Pinewood Derby! Cub Pack 139 Celebrates 50th Year

Alumni and donors join in the celebration of Pack 139’s 50th Pinewood Derby

PHOTO: | A Scout in front of the coveted trophies and the tricked out cars just before the heats began

If you have ever been involved in Cub or Boy Scouts, or even know a scout, then you know the anticipation and excitement that surrounds the Pinewood Derby each year. Sunday saw a very special Pinewood Derby here in South Pasadena with the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Hills Cub Pack 139’s Derby.

PHOTO: Gregory Brouillette | | The 50th annual Pinewood Derby of Cub Pack 139 saw the debut of their new, state of the art track

The event was held on the premises of Beyond The Classroom, generously donated by owner Samantha Montes, and featured many special guests on hand to cheer the boys on. Chief among them were John and Floy Shieh, Wolf Scout parents and owners of local business RejuvaYou Medi-Spa, who donated the sparkling new, state of the art track to the troop that will last them for years to come.

PHOTO: Gregory Brouillette | | Scouts checking out all the Pinewood Derby cars ready for action

Shieh explained how much he and his brother loved Pinewood Derbys growing up so when he heard the troop was in need of a new track, “I knew that was something that I wanted to get involved with and we are so thrilled to bring this state of the art track and software system to Pack 139, something they can enjoy for years to come.”

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PHOTO: Gregory Brouillette | The Shieh Family with their son’s trophy for Fastest Car from the Wolf Den

The track is all connected to software and a timer that measures the times down to the 1/1000 of a second, making for an incredibly exciting experience for everyone!

For the uninitiated, the Scouts are given a block of wood, two wooden axles and four plastic tires and are asked to let their imaginations run wild. Every year they seem to come up with new and unique designs with kids cheering on their favorite cars. For the past year, Nick Bangar, the owner of Artist Brand Canvas and a Tiger Den leader, has donated his time and equipment to help the scouts turn their ideas into reality by helping them cut and shape their wood into creative masterpieces.

It was a gorgeous, Southern Californian Sunday with blue skies and sunshine as Pack 139’s derby got underway. The newly tricked out cars were pitted against each other in dozens of heats, all matched up by the new computer system. There are several honors to be bestowed including Most Creative, Best Craftmanship and Kids’ Choice Award. The grand prize of the day is Fastest Car in the Pack trophy, the “Stanley Cup” of this particular derby dating back to 1968 and much coveted. The winner’s name is engraved on the trophy and they get to take it home for the year along with bragging rights.

PHOTO: | A Scout in front of the coveted trophies and the tricked out cars just before the heats began

Said Cub Master Malinda Vargas, “It was a beautiful day and we were glad so many Scouts and their families were able to join us.  It was a day of friendly competition, demonstration of creativity, and another wonderful family memory for our boys.”

Vargas tells us the boys will be volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House making dinner for the residents this month.

PHOTO: Gregory Brouillette | On your marks, SET, GO!

Emcee for the day was Webelos II Den Leader and San Gabriel High School teacher, David Whitman. Volunteering were scouts from South Pasadena Troop 342 and Troop 7. Also on hand were distinguished alumni who made up the judges panel including:


Rex Owens – Former Scout (1973 – 1978); Den Leader, Committee Chair, Cubmaster (1999 – 2006)                                                                                                                 Karen Owens – Former Den Leader (1999 – 2006)                                                   Yehouda Masjedi – Former Den Leader (2014)                                                             Joey Moeller – Former Scout (1983)

Below slideshow find the list of winners

And here are the winners…


Den Awards

Fastest Car (Tiger Den) – Jonah Bangar

Fastest Car (Wolf Den) – Valen Shieh

Fastest Car (Bear Den) – Ian Wong

Fastest Car (Webelos I Den) – Mateo Garcia

Fastest Car (Webelos II Den) – Ethan Wong


Most Creative Car (Tiger Den) – Sebastian Lucero

Most Creative Car (Wolf Den) – Nathan Arias

Most Creative Car (Bear Den) – Logan Burmood

Most Creative Car (Webelos I Den) – Zepplin Gosch

Most Creative Car (Webelos II Den) – Theo Hilger


Pack Awards

Fastest Car in the Pack – Ian Wong (in Gregory’s photo, pictured: William Wong, Christina Wong, Ian Wong)

Kids’ Choice Award – Logan Burmood

Best Design – Chris Arias

Best Craftsmanship – Logan Vargas

Coolest Car – Oscar Bertolina

Funniest Car – Nicky Asplund

Best Effort – J.C. Lopez

Best Gas Mileage – Marlow Slattery