Almanac

Community - February 16, 2011

A homemade soap box derby

Submitted by Brett Anstrom, 12, of Portola Valley, a member of Menlo Park Boy Scout Troop 222.

On Sunday afternoon, Feb. 13, more than 30 scouts with Menlo Park's Troop 222 raced their homemade soap box derby racecars down a steep hill on Lawler Ranch Road in Woodside.

Seven Patrols built six racecars over the last two months in a local cabinet shop. The gravity-powered cars raced in two-car heats, covering the 600-foot race course in approximately 30 seconds. Each car was brightly colored showing the individual style of each patrol.

Parents, grandparents, and siblings were thrilled by the sight of the racecars as they crossed the finish line and the Scouts hit the brakes.

After each of the heats, all the cars went to the inspection area to make sure they were safe to drive. The Scouts quickly made several minor repairs to keep the race moving smoothly. Once the racecars cleared the final safety inspection, the Boy Scouts quickly pushed the racecars back to the starting line at the top of the hill, for the next heat.

It was a lot of fun working with my patrol, the Penguins, to build the patrol's car. I am looking forward to the results of our patrol's averaged time. While the test run was scary for me, the actual race was really fun. I can't wait to do this again next year.

All of us Scouts would like to say a huge thank you to the generous sponsorship of our cars and this event by the following companies: Argon (Radix) Systems, Chislett Equestrian Centre, D&M Traffic Services, Giga-OM, Ladera Recreation District, Nolasco Construction Group, Peninsula Custom Homes Inc., The Wooden Leaf Inc. and Young and Borlik Architects.

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