Webelos Race Time Adventure for 2024

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This for the 2024 program year Cub Scout updates. This new program takes effect on June 1, 2024. See more details about the overall program updates here.

The Webelos Race Time Adventure is a fun activity where Webelos Scouts build and race vehicles. This adventure helps Scouts learn about building and the science behind moving objects. By building a Pinewood Derby car or a Raingutter Regatta boat, Scouts get to work with tools and materials. This is a great way for them to see how different shapes and weights affect speed.

Webelos Race Time Adventure Pin

Scouts also learn about the rules of the races. Knowing the rules helps them understand how to compete fairly. This is important in all games and competitions. During the Webelos Race Time Adventure, Scouts explore how things like friction can slow down their vehicles. Understanding these small details helps them make better racing vehicles.

Another important part of the Webelos Race Time Adventure is discussing sportsmanship. Before the race, Webelos talk about how to behave during the competition. They learn the importance of treating others with respect, whether they win or lose. This is a key part of being a good Scout and a good person.

By participating in the race, Webelos have a chance to put everything they’ve learned into action. Racing their vehicles with friends and family watching is exciting. It’s a great way to show what they’ve accomplished and enjoy being part of a team. The Webelos Race Time Adventure is about building and racing. It’s also about learning, having fun, and growing as a Scout.

Requirements for the Webelos Race Time Adventure

Webelos Race Time Adventure Requirements

  1. With adult supervision, build either a Pinewood Derby car or a Raingutter Regatta boat.
  2. Learn the rules of the race for the vehicle chosen in requirement 1.
  3. Explore the properties of friction and how it impacts your chosen vehicle.
  4. Before the race, discuss with your den how you will demonstrate good sportsmanship during the race.
  5. Participate in a Pinewood Derby or a Raingutter Regatta.

Resources for the Webelos Race Time Adventure

Build a Car or Boat

For Requirement 1 of the Webelos Race Time Adventure, Scouts need to build a Pinewood Derby car or a Raingutter Regatta boat. This project should be done with the help of an adult.

Pinewood Derby Car: This is a small wooden car that Scouts make from a kit. The kit includes a block of wood, wheels, and axles. Scouts shape the wood into a car design, then paint and decorate it. The goal is to make the car both fast and good-looking.

Raingutter Regatta Boat: This is a small boat made from a kit, which includes a hull, outriggers, a plastic sail, and a mast. Scouts attach the sail and decorate the boat. The boat races in a water-filled track, usually a raingutter, powered by blowing air on the sail.

  • Plan First: Before cutting or building, plan your design. Think about what will make your vehicle fast and how you want it to look.
  • Do Your Best: Try to do most of the work on the car yourself. Adults can help when safety is an issue though.
  • Test and Improve: After building your car or boat, test it to see how it performs. You might need to make adjustments to make it faster or more stable.
  • Safety First: Always be careful when using tools. Follow all safety guidelines to avoid injuries.

Building these vehicles teaches Scouts about engineering and creativity. It’s also a great way for them to bond with adults and learn new skills.

Know the Rules

For Requirement 2 of the Webelos Race Time Adventure, Scouts must learn the rules of the race for the vehicle they built in Requirement 1—either a Pinewood Derby car or a Raingutter Regatta boat. Knowing the rules is important for fair play and understanding how the competition works.

Pinewood Derby Rules:

  1. Car Specifications: The car must fit certain size and weight limits. Usually, it should not be longer than 7 inches and heavier than 5 ounces.
  2. Wheels and Axles: Only use the wheels and axles provided in the kit. Modifications like narrowing the wheels or using professional axles are often not allowed.
  3. Gravity Powered: The car must be powered by gravity only. No motors or mechanical aids are allowed.
  4. Stay within Lane: The car must stay in its lane and cannot interfere with other cars.

Raingutter Regatta Rules:

  1. Boat Specifications: Like the cars, boats have size limits. They must fit within the raingutter.
  2. Sail and Mast: Use only the materials provided in the kit for the sail and mast. The sail can be trimmed but must not be replaced with another material.
  3. Wind Power Only: The boat must be powered by wind (blowing) only. No mechanical fans or other propulsion methods are allowed.
  4. No Hands in the Water: You cannot touch the water or the boat during the race, except to place it at the start or if it needs to be reset.

Complete rules are included in the kits.

Understanding and following the rules helps ensure that everyone has a fair and enjoyable race experience.


For Requirement 3 of the Webelos Race Time Adventure, Scouts need to explore how friction affects their Pinewood Derby car or Raingutter Regatta boat. Friction is the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another. It can slow down both cars and boats.

Pinewood Derby

  • Wheel and Axle: Friction occurs where the wheels and the axles meet. If there’s too much friction, the car will slow down.
  • Car Track Contact: If any part of the car scrapes against the track, this will also slow the car down due to increased friction.
  • Air Resistance: This is also a form of friction. As the car speeds down the track, the air pushing against it can slow it down.

How to Reduce Friction for Derby Cars:

  • Polish the Axles: Make sure the axles are smooth and polished. This reduces friction where the wheel spins.
  • Lubricate: Use a dry lubricant like graphite on the axles to help the wheels turn smoothly.
  • Align the Wheels: Properly aligned wheels that do not wobble or hit the car body reduce friction.

Raingutter Regatta

  • Hull and Water: The shape of the boat’s hull affects how much water resistance, or friction, the boat encounters.
  • Sail Setup: How the sail is set can impact how effectively the boat moves through the water. If the sail isn’t positioned right, it won’t catch the wind well or it might turn sideways, creating drag.

