Pinewood Derby has new meaning for scouts this year

Sunday, March 10, 2019

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Scouts with Pack 115 in Aiken have been doing the Pinewood Derby for four years now, but this year was a special one as it marked the first race for the scouts under their new name.

For years, the organization has been called Boy Scouts of America, but now they have a new program Scouts BSA. That's because they're not just welcoming boys now, but welcoming anyone who wants to join. So this year's Pinewood Derby had even more meaning.

For every tiny car that zoomed by, there's a dedicated scout that built the car from the bottom up.

They shape it, weigh it, put on wheels, shape it some more and do whatever they need to do to make it fast," said Kyle French, Assistant Cub Master for Pack 115.

The faster the better, and the scouts know just a split second makes the difference between first place and last. But in the crowd of patches and scout pins, is a new set of faces who have never had an opportunity like this one before.

"We have five or six girls registered to race today which means they have beaten every boy in their den and in their back and they're in the top three," said French.

The Boy Scouts of America now has a program called Scouts BSA meaning anyone can join -- boy or girl - and earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Other leaders say it's a new era for the organization -- and for the scouts, too. There are girl cub scouts as well.

"It's giving them the opportunity to earn the same awards, the same merits, and to actually go up to the eagle rank," said Desiree Johnson, District Executive.

But to win this race, it doesn't matter who you are, where you came from, or how you got here but how fast your car is.

Leaders say the skills they learn in Scouts BSA aren't just good for boys, but for girls, too. They're starting all-girl BSA troops in Aiken and North Augusta.