FORT HOOD, Texas — The Pinewood Derby is among the most anticipated annual events in the Cub Scout Program, and scouts look forward to this long-awaited race day. Scout Leaders from the Fort Hood Pack 221 recognized the significance of this event and took action to make the race happen virtually on February 27 at Fort Hood.
Events like the Pinewood Derby can sometimes be challenging for military families. Scout leaders from all different units across Fort Hood came together for race day.
“With deployment cycles and field problems, it’s important that we give the youth out there additional family structure. Then they can still have the opportunity to gain leadership and mentorship and peer leadership from each other even when their family members are away, said Maj. Christopher Zimmer Jr., Fort Hood Pack 221 Arrow of Light Den Leader and Support Operations Officer for the 3rd Cavalry Regiment Support Squadron. “It’s important that we band together. I know if I can’t be here, somebody will be here to help my child build their car and have the opportunity to compete. The Pack is another internal military family and how to support outside our normal Soldier and Family Readiness Group channel to build another community of support.”
Devin Morgan, District Executive for Leon Valley, covering areas from Harker Heights to Hamilton, Texas, said attending these types of events allows him to see everything going on with the packs.
“This is a phenomenal event that was planned by everyone today,” Morgan said. ‘They put in the hard work to ensure that all the scouts are involved and get this opportunity. The Pinewood Derby is about building the car and having that relationship between the parents, the family, and the unit.”
Capt. Jimmy Naranjo, Cub Master and Bears Den Leader with 11th Military Police Battalion, shared a story for the day’s event.
“A lot of scouts that want to compete, but one of the parents are deployed. The mentors have gone above and beyond to help mentor and teach it to be a scout. By airing virtual, we were also able to get parents that wouldn’t be able to attend otherwise and extended families involved,” Naranjo said. “This is a phenomenal group of leaders that I am proud to serve alongside them today.”
The event was aired virtually and followed by a virtual awards presentation.
“A lot of time and energy goes into building these cars,” Zimmer said. “With the help of their parents, the scouts carve through the block of wood. All don’t have tools available, so this year some of us provided tools and mentorship on how to use the tools, plan the design and build the car.”