Cub Scout Troop 313 holds annual Pinewood Derby race

BAY RIDGE — It might as well have been the Pocono Raceway for the 70 kids from Cub Scout Pack 313 who attended the annual Pinewood Derby championship on Saturday, Jan. 25.

The race was held at St. Anselm Catholic Academy Melitia Hall, 365 83rd St., in Bay Ridge.

The Pinewood Derby is a Cub Scout tradition dating back to 1953. The Scouts receive a car kit in advance and build the cars at home. The cars can weigh no more than five ounces on race day.

ebrooklyn media/Photos by John Alexander
Tiger Den leaders John and Delmy McCluskey with their seven-year-old son John who competed in the derby.

They perform in a series of heats containing six cars each. Prizes are awarded not only to the fastest three cars in each division, but also in categories such as “coolest-looking car,” “best paint job” and “best theme car,” among others. Many of the scouts design their cars with themes such as pets, superheroes or Nascar, for example.

Cubmaster John Cafiero and his wife, Cub Scout Committee Chair Christina Cafiero, along with the other den leaders, work closely with Boy Scout Troop 13 Assistant Scoutmaster Harry D’Onofrio and the rest of Troop 313 to make this a day the Cub Scouts and their parents will never forget.

“This year over 80 scouts entered their cars in the race,” D’Onofrio told this paper. “Scouting is here to stay in Bay Ridge. The kids get to enjoy all the many things that scouting has to offer such as camping, fishing derbies and my favorite event, the annual Pinewood Derby. And this year, we even had a siblings race that did not disappoint,” added D’Onofrio.  

ebrooklyn media/Photos by John Alexander
Den 5 Tiger Oisin Fogarty with sister Orla.

Planning for the event starts at the beginning of the school year and ramps

up during the holiday season, when the Cub Scouts are presented with the official Pinewood Derby races and rules.

The Cub Scouts and their parents then begin to plan what the simple block of pine and four plastic wheels will become.

Race winners receive trophies and all Cub Scouts are awarded certificates and patches for their efforts and good sportsmanship.

The first-place winners were John Cafiero and Michael Mazza for the Webelos, Daniel McKenna for the Bear Scouts, Joseph Cafiero for the Wolves, James Jude McKenna for the Tigers, Thomas McKenna for the Lions, Brandon Abruzzese for the morning siblings race and Angelina Mazza for the afternoon siblings race.

ebrooklyn media/Photos by John Alexander
Boy Scout Troop 13 Assistant Scoutmaster Harry D’Onofrio helps a young scout fix his derby car.

The Boy Scouts of America is a volunteer-run program that was formed in 1910 by retired British Army officer Robert Baden-Powell.

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. There are over 2,400 traditional Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts all over Brooklyn.

Oisin Fogarty, a Den 5 Tiger, was thrilled to be participating in the derby. “The best part was watching the cars go fast down the track,” he told this paper.

This is the second year the Cafieros are running the pack. “Our pack has grown considerably since my husband John Cafiero became Cubmaster and I took over the Pack two years ago,” said Cafiero. “We have gone from approximately 40 scouts to 73 now. We have open enrollment throughout the year and if anyone is interested they can contact St. Anselm’s Youth Activities,” she added.

ebrooklyn media/Photos by John Alexander
Den 5 Tigers getting their cars ready for the Pinewood Derby awards presentation.

For more information about scouting go to the website:

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