Girl Scout Powder Puff Derby WinnerOur Powder Puff Derby is run as father/daughter event.  It’s a great opportunity to get the dads (or special guy) involved in Girl scouting. After running our Powder Puff Derby for several years, we have it down to a science. If you are thinking of giving it a try, here are our suggestions:

Fee:

  • Entry fee is $8 for each Girl Scout and $2 for her father. In addition to the car kit, fee includes ice cream, water bottles, ribbons, photo and a patch.

Supplies:

  • Car kits are purchased at Boy Scout store and have been $3.99 each. Our Service Unit purchases the kits and distributes at least 1 month prior to event. Having repair kit (or at least a few spare parts) at weigh in and the race are helpful.
  • Patches are $.69 at MakingFriends.com
  • Ribbons are ordered from Ribbons Galore. Our girls vote on various categories (i.e. coolest, blingiest, most colorful, etc…).  We allow more than one winner for each categories so extra ribbons are helpful and you get more for your money if you order in groups. We also order 1st – 4th place ribbons.  And one special ribbon for the grand prize.
  • Scales are loaned. We have used postal scale and weight watchers scales.  They are calibrated to be the same.  We use a tin loaf tray to keep cars stable while weighing.
  • Tracks belong to our service unit. We have  2 three-lane tracks with no gates.  We borrow a third track.  We race Daisies at one track, Brownies at another and Juniors and above at the third.
  • Large Steamer Trays with Lids (the ones used with sterno racks) Paper towels are used for carefully packing up cars to bring to event.  (Once weighed in, the cars remain in the custody of Service Unit until the races are over.)  Each tray will hold about 6 – 8 cars. Pack in number order and label lids.
  • Raffle Tickets for voting. You’ll also need containers or bags labeled with your categories.  We have eight categories but issue nine tickets per participant. The car number is written on the back of the ninth ticket.
  • Labels are preprinted from roster with car number, name, troop number & title of event/year. These are placed on the bottom of the corresponding car. We also print a smaller label with car number that go on top of the car (for judging purposes as well as quick identification at race).
  • Water bottles are provided for both the Girls Scout and her special guy.
  • Color-Coded Round Labels for water bottles. We number them to match the car numbers and place on water bottles. One color for the Girl Scout and another color for her special guy.
  • Pencils for voting. Pre-sharpened from Staples are recommended.
  • Ice Cream and Toppings are purchased from Restaurant Depot in 3 gallon buckets. You will also need scoops.
  • Paper Goods are black and white. You’ll need table clothes, napkins, bowls and spoons.
  • Photos are printed from Clarkcolorlabs and placed in cardboard frames from craft store with name of event and year on front and handed out at next leader meeting.
  • Photo Backdrop is fabric because it is easy to store.

Scheduling:

  • 3 Months Prior to Race Night – Distribute information to leaders.
  • 2 Months Prior to Race Night – Get rosters from each troop. Purchase car kits, ribbons and patches.
  • 1 Month Prior to Race Night – Distribute cars.
  • 1 Week Prior to Race Night –  1st weigh-in night. Bring preprinted labels, scales, steamer trays and paper towels. Any cars that are over the weight limit are sent back and need to come back for 2nd weigh-in.
  • 2 Days Prior to Race Night – 2nd weigh-in night. We do not allow weigh in at the event.

A Few Things to Consider for Your Event:

  • Depending on size of your service unit, you may NOT want this to be a family event.  Our events are for Girl Scout and her special guy (18 or over) and we wind up with over 250 people including the volunteers.
  • We found on race night that some cars did not fit the track due to the design chosen (narrowing or lowering wheelbase).  If possible, bringing a piece of track to test cars actually fit the track at weigh in would be helpful.
  • Some tracks have gates that require height restriction for the cars as well as weight restrictions.   Know what kind of tracks you have so you’ll know if there will be height restrictions.
  • On the night of the race, set up a check-in station where each team is given a pencil, raffle tickets, and water bottles
  • Consider if a car should win in more than one category. Judges might award a 2nd or 3rd place as winner if a car has already won one category.
  • We order patches from makingfriends.com invite troops to order with us so we all save money on shipping and/or volume discounts.

Race Night — You’ll Need Plenty of Volunteers!

  • Team of 3 volunteers per track.  To put together tracks and run the races and keep score.  Note: we use caution tape around the tracks to keep the crowd back.
  • Two additional volunteers per track to be in charge of the cars AND the voting. Cars were displayed on tables in gym next to track they would race on.  Scouts not allowed to touch until all races over.
  • Boy Scouts are a great resource for extra help and freed up some moms to be able to volunteer.  (No siblings were allowed so if the sibling was a volunteer Boy Scout, the mom is now free to help also.)  Boy Scouts were asked to wear uniforms. Dads were recruited to help as well.
  • Two volunteers will be needed for photos. Next year we might do a selfie photo booth.
  • Six volunteers will be needed for cafeteria if doing ice cream social.
  • Four volunteers for check-in AND tabulating votes.

Determining Winner: 

There are a few different methods for determining a winner.  Our Service Unit uses a program that was uploaded to a team member’s laptop years ago by a Boy Scout group that had one.  She assigns each car a number (we use D1, D2…, B1, B2…, etc) and then plugs those into a program.  She enters the number of rounds we want to do and the program issues a race schedule. We print the schedule so each racer had a copy. If you do not wish to purchase or cannot borrow a program it can be done with spreadsheets.  The main thing is to make sure each car races on each lane of the track designated for their level.  Preferably against different cars. At the race, the place each car came in was entered into a spreadsheet and then based on total points from that, the top cars would be selected.  The top cars would race again.  Then when winner for each level is chosen, another race for overall winner.

Talk to your local Boy Scout troops to see how they run it and if they would be willing to help run the event for at least the first year or so.

Other scoring methods are available at the Boy Scout website.

My name is Laura Nealon, I have been a leader and Service Unit team member for 13 years. I have assisted the older scouts in our Service Unit in running our annual Scout and Special Lady fashion show and Crazy Car/ Powder Puff derby. Our Service Unit takes pride in our annual community service projects including preparing emergency personal care kits for our local Red Cross, Food for Friends which we run up to 4 or 5 times a year, Cereal for Kids which we run at the end of each school year to provide non-perishable breakfast items to help kids that don’t have access to a good breakfast in the summer months and we collect pop-tabs for Share the Voice which provides adaptive tricycles to handicapped children in our area. We love sharing our ideas and we love to incorporate the ideas we get from other Service Units so we are grateful for the opportunity to share and get ideas here.

 

 

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