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Cub Scouts and Heritage Girls Race in Martinsburg

The Cub Scouts Pack 25, along with the American Heritage Girls, held their own high-speed derby on Saturday afternoon at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Martinsburg.
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A local Cub Scouts pack and their sister group, the American Heritage Girls, got together for a day of fun and a little competition.

It's a tradition more than half a century old, the Pinewood Derby.

The Cub Scouts Pack 25, along with the American Heritage Girls, held their own high-speed derby on Saturday afternoon at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Martinsburg.

"In scouting, they try to do all kinds of activities with the kids to keep them involved, and do fun and exciting things. They usually hold the derbies in the winter time because you can't get out and do much camping, so this gives them time to bond with their parents, working on the cars, as well as creating fun activities for them to do," said Rachel Ringler, co-coordinator of American Heritage Girls in Martinsburg.

For some, this is their first race, but for others, the Derby is a family tradition.

"I think it's a great time. I've been doing scouting now for 12 years, so this is probably my seventh or eighth Pinewood Derby because I started with our oldest child, who's now getting ready to become an Eagle Scout, and so we have mom, Cubby and Boy Scout working on the car together, so it's truly a family event," said Laura Hostetter, assistant Cub Master for Pack 25.

There were 11 pre-registered cars ready to race. All had to meet specific requirements.

"The sky's the limit as long as they stay within. They've got length requirements, height requirements, and then their axels, how far apart their axels can be,” Laura said. “There's specific guidelines that they have to stay within. The cars cannot be propelled, they can't use a rubber band or a propeller to propel it or anything like that. It has to be self propelled, and it does have to clear the finish line on its own in order to qualify."

For participants like Conlin Hostetter, building and designing his car with his mom, Laura, was one of the best parts, which they said is the whole point of the Pinewood Derby, creating a bond between parent and child, and passing skills down from one generation to the next.

The American Heritage Girls, Martinsburg chapter, will be celebrating their one year anniversary in March. They'll also have a recruitment day at the Martinsburg Mall on March 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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