Tag Archives: Chuck Miller


Boy Scouts demonstrate creativity in Pinewood Derby

Photo: The Elburn Boys Scouts Pack 107 went all out with its creations for this year’s Pinewood Derby event, held at the former middle school building on Meredith Road on Friday. From Nascar and Spongebob to LEGO and Minecraft, the imaginations were endless. Joshua Duncan (below), 8, of Elburn, picked a Lego set as his prize from Friday night’s name drawing. Photos by Lynn Logan

MAPLE PARK—The Elburn Boy Scouts Troop 107 gathered together on Friday for a lighthearted and fun night of racing homemade cars in the Pinewood Derby.

This year’s Derby was conveniently located in the former Kaneland Middle School on Meredith Road in Maple Park, adjacent to the Kaneland High School property where Troop 107 holds its regular meetings. In years past, the Scouts held the Pinewood Derby at Family Life Church of Elburn on Keslinger Road.

A month and half prior to the racing event, Elburn Scouts Troop 107 and all other Pinewood Derby participants receive a racing kit that consists of a block of wood, four wheels and four axels. With the help of a friend or a parent, the Scouts turn these nine pieces of material into a car or car-like structure that reflects their respective interest.

Chuck Miller, a longtime volunteer for the Boy Scouts, notices each year that the kids really get creative with the assembling of their cars.

“A lot of the kids look around their own homes for ideas,” Miller said. “Their cars reflect their interests at the time. I’ve seen traditional racing cars, cars in the form of tanks, sharks, coffins, Swiss Army knives, an Elburn Herald paper, Thomas the Train, Minions from “Despicable Me,” Minecraft characters and many more.”

When it comes to the racing of the cars, each participant receives four chances to race their homemade car down a 30-foot aluminum track that has a timer connected to it. After each participant races their car four times, their total time for each heat is added up and the winners are announced.

From the Tiger group, in first grade, Nathan Z. from Den 8 received first place out of 16 cars. From the Wolf rank, in second grade, Ethan W. from Den 10 received first place out of 20 cars.

From the Bear rank, in third grade, Joshua S. from Den 7 received first place out of 20 cars. And from the Webelos, in fourth and fifth grade, Andrew S. from the Bacon Ninjas Den received first place out of 33 cars.

Out of 89 total cars, Joshua S. from Den 7 in the Bear rank, received first place.

A full list of winners will be available on Pack 107’s website, www.elburnparck107.org, later this week. And every Boy Scout comes home from the event with a door prize even if their car didn’t place in the event.

Each year, the pack leaders and volunteers noticed how the Pinewood Derby encourages camaraderie and sportsmanship among the Boy Scouts.

“The Pinewood Derby is one of our largest and most popular events where the Boy Scouts really get a chance to demonstrate their craftsmanship,” Miller said. “The Derby also promotes sportsmanship and healthy competition among the boys. All of the Scouts get really excited to race their cars especially the younger kids who are participating for the first time.”

Photos by Lynn Logan:

New Scouts Roundup meeting set for Sept. 9

ELBURN—For over 80 years, the Cub Scouts have been creating fellowship and fostering personal development in the lives of young boys as a part of the Boy Scouts of America Organization. The Elburn Cub Scouts Pack 107 will join in a new year of celebrating leadership, community and adventure with a New Scouts Roundup meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Community Congregational Church on E. Shannon St. in Elburn.

A family-oriented program, the Cub Scouts objective is to encourage young boys in a friendly and positive environment, help them make new friends, provide adventure, acquire new skills, and discover the responsibility of community and conservation.

And these are only a few benefits of being a Scout.

“Scouting today is so much more dynamic than when I was a boy,” said Chuck Miller, Den Leader of Pack 107. “It’s great to see these boys grow not only academically over the years, but stronger scholastically and athletically.”

The Roundup meeting is meant to answer any questions about Scouting and introduce students in grades 1-5 at John Stewart and Blackberry Creek Elementary Schools to the Cub Scout Organization. Adult leaders will speak to parents and talk about the volunteer association that is locally and actively thriving in Elburn. While the parents chat, the boys will have a chance to meet other Scouts and participate in group games.

Miller shared how his time spent as a Scout as a young boy made him compelled to get involved when his son started in Pack 107 five years ago.

“I was in Pack 3490 in Hickory Hills (Ill.),” he said. “And I am having a great time not only watching but being a part of my son’s involvement in Pack 107.”

Volunteers are an integral part of the Cub Scouts, making the need for positive role models a crucial element of the success of every Pack. From cubmaster and public relations chair to assistant popcorn kernel and Day Camp coordinator, Pack 107 will certainly be a positive experience for not only participants but the volunteers. Outings and events for the 2013-14 year include the Fall Campout at Johnson’s Mound, and trips to the Richardson Farm Corn Maze in Spring Grove, Ill., and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

For more information about the Elburn Cub Scouts Pack 107 Roundup meeting or to become a Pack volunteer, visit elburnpack107.org.

Fun Fest: Titleholders retire

Passing down the commode to a new generation
by Lynn Meredith
Maple Park—The combined forces of three women decorating a toilet bowl to win Best in Show in the eighth annual Toilet Bowl Race for the last several years. Their husbands have won for speed five years in a row. Both winners will give way to the next generation as they pass down the commodes to their kids.

Celina Slowick, Lexi Slowick and Aly McPhee will replace Best in Show titleholders Colleen Slowick, Amy Jendruczek and Beth Miller in this year’s race. Evan Catanag, Mace Jendruczek and Josh Cline will take over for speed winners Chuck Miller, Lorenzo Catanag and Craig Askew.

“It’s an extremely sad story,” Beth Miller said. “Basically, my entire team retired on me. So, we are handing over our toilet to the young’uns in the neighborhood.”

Over the years, the trio would spend an entire year looking for just the right items to decorate their themed commodes. One year, it was “Pretty in Pink.” Another year it was “Pot of Gold.” Last year’s winner,“Holy Crap,” was decorated with beautiful angels.

The husbands not only won for speed last year, they took the Best in Show title from their wives with a rig entitled “Poo Brothers” based on Blues Brothers.

Miller, with tongue firmly in cheek, calls it like she sees it.

“The husbands are also retiring … because they are too old and can’t take the pressure. It’s the only form of exercise they get. I guess it proved too much for them,” Miller said. “Their toilet will be handed down to the next generation of runners. The teenage boys of the neighborhood will race.”

The event begins at 1 p.m. Saturday on Main Street. Each team consists of one pilot and two pushers. Time trials will be held as racers run the course in more or less random pairings.

“When you have a group of big burly guys and a group of teenage girls, it’s hard to pair them up,” race organizer Pat Mudinger said.

Mudinger said that he typically doesn’t know how many contestants there will be until race time. In order to encourage advanced registration, he offers a $5 discount for those who let him know ahead of time. Otherwise, the fee is $15 to race.

Prizes are $100 and a trophy for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place.