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Chesapeake Pathfinders Race for Derby Prize
By Charlie Koerting
The New Hope church in Fulton, Md., recently opened its doors to host the annual Chesapeake Conference Pathfinder Pinewood Derby. The derby is an event in which Pathfinders prepare cars from kits, containing wood blocks, axles, and wheels. They design, assemble, and decorate the cars and then race them on one of several tracks at the event. This activity emphasizes not only the mechanical skills in preparing and “tuning” the cars, but also encourages the creative side of the Pathfinders in their decoration of the cars. About 250 Pathfinders from 13 clubs from around the conference participated. This year 219 cars were entered for the show and races.
Before the racing commenced, Keith Acker, youth pastor at the West Wilmington (Del.) church, presented a devotional thought. Acker focused on 1 Corinthians 9:24, about running the race to win the prize, which is the imperishable crown.
Race heats at the club, area, and finally the conference level determined the event winners. The final races in each division where anticipated with a degree of enthusiasm usually reserved for NASCAR events. Trophies were awarded for the race winners in the junior, teen, and staff divisions. In addition to the race winners, the winners in a show car and most creative car division were also awarded trophies. Even those Pathfinders whose cars did not win their races were winners: they got to enjoy a day of fun and fellowship as well as the good food that several clubs fold as fundraisers. Many thanks to the Pathfinder club staff members and the hospitality of the New Hope church for making this event a success.