11th Annual Girl Scout POWERED Derby

(above) Girl Scouts of Cranford 4th Grade Junior Troop 40042 Members 

Girl Scout Powered Derby

Girl Scout Junior Troop 40042

Over 200 Cranford area Girl Scouts of all ages and their families participated in the 11th annual Cranford Girl Scout POWERED Derby at the Cranford Community Center on Sunday, January 28, 2024. 

The Girl Scout Powered Derby encourages Girl Scouts to use their engineering skills and creativity to turn blocks of wood into miniature cars which were then raced on a specialized aluminum six lane track owned by the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey.

There was much excitement to be had during the day long event as the Girl Scouts raced their wood creations. The eight races were organized by age levels from kindergarten to high school and each car competed in six heats throughout their level. At the end of the day, the cars of the top four fastest finishers in each of the eight levels were entered into the grand championship round. This year’s Grand Champion of the 2024 Girl Scouts Powered Derby was Mia, a fourth grader from Girl Scout Junior Troop 40171.

(above) Mia, 2024 Girl Scout Powered Derby Grand Champion from Girl Scout Junior Troop 40171 

“The Girl Scout Powered Derby was important to me because I spent time with my dad having fun, but also working on the car at the same time,” said Mia. “Being a part of the race helped me understand more about engineering. I felt nervous racing the car, but I felt very happy and excited when I won. My car broke speed records on the track, which was very exciting! I can’t wait to design and build a car next year!” 

The Girl Scouts in Junior Troop 40042 also can’t wait for next year’s event. This year Junior Troop 40042 excitedly assumed the role of hosts for the Girl Scout of Cranford derby after shadowing Girl Scout Troop 40444 in 2023. Girl Scout Troop 40444 members had coordinated the event since 2014 until their graduation in 2023.

This year in preparation for the event to ensure all Girl Scouts had an opportunity to participate no matter of their access to tools, Girl Scout Junior Troop 40042 held two new design and carpentry workshops to assist Girl Scouts and their families with the safe building of their wood car creations. Girl Scout attendees received hands-on experience with tools and carpentry techniques.  The promotion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities is a growing part of the Girl Scouts of the USA offerings to girls of all ages.

“The Girl Scout Powered Derby encourages the Girl Scouts to use their imaginations and tools to make their designs come to life,” said Grace, from Girl Scout Junior Troop 40042. “There were so many types of cars I never would have even thought of – a chocolate bar, a beaver, ramen noodles, a box of crayons – just so many ideas. I gained confidence because it felt good to help people and see so many people attend and have fun during an event we planned.” 

The Girl Scout Junior Troop 40042 also continued the philanthropic tradition of collecting children’s snacks during the event from the Girl Scout families which benefited Cranford Family Cares, a non-profit that provides temporary assistance to individuals and families in  Cranford, NJ. 

“The derby allows the Girl Scouts to learn and exercise a multitude of skills,” said Jennifer Crum, a Girl Scout Junior Troop 40042 co-leader assisting in the event. “Event planning, budgeting, woodworking, marketing, just to name a few. Beyond these more technical aspects, our girls have had to learn valuable life skills such as patience, teamwork, creativity, and good sportsmanship. Each year as the girls grow and mature, Troop 40042 members will be able to take on more and more responsibilities to hone these skills even further. I am excited to see how this event will continue to create leaders out of our amazing troop of girls.” 

About The Girl Scouts of Cranford

The Girl Scouts of Cranford boasts over 1,000 Girl Scout Members in 67 troops and Juliettes making it one of the largest non-profit organizations in town. The Cranford Service Unit is a part of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ) Council which is part of the Girl Scouts of the USA. If your family is interested in learning more about local Girl Scouts or to find out more information on the Girls Scouts of Cranford, please visit GirlScoutsofCranford.com.

Photos by Girl Scout Junior Troop 40042

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