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Boston-area Boy Scouts to try to build world's largest pinewood derby track

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  October 2, 2012 04:07 PM

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(Boston Minuteman Council)

A rendering of the planned design for the potential world record setting pinewood derby track.

Boston-area Boy Scouts hope to break the world record for the largest pinewood derby track when they meet this weekend along the Charles River in Allston.

The scouts plan to build a track designed to resemble the city’s Zakim Bridge, event organizers said.

Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand to confirm whether the record is broken, according to a press release from the Boy Scouts of America’s Boston Minuteman Council, which will host the gathering.

The current Guinness World Record for the largest pinewood derby track is 263 feet, 2 inches. That track was built in Wisconsin on June 5, 2010 by the North Star District of the North East Illinois Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

The track planned to be built in the Allston neighborhood of Boston this weekend is expected to extend 335 and-a-half feet, organizers said.

The track will start at a height of 15 feet. It will be built to look like the cable-stayed Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, a part of the Big Dig project that opened in 2003 above the Charles River along Boston's northern edge.

In order to qualify for the record, cars must meet specific pinewood derby specifications and must complete the entire course, officials said.

Along with the potential world record track, the Scouting’s Outdoor Adventure on the River, or SOAR, is expected to draw more than 5,000 scouts and families on Sunday, Oct. 7 to partake in some 150 outdoor activities around Herter Park and Artesani Playground, which are located at 1175 Soldiers Field Road.

Organizers said the event aims to transform the green space along the banks of the Charles River into a large campground.

Other activities will include canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, tower climbing, zombie first aid, “storm the castle,” robot building, video game design, archery, and tomahawk throwing, shooting sports, “mountain man” and a nighttime fireworks display.

New England Revolution players plan to teach soccer skills, and musicians and other entertainers will perform throughout the day on a main stage, officials said. The reigning Miss Massachusetts, Natalie Pietrzak, is the event’s official host, and will lead the crowd into the final evening show highlighted by fireworks.

The event aims to celebrate the Boston Minuteman Council’s “ScoutReach” program, which has created more than 25 new scout units in Boston’s inner-city neighborhoods, including in Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester and Jamaica Plain, according to organizers.

“SOAR 2012 is a first-of-its-kind event built on the Scouting tradition of enjoying the outdoors and bonding through learning valuable skills such as wilderness survival, leadership and life skills,” organizers said in a press release.

The general public can register to attend and participate. To learn more, visit

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at
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