What is a Girl Scout Derby?: Girl Scout Troop 1806 holds an annual Girl Scout Derby every January using a track and equipment provided by our friends in Cub Scout Pack 451. Girl Scouts and their family racers have their own separate race in the morning, followed by the Cub Scouts and their family racers having their race in the afternoon. The Girl Scout Derby 2023 will have separate races for Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes.
Who can participate: The Troop 1806 Girl Scout Derby is not a Council, area or service unit event. Instead, it is an invitational activity of Troop 1806. For the 2022 Derby, there were Girl Scouts participating from seven different troops.
Family Racing: There will be a family race, which is open to anyone associated with a registered Girl Scout who is racing - parents, siblings, leaders, etc. Family racers do not pay a registration fee, and do not receive a trophy or patch. They just race for fun, but winners for speed will be recognized. The family racers will race first, while judging happens for the Girl Scout racers.
Trophies and Patches: The race is just for registered Girl Scouts, Daisy through Cadettes, whose troops have been invited to participate. The girls will race within their program level: Daisies will compete in a Daisy division, Brownies in a Brownie division, Juniors in a Junior division, and Cadettes in a Cadette division. Provided we have the participation numbers, within each division, there will be trophies for first, second and third place in each of three categories: Fastest, Most Beautiful, Most Creative. So there will be nine available trophies for each program level. There will also be a fun patch for EVERY GIRL SCOUT who participates.
Judging/Choice of Trophy: The judging for Fastest is done by a sophisticated computer program, using electronic sensors and based on the fastest speed of a car in four different heats. Judging for Most Beautiful and Most Creative is done by a special panel of judges prior to the start of the judging for Fastest. If a girl places in her division for Fastest, and also for one of the other categories, she will be given a choice of which trophy to accept - she doesn’t get two trophies.
Daisy and Brownie Badges: Daisy Girl Scouts and Brownie Girl Scouts may be able to earn derby-related GSUSA badges by participating in the Girl Scout Derby. The Daisy Badge is called Model Car Design Challenge. The Brownie Badge is called Race Car Design Challenge.
Making the car: The race car does not have to be made out of an official kit, although the use of the official kits is recommended. The girls are encouraged to be creative, and to use whatever materials and designs they wish, either in place of the official kit, or supplementing the official kit. All cars have to meet the same size and weight requirements that the Cub Scouts do (see next), but how they get there is up to them.
Specifications and Rules. As noted above, we want the girls and their families participating in the Girl Scout Derby to be creative and not feel bound by strict rules. That being said, since it is a race with prizes, we do have some rules to keep competition even:
- All cars must be able to roll freely on the track. Even cars competing for Most Beautiful or Most Creative must be able to get down the track and clear the finish line gate.
- Length: The total length of the car shall not exceed 7 Inches.
- Width: The overall width of cars (outside of wheel to outside of wheel. including axles and any protrusions on each side of the car) shall not exceed 3 inches.
- The minimum ground clearance for the car, and the distance between the wheels, must be sufficiently high and wide to allow the car wheels to run on either side of the raised track runner. This usually means a distance of about 1.5 inches between the wheels and a height of 3/8 inch.
- The weight of the car shall not exceed 5 ounces or 141.7 grams.
- There is no maximum height, but the cars must be able to get under the finish gate. This is about 8-10 inches.
- NO LOOSE MATERIALS of any kind are permitted inside or on the car - nothing that would fall onto the track.
- NO LIQUIDS of any kind are permitted - nothing that would leak onto the track.
- The car must be freewheeling and have no propulsion system other than gravity. There are to be NO starting devices, rockets, springs, rubber bands, propellers, etc.
- Only dry lubricants, such as graphite, may be used.
- Cars shall not ride on any type of springs.