The Powder Puff Derby is a relatively new Girl Scout event modeled after the Cub Scouts' Pinewood derby. Girl Scouts make wood cars to compete in a race down a ramp. Girl Scouts learn the basics of woodworking, engineering and fair competition and can receive merit badges for participation in the derby. Fair play and honesty are highly valued in the Powder Puff Derby, and girls can be removed from the competition if they fail to obey the rules.
Cars must be made of wood, and Girl Scouts must make the cars themselves. The Official Pinewood Derby Kit provides Scouts with the materials they need to make the car, and girls must manufacture the cars using this kit. Pre-made cars and cars used in previous Powder Puff or Pinewood Derby events are not allowed. Car wheels should not contain springs.
The Official Pinewood Derby Kit allows cars to have a wheel base of 4 1/4 inches, and girls cannot alter their cars to shorten or lengthen this distance. Cars should be no longer than 7 inches and no taller than 5 1/2 inches. Cars must weigh no more than 5 ounces and should be structured so all four wheels touch the track at all times.
The cars compete down a 32-foot-long track that's 5 feet high at its tallest point. The last several inches of the track are leveled off, and judges determine the winner of each individual race. Winners then compete against one another to determine the champion of the final race.
The Powder Puff Derby teaches girls the importance of fair play and friendly competition. Thus any kind of cheating will immediately disqualify girls from the race. Bullying, name-calling and teasing are also not allowed. Participants can appeal the rulings of race judges if they feel the decision is unfair, but fighting or arguing with the judges is not permitted.