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Pinewood Derby makes history

Cub Scout Pack 417, chartered to the First United Methodist Church in Park Hills, recently held their annual Pinewood Derby competition.

Pinewood Derby races have been a staple of the Cub Scout program since they began in 1953 when Cubmaster Don Murphy from California held their pack’s first race. The idea was born because Murphy’s son was too young to take part in the soapbox derby so the Pinewood Derby was born as an activity that helped teach both craftsmanship and sportsmanship.

Today thousands of Cub Scout packs across the nation, and world, host these annual events but this year Pack 417 had yet another historic moment to add to their race, the inclusion of the first female Cub Scout in their pack.

Madison Jones joined Pack 417 during their annual fall recruitment drive and fell in love with the Cub Scout program. She and her family worked on their Pinewood Derby car kit and brought to the pack’s races which were held on March 16. There was plenty of competition, however Jones was not fazed and wore a smile all day just being able to compete.

Races are broken down by rank (grade/age group) and within each group trophies were presented for the top three racers.

The Tiger Den is made up of 1st grade students and the following Cubs brought home trophies; Austin Stokes (3rd Place), Maddox Pinson (2nd Place), and Trenden Clubbs (1st Place). The Wolf Den (2nd graders) saw Cayden Clubbs (3rd Place), Wyatt Gibson (2nd Place) and Madison Jones (1st Place) take home their trophies. And the Webelos Den (made up of 5th grade students) had James Patton (3rd Place), Clifton Bell (2nd Place), and Wesley Williams (1st Place) also take home trophies for their victories.

The races do not stop there, however, as the pack holds a “Top of the Heap” competition which pits the first place winners from each den against each other in a final race to see who is has designed the fastest car in the entire group. The competition was close but ultimately Jones became the first female to ever win the “Top of the Heap” award for Cub Scout Pack 417. An additional award was given out based on audience participation votes for the Best in Show which is the best designed car which went to new Cub Scout Austin Stokes.

Members of scouts, BSA Troop 417 were on hand to judge the events and assist with setup and take down of all equipment. If you have you have a son or daughter interested in getting involved in Cub Scouts (grades K-5) or Scouts, BSA (6th Grade through age 18) have them contact Gene Bannister at 573-349-0840 and leave a message. Or you can search for a unit in your area by going to

Madison Jones poses with her pack winter trophy. She was the winner of the Pack 417 Pinewood Derby.

Madison Jones poses with her pack winter trophy. She was the winner of the Pack 417 Pinewood Derby.

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