Pinewood Derby Time at the North Star Museum

North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting

After the Christmas holidays, a young Cub’s mind turns to . . . Pinewood Derby! This annual Cub Scout event was “invented” in 1953 by Don Murphy, Cubmaster of Pack 280C in Manhattan Beach, California. Don had been looking for an activity to do with his son, who was really interested in Soap Box Derby (these racing cars are large enough to have a young driver right in the car!). Racing much smaller cars that the boys had made themselves seemed to be the right activity for the young boys in his Pack. Don created the first Pinewood Derby kits, and devised the rules of the race.

Since then, Pinewood Derby is a much-anticipated and incredibly fun activity for Cub Scouts. And, the North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting has all kinds of opportunities for Pinewood Derby fun.

We have a state-of-the-art 4-lane track upon which you can test race your car before the big event. For the cost of admission (and a reservation), you can test your car on our track, and see if it is fast (or faster, or fastest).

For Packs that do not have their own track, the museum can host a derby for them. We have our own “Pit Crew” that helps us manage your races so that everyone has fun, and the results are fair. We would love to see you at the museum. We are available evenings and weekends for Pinewood racing fun.

To prepare for your Derby, the museum will be hosting a drop-in clinic for Pinewood Derby contestants to work on their cars with Pinewood “Pros”. This event will be held on Saturday, January 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can learn how to make your car go faster, look cool, and learn what will happen on race day. This will be most useful to Cubs from families with no Pinewood Derby experience.

And, the Pinewood Derby fun doesn’t end when you get out of Cub Scouts. The museum will hold its 2nd annual Derby Night at the Museum, where adults can race their own regulation cars, a non-regulation car of your own design (as long as it fits on the track), and mingle with other Derby aficionados! This event will be held in November.

Much sooner, however, the museum will be celebrating its sainted founders, the “Skunks”, in an event on January 27, 2018. In addition, the 27th will be the closing day of the museum’s popular exhibit, Firm Bound in Brotherhood: A Century of Cheerful Service. You can always find something interesting going on at the North Star Museum.

For information on any of these activities, and more, check out the museum’s website at

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Pinewood Derby Time at the North Star Museum

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