VIENNA - The sixth annual Powder Puff Pinewood Derby of the Girl Scouts of America of the Black Diamond Council had a strong turnout Saturday at the Grand Central Mall.
"We have 185 girls participating this year, which makes this the biggest Powder Puff derby we've had," said Denise Davis, event coordinator and membership development coordinator for the Black Diamond District of the Girl Scouts.
Davis said the rise in the number of participants in the derby is mostly due to the fact that more than a year ago the district added several more troops in Ohio - in Washington, Noble and Morgan counties - and West Virginia last October. Locally, the council serves Wood, Wirt, Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Calhoun and Jackson counties.
Girl Scouts of troops of the Black Diamond Council watch as their cars race Saturday during the Powd
"I want to win a trophy to put next to my bed," said Gwen Wooley, 6, of Ohio Troop 1276.
Gwen Wooley and her sister, Kate Wooley, 10, of Troop 51, decorated their race cars together - Gwen Wooley's car resembled a rabbit while Kate Wooley's car looked like a turtle.
"It was our mom's idea for us to do the Tortoise and the Hare," Kate Wooley said.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Katelynn Horner, 6, of Troop 1276, left, and Gabrelle Spung, 6, of Troop 1266, right, watch as their decorated derby cars speed down the track on Saturday morning.
"I really want to see which goes faster - my rabbit or Kate's turtle," added Gwen Wooley.
The first Powder Puff Derby began in 2005 with about 75 girls participating and the event continues to grow each year, said derby co-organizer Mary Farnsworth.
"Every year we see more and more new faces and longer lists of names on the registration forms," she said. "It's really wonderful."
The results of the 2011 Powder Puff Pinewood Derby are:
First: Alexis Wendleken
Second: Carly Scholl
Third: Chloe Bumgardner
Fourth: Lidia Hostottle
Fifth: Andrea Barnhouse
Sixth: Emma Cline
Seventh: Skyla Bartlett
Eighth: Jaden Garner
Pinewood derby racing requires participants to learn the crafts necessary to make the individuals cars. Derby rules must be followed in the car making, the racing process and most important, sportsmanship. The model cars are made of wood in specified dimensions, created, carved, assembled, and decorated by Girl Scouts under the guidance of their parents or other helpers.
Davis said every participant used different theories, designs and ways of building their cars in hopes of winning.
The pinewood derby is a long-standing tradition in Cub Scouting, with the Allohak Cub Scouts Council having held its annual Davis Anderson Memorial Pinewood Derby at the mall on Feb. 5. The Girl Scouts of America has become involved in the pinewood derby within the last few years and has adopted the same rules for their race event as the boys.
"We started the Powder Puff derby because many of the girls in our troops have brothers who race in the Boy Scouts' pinewood derby and the girls wanted their own race," Davis said. "They asked for it and the Boy Scouts have helped us organize it from the very beginning."
The girls' pinewood derby had participants from all age levels of the organization from Daisy troops, which is for kindergarten and first-graders, through Cadets troops, which is for sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
All of the participants received a badge for their vests and sashes as well as ribbons for their hard work while the top three winners in each category were given trophies.
"We even have some pretty fun awards for things like the funniest car and coolest paint," Davis said.
The purpose of the Pinewood Derby is to help Scouts build a team relationship with their parent or helper, experience the sense of accomplishment, learn new skills, the excitement of competition, learn Win/Lose good sportsmanship, and to have fun.
The Girl Scouting movement began in the United States in March 1912 when Juliet Gordon Low started the first troop in Savannah, Ga.
Although her first troop only had 18 members, the Girl Scout movement has since grown to include over 4 million girls in the U.S. alone.