Patriots Point to host Pinewood Derby competitions on Yorktown

Published: Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:12 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:14 PM EST
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MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will host Boy Scout racing enthusiasts and their families for Pinewood Derby Races aboard the USS Yorktown this Saturday.

For the first time in the history of the ship, the Hangar Bay will be outfitted with a six-lane, 44-foot racing track.

Qualification checks and car inspections will begin at 1 p.m. in Hangar Bay I, with Patriots Point Development Authority Board Member Susan Marlowe serving as the official starter for the competition at 1:30 p.m.

In honor of this 'first-ever' special event, Patriots Point will waive the admission and race fee for all Cub Scouts in uniform. Parents and siblings of racers will also be admitted to Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum at no charge that day.

A $5 parking fee still applies.

Following the inaugural weekend, Patriots Point will host Pinewood Derby Races every weekend for overnight campers aboard the Yorktown and once per month for local Scout groups as part of a special new membership program.

"For generations, Pinewood Derby Races have been synonymous with the tradition of Scouting," said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. "As one of the nation's top overnight camping destinations for Scouts, the USS Yorktown will provide the perfect setting for our overnight campers as well as scouts from the tri-county region to participate in these reaces."

The tradition of the Pinewood Derby dates back to 1953. Since that time, Cub Scouts have built nearly 100 million Pinewood Derby race cars – enough to stretch from Charlotte, North Carolina to the North Pole, according to the Pinewood Derby website.

"I wanted to devise a wholesome, constructive activity that would foster a closer father-son relationship and promote craftsmanship and good sportsmanship through competition," Pinewood Derby founder Donald Murphy shared in an interview with Scouting Magazine in 1999. "As Cub Scouts learn the skill of good sportsmanship, they are better able to recognize and appreciate the new skills they've acquired, to show respect to all those involved, and to experience the fun and excitement of competition.