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Clinic aims to help kids with Pinewood Derby cars
A NASCAR Pinewood Derby car. - photo by

Derby Day How-to Clinic

When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday

Where: The Home Depot, 924 Dawsonville Highway

How much: Free, Pinewood Derby kit must be brought

Contact: 770-532-7395

Several area churches, Cub Scouts, Girls Scouts and Awana Clubs have given the children in their respective organizations a Pinewood Derby Kit.

The kit contains a block of wood, wheels and axles. It costs less than $5 and can be purchased at most hobby stores.

Some parents in the area might be asking themselves how they’re supposed to turn a block of wood into a derby car.

While it might seem simple enough to make the toy cars, the process can be a daunting one for parents who lack the tools or the know-how.

This Saturday, The Home Depot on Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville will show parents and children how to turn that Pinewood Deby kit into a personalized race car almost certain to win any derby.

As the parent of a former cub scout, Gene Deiters, receiving manager of the Gainesville store, said he knows there are a lot of parents out there that don’t know what to do with the kits once their child brings it home.

So with the help of The Home Depot, he put together a program to show them exactly how to do it.

"We’ll cut out the car for them in the shape of a race car and then we teach them how to paint it, how to sand it and how to prep the wheels and axles so they can have a real race car on race day," Deiters said.

Children will get to see a variety of shapes that their race car can take, and Deiters will trace the shape and cut it out for the children.

Parents can scan a board with the six steps to completing the project so they know what to do once the cars have been cut out.

The kids can then take their cutout home and sand it smooth and paint it in time for race day.

Foy Todd, director of field service with the Cub Scouts of the Northeast Georgia Council, said the how-to clinic at the store is a great way for children and their parents to learn not only how to make the cars, but how to operate tools safely.

"They’ll talk about safely using tools and how to make the car really fast," Todd said.

"It’s a good parent-son kind of project."

Over the years, Todd said he’s seen some very interesting cars. One Scout once made a car in the shape of a tube of toothpaste, another made a gleaming silver spaceship.

The project gives children a chance to let their creativity show while competing in a friendly race.

Todd said it’s been great for the parents to have the help of Deithers and the store.

"Particularly for the first-timers. I think that’s a lot of help," Todd said.

The clinic is expected to draw around 100 people. Pinewood Derby kits must be brought to the event.

The Cub Scouts of the Northeast Georgia Council will start holding individual pack derby car races soon and winners from each pack can progress to the council-wide derby. Specific racing schedules will be determined by the organizations.

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