Scouts have late winter tradition at the races


1st Innisfail Scouts build their own hot wheel creations

INNISFAIL –  The local scouting community has given the town its annual dose of hot wheel action.

With many family members and friends taking in the excitement, more than 30 kids from 1st Innisfail Scouts gamely took part in the annual Beaver Buggy, Kub Kar and Scout Truck Rally at the Innisfail United Church on March 13.

It was an event designed by Scouts Canada to give young Scouts a chance to build their own miniature hot wheel toys and set them loose on a 12-metre indoor track.

For more than two hours  it was zoom-zoom and a lot of fun.

The Scouts Canada-sponsored late winter tradition is held in dozens of communities across the country, including Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. Locally, the annual event is considered one of the most important of the year for local Scouts.

“It’s a challenge to compete but it is a friendly competition. It’s not like some competitions where it’s very, very physical. Parents are invited to this with the rest of the family. They cheer on their kids,” said Gary Patrick, group commissioner for the local Scouts group. “At the end of it everybody gets a Hot Wheels car.”

The Beavers and Cubs from 1st Innisfail Scouts received their kits, as well as the lone Scout, from Scouts Canada. Each kit came with a block of wood and four wheels. Once opened, it ignited the creative fire with every young Scout.

“The Beavers don’t shape them. They come with a rectangle and slots for nails for the wheels, and a slot on top for a Beaver cutout. The Beavers then paint the whole thing,” said Patrick, adding the building process is designed to give the young Scouts early training with tools. “For the Cubs we (adults) use scroll saw, the Cubs do the sandpaper for their Kar, and they design it.”

And for the lone older Scout, his kit was a bit more complicated. The young Scout had to put together an 18-wheeler truck, which involved using a scroll saw, glue and hammers. The Scout was required to shape the cab, and add fenders, gas tanks and exhaust pipes.

“The parents and Scouters help them make the toys but it still gives them a challenge. Nobody fails. It is a fun challenge, something they don’t get to do,” said Patrick.

When every hot wheel was finished it was time to race on a 12-metre track, which included a down ramp. With the Beavers and Cubs, there was a race-off with groups of three going one at a time, with the fastest times moving on to the next level, and ultimately leading up to the winners. The lone Scout raced against two adults who built their own miniature rigs.

But there were no losers on this action- and fun-packed evening.

“There were no first-, second- or third-place winners as we decided that since all of the youth worked on their vehicles, they were all winners so each of the competitors received a certificate and a Hot Wheels toy car,” said Patrick.  “Each of them were called up in turn to receive the awards and each received loud applause from all of the parents, siblings and friends attending.”

After the kids received their prizes,  Area Scouting commissioner Jeanette Regehr presented Scouts Canada service awards to Scouters Rob Groeger, Chris Bushell and Gary Patrick.

And there were glorious smiles radiating from everyone, with young Scouts and their families giddy from a fun night of friendly competition, followed by healthy fellowship over a light snack of healthy finger food and Scout popcorn.

Members of the 1st Innisfail Scouts will now prepare for a group camp at Sylvan Lake’s Camp Woods that will be held during the last weekend of April.

Any parent that wants more information on 1st Innisfail Scouts can contact Patrick at 403-227-6768.


About Author

Johnnie Bachusky

Johnnie Bachusky joined the Innisfail Province as editor in 2013. He covers Innisfail and Red Deer County news, police, crime and municipal politics. He is also a photographer and columnist.