How to Reduce Friction for Regatta Boats:

  • Smooth Outriggers: Make sure the outriggers are smooth. This helps them glide through the water more easily.
  • Proper Sail Placement: Adjust the sail so it catches the wind efficiently without flapping too much, which increases drag.

More Advice for Exploring Friction

  • Experiment: Try changing one thing at a time, like the polish on the axles or the shape of the hull. See how these changes affect the speed of your car or boat.
  • Observe and Adjust: Watch how your vehicle performs in practice races. If you notice it slowing down, look for where friction might be happening and try to reduce it.

Understanding friction and how to manage it can make a big difference in how fast your vehicle can go. It’s a great way to learn about physics while having fun with your Scout project.

Good Sportsmanship

For Requirement 4 of the Webelos Race Time Adventure, Scouts need to discuss good sportsmanship with their den before the race. Good sportsmanship is about being fair, respectful, and kind, whether you win or lose. It’s important because it helps everyone enjoy the competition and feel good about participating.

  • Respect Others: Treat all racers and leaders with respect. Use kind words and actions, even if you’re disappointed or upset.
  • Follow Rules: Stick to the rules of the race. This shows honesty and integrity.
  • Encourage Everyone: Cheer for everyone, not just yourself or your friends. Encouragement can make the race more enjoyable for all participants.
  • Accept Outcomes: Win or lose, be gracious. Congratulate the winners if you don’t win, and be humble if you do win.
  • Help Others: If you see another Scout struggling, offer to help. Maybe their car needs a quick fix or they need a kind word.

Talking about and practicing good sportsmanship helps Scouts learn to be better teammates and competitors. It’s an important part of the Scouting experience and teaches values that Scouts can use in other areas of life, too.

Pinewood Derby and Raingutter Regatta Events

Requirement 5 of the Webelos Race Time Adventure involves participating in either a Pinewood Derby or a Raingutter Regatta. Both events are fun, competitive races that require Scouts to use the vehicles they built in earlier requirements.

Pinewood Derby

  • What It Is: The Pinewood Derby is a car racing event. Scouts build their own cars from a block of wood, usually with the help of adults. The cars are small, designed to run down a track that has a slope to start, then levels out.
  • The Event: During the race, the cars are placed on a track with grooves. Gravity pulls them down the slope to the finish line. Races are typically very quick, and winners are determined by which car reaches the end of the track first.

Raingutter Regatta

  • What It Is: The Raingutter Regatta is a boat racing event. Scouts build boats from kits that include a flat piece of wood, a plastic sail, and a mast. The boats are small and are meant to be raced in a water-filled raingutter.
  • The Event: Scouts place their boats in the raingutter filled with water. They blow air onto the sail to move the boat along the gutter. The first boat to reach the end of the gutter wins. Like the Pinewood Derby, this race tests both the Scout’s boat design and their skill at propelling it.

These events are highlights of the Scouting year for many Webelos. They offer a great mix of creativity, learning, and competition. Participating in these races helps Scouts gain confidence, develop problem-solving skills, and learn how to work as a team.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Webelos Race Time Adventure

What do we need to build for the Webelos Race Time Adventure?

You need to build either a Pinewood Derby car or a Raingutter Regatta boat.

Where can we get the materials for the Webelos Race Time vehicles?

You can buy kits for both the Pinewood Derby car and the Raingutter Regatta boat from your local Scout shop or online.

What are the main rules for the Webelos Race Time events?

The main rules are to use only the materials provided in the kits, make sure your vehicle fits the size and weight limits, and follow the specific racing guidelines like using gravity for the Derby car and wind for the Regatta boat.

How can we learn about friction for the Webelos Race Time Adventure?

You can learn about friction by seeing how it affects your vehicle’s speed and stability. Try different adjustments and see what works best.

What should we discuss about good sportsmanship in the Webelos Race Time Adventure?

Discuss respecting all participants, following the rules, cheering for everyone, accepting wins and losses gracefully, and helping others.

What’s the best way to prepare for the Webelos Race Time race day?

Test your vehicle multiple times, make any necessary adjustments, and practice good sportsmanship with your den.

Ready, Set, Go!

The Webelos Race Time Adventure is all about learning, building, and racing. In this adventure, Webelos Scouts get the chance to create their own vehicles—either a Pinewood Derby car or a Raingutter Regatta boat. This project starts with Scouts working alongside adults to design, carve, assemble, or decorate their chosen vehicle. It’s a great way for them to learn basic building skills and understand the basics of vehicle design.

Once their vehicles are ready, Scouts dive into the rules of the races. Knowing the rules helps them play fair and understand what it takes to compete. This part of the adventure also includes learning about friction. Scouts explore how this force affects the speed and movement of their cars or boats. Adjusting their designs based on what they learn can make their vehicles faster and more efficient.

Sportsmanship is another critical lesson in this adventure. Before the race, Scouts discuss how to act during the competition. They talk about respecting others, playing by the rules, and handling wins or losses with grace. These discussions are essential for building character and learning how to be good sports.

Race day is the highlight of the Webelos Race Time Adventure. Scouts get to see their hard work in action as they race their vehicles against those of their fellow Scouts. It’s a fun and exciting day that tests their designs, their understanding of physics, and their sportsmanship. This adventure is about learning, having fun, and doing your best.

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