Derby car building demonstrations

In Cub Scout packs across the country, there are two common reactions when the annual Pinewood Derby is announced: kids say, “Yay! I get to build a car!» and their parents think, “Huh? I have to build a car?”

For ten years, Lowe’s and Dremel have encouraged excited kids and assisted frustrated parents with their annual Derby Days program. Working together, the two companies present workshops at Lowe’s stores across America to teach boys and their parents how to turn a block of wood into a race car.

“Both Lowe’s and Dremel have a longstanding relationship with the Boy Scouts of America, and we recognize how important it is for the Boy Scouts to not only have the necessary tools and skills to be successful on the Pinewood Derby track, but on any projects they work on at home or in their communities,” said David Vaughn, the vice president of merchandising for tools at Lowe’s. “Lowe’s is proud to offer free instore demonstrations for the Boy Scouts and their parents to learn key building skills that will help them achieve their goals at the Pinewood Derby and beyond.”

The two-hour demonstrations, led by Lowe’s employees and featuring Dremel rotary tools, show participants how to rough out a car, carve details, round the edges, and add weights. They also discuss car design, review safety tips, teach how to sand with progressively finer-grit sandpapers, describe priming and painting, and share tips on wheel and axle preparation.

In addition to their notes and ideas, Scouts leave the demonstration with a Lowe’s/Dremel badge and a discount coupon for Dremel tools and accessories. A kit that includes Dremel accessories and official car-making supplies is also available. Back home, kids can use Dremel’s Derby Days Website to design a car and print a cutting guide.

“The beauty of the Scouting program and a Pinewood Derby is that parents and children work together to create the car,” said Kristy Hensel, the development officer for the Boy Scouts of America. “When a young child sees he can make an aerodynamic instrument from a block of wood and some very basic hardware — it opens that child’s mind up to whatever he can imagine. Building a Pinewood Derby car the traditional way or learning new and different ways to create one while at a Dremel Derby Day guarantees a great time for the parent and Scout.”

Although Lowe’s does not track attendance at the Derby Days events, feedback from stores indicates thousands of children and parents participate each year.

Lowe’s will host the workshops in every store nationwide on four dates in January and February.

“Lowe’s and Dremel’s support of the Derby Days events helps us build relationships with youth across the country who are tomorrow’s community leaders and future homeowners,” said David Vaughn. «Lowe’s knows that education is the cornerstone to building brighter communities, and these in-store demonstrations will empower the Boy Scouts to use their skills not only during the Pinewood Derby races, but to make positive impacts in their communities.”

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