They swept in as gracefully as the legends that had come before; with a confident swagger befitting the likes of Dale Earnhardt, Janet Guthrie, and Carroll Shelby. Starry-eyes and toothy-grins. The anticipation was palpable, and hung thick in the air.
(Pictured above: Wesley Ridpath with his striking red car, emblazoned with the lighting-bolt logo of The Flash).
Three, two, one…
The roar of the crowd! The squeal of the tires! The blur of colors speeding down the track!
And the winner is…
This was the scene last night at the Lewisburg United Methodist Church, where the Scouts hosted their annual Pinecar Derby. The turnout exceeded expectations, as over one-hundred spectators gathered to be a part of this event. It was a night that promised family, friends, and fun, and it did not disappoint.
Bryan Bush is the Cub Master. He, along with a dedicated team of hard-working volunteers, is responsible for last night’s success. I had the opportunity to speak with Bryan before the competition began. He made me aware of some really great things about both the race, and the Scouts in general.
The Pinecar Derby is open to girls and boys, from kindergarten through fifth grade. However, it is but one of many family and community-based activities the Scouts participate in each year. There are also food-drives, caroling, and camping trips, just to name a few. Everything the Scouts do is done in support of their motto: leave it better than you found it.
The Pinecar Derby is about sportsmanship. While there was an overall Grand Champion, everyone went home a winner. And not in a “participation-trophy “ kind of way. These kids worked very hard building their cars. They put their hearts into the competition, and many of them felt the sting that comes from defeat. But there were high-fives and support. There were hugs and encouragement. There were bonds built, and relationships made stronger.
Ronnie Magliochetti was the mastermind behind the fastest car. He channeled his inner Enzo Ferrari, and handcrafted a machine that earned him the title of Derby Champion. The trophy he took home last night was almost as gorgeous as his racecar. Almost…but not quite. Ronnie’s car was a work of art.
Another competitor was six-year-old Westley Ridpath. His night of racing was over when we spoke. His big-brother Cash, however, was still competing for the championship. Westley was visibly disappointed. His striking red car, emblazoned with the lighting-bolt logo of The Flash, had not performed as well as he’d hoped. Westley did not earn a trophy. But, like a true superhero, this young man set aside his own disappointment in support of his brother. I cannot think of a better example of what the Scouts stand for than the one he set last night. It was inspiring. Westley Ridpath truly left me better than he found me.
Earlier today, the Girl Scouts held their Pinecar Derby, as well. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this until last night. I wasn’t able to attend, but I sure would have liked to. Although, I did get the chance to speak with Emily Shirey this evening. She organized the event for the Girl Scouts today. After our conversation, it was clear that I missed out on something special.
However, there is a bit of a silver lining. Emily reminded me that we are fast approaching cookie season. Pre-sales are happening through February 7th, and cookies arrive on February 29th. (Am I the only one who forgot its leap year? Thank you, Julius Ceasar.) Get your orders in early. Those cookies go fast! And if you want Thin Mints, the line forms behind me.
For more information, or if you need help placing a cookie order, contact Emily Shirey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bryan Bush can be reached at email@example.com.
– Matthew Young, HashtagWV #122. February 2020.