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CUB SCOUT CORNER Ready to Roll Craft the perfect Cubmobile race and let gravity do the rest.

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY. Batman and Robin. Boys and cars. Some things just go together naturally. Most boys love playing with cars,

whether they’re remote-controlled racers, Hot Wheels replicas or battery- powered ride-ons. In Cub Scouting, the pinewood derby lets boys scratch their automotive itch, but it’s not the only option for racing fun. Many packs find that Cubmobile races offer a low-stress, high-octane alternative to the traditional derby. Like pinewood derby cars, Cubmobiles rely on gravity for propulsion. But unlike those pint-size racers, Cubmobiles are big enough to accommodate drivers. To learn more about the ins and

outs of Cubmobile racing, Scouting talked with two Cubmobile veterans. Ryan Coverstone coordinates races

for the Lincolnway District in the Anthony Wayne Area Council (Fort Wayne, Ind.); Jeff Wieters runs races for the Live Oak District in the Los Padres Council (Santa Barbara, Calif.).

It Starts With Cars Plans for cars appear on Page 207 of the Bear Cub Scout Handbook. A Cubmobile is little more than a seat, four wheels and two wooden axles. The rider steers with a rope connected to the front axle — safety blocks keep him from turning too much — and stops by pulling a simple friction brake that drags on the ground. Coverstone and Wieters like the

design in the Bear Handbook, although Wieters recommends adding a floor- board to force boys to use the brake. Without a floorboard, he explains,

“they put their foot down, and their foot’s immediately going to be dragged under the back of the car. It scrapes their knees all up.” One nice thing about Cubmobile

cars is that parts and tools are easy to come by. You can find all the parts at a local hardware store, and you need only a few simple tools. Coverstone recommends buying wheels online for about $30 for a set of four.

Share and Share Alike Unlike in the pinewood derby, not every boy needs his own car. Wieters’ Pack 93 has a few cars boys can use, and he encourages dens to get together and build their own. Two or three cars per den would probably suffice. His pack has also assembled kits

to cut costs and help families that don’t have a resident handyman. “It’s cheaper to do kits because you’re buying everything in bulk versus going out and buying individual pieces yourself, ” he says. Coverstone’s pack maintains a

fleet of five Cubmobiles. “We have another spare that we take with us, plus we have a couple of frames and other wheels that we use for the Bears to put together for their achievement (Elective 7),” he says. Coverstone likes to assign cars a

couple of weeks before race day so that Scouts can practice, get used to the car, paint it, sticker it, whatever they want to do to it — as long as they don’t destroy the car. “It gives them a little ownership,” he says.

FIND MORE advice for Cub Scout leaders at cubscouts.



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