Soap Box Derby

Troop 33 Annual Soap Box Derby

Every year in late spring,Takoma Park Boy Scout Troop 33 invites neighbors and other city residents to its Annual Soap Box Derby. The race is held on Birch Avenue between Cedar and Dogwood Avenues. Baked goods, lemonade and hot dogs are for sale at the snack tent at the corner of Birch and Barclay. Proceeds go to support the activities of Troop 33.

The scouts build their own cars learning about tools and the proper way to use bolts, nuts and screws to make a safe car. All cars are required to have a working brake, seat belt and a roll bar. The Scouts wear helmets and, in the water obstacle course, eye protection.

The Soap Box Derby is the brainchild of Scoutmaster Emeritus Dave Lanar and was first held on May 8, 2005. Lanar recalls that his son and other scouts who had recently moved up from Cub& Scouts complained that they were no longer able to participate in the popular Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. “I explained to the boys,” says Lanar, “that now that they were bigger they should not be building little cars to run driverlessly down a small track, but should construct large cars to sit in, steer and navigate down hills at lightning-fast, death-defying speeds.”

Since 2005, the scouts of Troop 33 have enjoyed this thrilling tradition of racing, community fun, and learning important lifelong skills. Past sponsors have included: Murray's Auto Clinic, Trattoria De Luna/Gusto, Community IT, Tires of Silver Spring, Takoma Auto Clinic, Mark's Kitchen, Finn Family Group, and Fifth Estate Communications, LG Autobody, and RS Automotive.

Established in 1920, Takoma Park Boy Scout Troop 33 is a member of the Boy Scouts of America, National Capital Area Council and meets on Thursdays at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church at 310 Tulip Street, Takoma Park, MD.