pinewood Derby at their website.