Not Just for Cub Scouts – Dads Love Pinewood Derby, too!

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Cub Scouts from Pack 45 (photo via Lauren Justice for The New York Times)


The New York Times caught up with a couple dads in Wisconsin with a Scouting activity we all know and love: Pinewood Derby racing. Sure, dads might get into racing with their Cub Scout sons initially, but The Times discovered that some dads aren’t throwing in the towel once their sons advance from Cub Scouts. These guys are sticking to the hobby in a big way. Think: private derby leagues, nationally ranked competitions, and homegrown derby marketplaces.

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Cub Scouts cheering on their racers on the six-lane aluminum track (photo via Lauren Justice for The New York Times)

If you are a derby enthusiast looking to compete with the big dogs, look no further than John Halliburton’s National Pinewood Derby Racing League. Of the four major leagues in the country, it takes the title for largest in the U.S. Guys spanning the nation send their racers to the league hoping they stack up against the competition. Oftentimes these submissions don’t even stand a chance.

Despite the odds, Joel Redfearn and his Cub Scout son took the leap. Countless man hours and a failed race later, Redfearn was shocked by the caliber of derby competitors.

“We took a car up there that we thought was superfast and we got annihilated,” Redfearn said to The Times. “I was like, Are you kidding me? You can make them faster than what they are already?”

Now one of the top racers in the country, Redfearn shares his passion for Pinewood Derby with his Scouting community by organizing local races. With a little help from the expert, Cub Scouts of Pack 45 are walking away with winning racers and tons of enthusiasm for the sport. In fact, it’s their biggest event of the year. (No doubt, for the dads, too!)

Discover more about Scouting dads with a passion for Pinewood Derby by checking out the full New York Times article.

Editor’s note: If you didn’t catch our New York Times Pinewood Derby story recap yesterday in the Scouting Wire newsletters or you’re just curious about more Scouting news, sign up now!



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Hayley Cordaro is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She loves sharing inspiring success stories and uncovering new ways volunteers and employees can make the most of their Scouting experience. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at