2023 Pinewood Derby and Bear Carnival

Yesterday was an absolutely amazing day at our Pinewood Derby event! It was an action-packed day filled with excitement, competition, and plenty of fun for everyone involved.

Mr. Mike going over the rules before the races begin!

The day started early with the setup of the race track, and soon enough, the participants started arriving with their carefully crafted Pinewood Derby cars. As the cars were weighed and inspected, the excitement in the air was palpable. Everyone was eager to see who would come out on top in the race.

Before the races began, Rebecca Sassouni, Great Neck Board of Education President, and Rory Lancman, President of the Great Neck Board of Trustees, judged all of the cars for the best paintjob and the best design. As you can see in the pictures below, there were so many creative designs. It was clear that the scouts put a lot of time and effort into their cars, and Rebecca and Rory had a hard time picking the winners!

As the races began, the energy in the room was electric. The sound of cheering and laughter filled the air as each car zoomed down the track, with everyone rooting for their favorite car. The races were fast-paced, and each heat was more exciting than the last.

One of the best parts of the event was seeing the sportsmanship displayed by the participants. Even when a car didn’t win, the participants were gracious and supportive of each other. It was clear that they understood that the Pinewood Derby was about more than just winning; it was about having fun and building lasting friendships.

The day was not just about the races, as the bears hosted the annual Bear Carnival to keep everyone entertained. They set up multiple booths for different games. We had raffles and snacks. There were water, paper planes, and plastic balls in the air. But, most importantly, laughter!

The event was a huge success, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s Pinewood Derby! Good job, scouts!

Wheelchair Basketball Team Nassau Kings Visits 178 Webelos

On Saturday, January 28, 2023, players of the Wheelchair Basketball Team Nassau Kings spoke to the Webelos (4th graders) of Pack 178 at Great Neck South High School’s gym.

In this event, Kings players shared some of the challenges with moving in a wheelchair, how playing basketball has changed their lives, and showed off their special moves. The Webelos also got to learn about the specially-designed basketball wheelchairs, and maneuver and race in one. They got to shoot some hoops as well!

This activity satisfies the requirements of the Webelos’ elective adventure, Aware and Care, which requires the scouts to develop an awareness of the challenges that physically disabled people face, to care more about them and be more inclusive.

This event was organized by the Webelos Den Leader, Seth Kurpiel.

Pack 178 is deeply thankful to the Nassau Kings players who came out to share their lives with our scouts! We encourage everyone to support the Kings by going to their website so that they can continue to do what they love.

The cub scouts of Pack 178 come from all four Great Neck public elementary schools – E.M. Baker, J. F. Kennedy, Lakeville, and Saddle Rock – and Buckley Country Day School.

Great Neck Pack 178 is always happy to welcome new Scouts. Any girls and boys from Kindergarten through fourth grade should visit www.greatneckcubscouts.com for more information.

Annual Pinewood Derby 2021

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.