The sound of kids running around Parkwood pool was plentiful at Parkwood Aquatic Center as the Great Neck Cub Scout Pack 178 recently put on their annual Pinewood Derby. With the help of the Great Neck Park District, the Great Neck Library and the Great Neck Public School’s Elementary Remote Program (ERP) program, a day of racing was enjoyed by all.
Though this year was a bit different this exciting event was successfully executed through community cooperation which symbolized what’s great about Great Neck.
Adhering to all safety precautions and guidelines, the cub scouts completed the Pinewood Derby and Bear Carnival. This much anticipated day of scouting and racing involved 20 volunteers and more than 40 scouts and 40 ERP children competing in races with their handmade wooden cars. The scouts were competing against one another in two sessions followed by two sessions involving children attending the Great Neck public schools remotely. The event included the remote children to show community awareness as people are still facing the pandemic.
The Cub Scouts, Bear Den, provided games for the children to compete in when they were not racing their cars. The games included paper airplane contests, an obstacle course, and a scavenger hunt. The Bear carnival is annual requirement that the bear den most complete. The obstacle course was the imagination of John and Larisssa Pschenica, who put together balance beams and other fun obstacles that adhered to the outdoor nature of the scouts.
The building of the Pinewood Derby cars involves starting with a wooden block then cutting the block and adding a car design. The cars are then painted and weighted. Separate sessions were held for ERP families to construct their cars. With the help of South High School teacher, John Motchkavitz, the wood blocks were cut. The Great Neck library stem lab participated by holding computer aided design sessions for the children to design car spoilers and other fun items. This was courtesy of Great Neck Library Youth Services Coordinator, Adam Hinz, and Emerging Technologies Librarian, Chris Van Wickler.
Pack leaders Sewell Tang and Julienne Kawai made sure the event was a smashing success handing out prizes each session for the fastest car while special guest, legislature representative Ellen Birnbaum, picked the “most creative car design”. Additionally, the parks commissioners, and several library trustees attended the event to show support for the community outreach.
Special thanks to all for showing your commitment to the Cub Scouts. Cub Scout volunteers at this event included Seth Kurpiel, Jennifer Murphy, Tal Sarraf, Steven Chen, Wen Wu, Liz Tang, Mary Park, Wei Chen, Chin Tang, Ronen Sarraf, Stephen Perrault and Craig Cutler.
Kate Goldberg coordinated the ERP effort with help from the ERP committee (Rachel Doppelt and Julie Lam-Leong). As part of the event, Goldberg handed out milkweed seeds to highlight efforts to protect the Monarch Butterflies. While Pat Blaha provided logistical support from the Great Neck Parks.