In 1st year she could compete, 2nd grader Genevieve Hoffmann wins Cub Scout Pinewood Derby

Leah Wankum - March 8, 2019 2:00 pm
Genevieve Hoffmann took home first place at the Pinewood Derby, in the first year girls can compete. Photo courtesy of Dana Hoffmann

It was the first time in Cub Scout history that girls could compete alongside boys in local Pinewood Derbies — and a second-grade girl bested them all.

Genevieve Hoffmann took home first place at her derby March 2, defeating boys and girls alike at Brookwood Elementary’s Pack 3197. Dana Hoffmann said she and her husband, Jason Hoffmann, are proud of their daughter’s achievements.

Genevieve Hoffman and her mother, Dana Hoffmann. Photo courtesy of Dana Hoffmann

“She was just glowing; she was so happy ear-to-ear to be standing up there and be the winner,” Dana said. “This is the first year it’s been open for girls, and she won the whole thing. I don’t know how to put it into words; even if no girl won, just that they were able to compete.”

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The Pinewood Derby is a race of unpowered miniature cars; each one is built by a Cub Scout and an adult helper to handle some of the tools. Using her own design ideas and some inspiration from YouTube, Genevieve and her father built her car together.

Genevieve described it as skinny like an arrow and blue with a white stripe. She named it “Little Tyreek” after Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

“It was interesting, surprising and exciting,” the 8-year-old said of the derby. “I was the first girl ever to win the Pinewood Derby.”

‘History in the making’

Pack 3197, Genevieve Hoffman’s den of other wolf Cub Scouts. Photo courtesy of Dana Hoffmann

The derby began with girls and boys competing in their separate dens. Then all of the scouts who won first, second and third place in their dens competed for the championship. Genevieve was among five other girls who placed and competed in the championship, Dana said, adding that one of those girls tied for third place.

“I think they just appreciated that she went out and did it,” Dana said of all the other moms who congratulated her daughter. “It shows that the girls are also serious about the program; they are just as interested.”

Dana Hoffman noted that allowing girls in the derby, and Cub Scouts in general, was a significant time in history — for their family, for the local Cub Scouts and for girls and women across the country. Her daughter’s accomplishments are especially near to Dana’s heart, as she is unearthing women’s writings through history as part of her master’s work in English language and literature.

“It’s not really even accounted for, that they’re making movement, but that’s how women make movement in society, these small ways,” Dana said. “In my mind, this is history in the making.”

Genevieve, who has been involved in Cub Scouts since September 2018, said she also enjoys other aspects of Cub Scouting such as camping, outings and other activities. And she plans to compete at the derby next year — so boys, watch out.

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