SUGAR GROVE – The Girl Scouts are getting ready to roll with their their model car race, the Powderpuff Derby. The derby uses car kits, in addition to glitter, color, creativity and story lines on top of their cars, according to Chris Saintey, parent volunteer of the event.
“The girls’ cars are the most creative derby cars you’ll ever see,” he said.
According to their website, the goals of the Powderpuff Derby includes sportsmanship and good citizenship by cheering on friends as they race against each other; personal achievement as they pick up woodworking tools and shape raw wood; and enhanced family understanding because the scout and her family are working closely and intensely over many hours.
“Raising independent women who are confident in themselves and who never feel minimal or belittled because of their gender is why I think the derby is important for the Girl Scouts and why I stepped up to volunteer when the derby was in jeopardy of being canceled,” Saintey said. “I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen so my daughters could continue experiencing the derby and learn to feel comfortable using the woodworking tools.”
This year’s Powderpuff Derby will be held Feb. 25 at the Sugar Grove Community Center, 151 Main Street, Sugar Grove, and will start at 1 p.m. The weigh-ins for the cars will happen from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 23 and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Community Center.
“During the weigh-ins, the girls bring their cars in for their final weigh-in, make adjustments if they need to, and get their picture taken,” said Sarah Ziemba, Girl Scout Troop No. 1569 leader. “The girls then leave their car at the Community Center until race day so no other adjustments can be made.”
This is the second year Troop 1569 has hosted the event and they open it to all 52 troops within the Trefoil Service Unit.
“Last year 83 girl scouts participated in the derby and nearly 400 people came to watch,” Saintey said.
All the kits for this race must be purchased through Troop 1569 for $9. Participants can race as an individual or with a troop, but have to be registered by Feb. 18. To purchase a kit and register, contact Patti Reeder at firstname.lastname@example.org. The email should include the participant's name, troop number and scout level. All levels of Girl Scouts, and their siblings, are invited to participate.
“We have fun races at the end of the day for the siblings of Girl Scouts as well as anyone who would like to race perhaps their old derby car,” Ziemba said. “No trophies or awards will be given for these races, it’s all just in good fun.”
The derby kits include the wheels, a block of wood and nails.
“The girls have to come up with ways to make the car and design it,” Ziemba said. “They need some parental supervision using the woodworking tools, but need to use their vision to make it their own.”
The timed races will determine who receives first through sixth place trophies. All leaders and participants will also be able to vote on which cars they think should win the most creative; funniest car; most Girl Scout pride; most colorful; best paint job; and most patriotic.
“We are also looking for an emcee for the event and other volunteers, if anyone is interested in helping with the derby,” Ziemba said. For more information and official rules on the derby, visit powderpuffderbygirls.strikingly.com.