Scouts bring back Soap Box Derby in Longmont on Saturday, with plans to continue and expand – The Denver Post

After lowering themselves down into their long, narrow cars, kids either leaned forward, grabbing the reins to steer their car forward and down the hill, or sat back, ready to let the car do all the work.

When they were given the signal, some kids hastily rolled forward and sped off down the hill. Others had a bit more trouble getting going after the grade leveled out and were forced to use their arms to propel forward as they pushed off the asphalt.

About 30 kids competed in the Scouts BSA Soap Box Derby on Saturday in Longmont. The event was the first derby held in the Longmont area in about 20 years, said Adrienne Barrett, whose daughters Anni and Eiry, both 9, competed Saturday.

“Their favorite part was building the car,” Barrett said. “They built it from scratch. It’s been about a month that they have been working on it.”

Barrett, of Mead, said they named their car Neon Moon and decorated it with stars.

The contestants were Cub Scouts and Scout members from Longmont’s Troop 64 and other area troops, said Scott Conlin, an assistant scoutmaster with the troop.

It was Conlin’s idea to bring the derby back to the area in effort to get kids outside and working together.

“There’s an official Soap Box Derby, which happens in Littleton or Colorado Springs, but there isn’t any of that in northern Colorado,” he said.

Awards were given to Cub Scouts (under age 11) and Scouts (ages 11-17) for fastest teams, fastest cars and drivers, and best-designed cars.

Neon Moon was the winner for all three of the Cub Scout categories with Eiry Barrett, with Pack 159 of Mead, taking first for fastest driver.

The fastest team in the Scouts category was The A Team, from Troop 78 of Boulder. The fastest overall driver was Joe Danforth, of Louisville, who is part of Troop 78. The best- designed car was Scrap, from Troop 377 in Boulder. The fastest single-run driver was Ian Tucker, also from Troop 377.

Although it was his first year organizing the event, Conlin could tell the kids were having fun and enjoying the day. That’s what it’s all about, he said.

“It’s always tricky with a first-year event, but everyone here seems to be having a great time,” Conlin said. “The kids come back, and they are like ‘Yeah!’ That’s what makes it.”

Conlin plans to turn the derby into an annual event and will open it up to kids who are not in Scouts as well.

Ben Trendler, 14, waited for his car, The Collective Brain Cell, to be called Saturday afternoon. His two partners had raced in it ahead of him and won.

It was his first time competing in a derby, and he was anxious to glide down the ramp, he said.

“It was just fun,” he said. “We got to work on (the car) together and figure out what we wanted to add to it.”

Jon Wynett, of Boulder, sat on the sidewalk and watched kids launch off the ramp Saturday. His son, Jeremy Wynett, 12, was a builder for the competition.

Wynett said it was his first time attending a Soap Box Derby. He added that Jeremy’s great-uncle had been a national Soap Box Derby champion in 1958.

Wynett said Jeremy enjoyed the event because it gave him the opportunity to work with friends and do something different.

“I think he just likes the teamwork of everyone getting together to build the car,” he said.

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