The picture is of the winners in the Kindergarten – 1st Grade division.

The YMCA of Snohomish County hosted its Inaugural Pinewood Derby at Everett YMCA on Sunday, March 12. Youth from around Snohomish County gathered at the Everett Family YMCA to compete in the first-ever Pinewood Derby Kids for ages kindergarten through 5th grade and their adult partners. who crafted one-of-a-kind cars and raced against other participants.

This community event was designed to showcase the Y’s Adventure Guides program and share with the community the activities and events that Guides (adults) and Explorers (children) participate in through the year.

“Our Pinewood Derby provided an opportunity for kids and adults to come together for a fun event focused on community,” said Whitney Butterfield, Director of Camp Advancement, YMCA of Snohomish County. “This race is similar to other activities we do in Adventure Guides and we wanted to show the greater community how our activities are fun, while also teaching important values like teamwork, critical thinking skills, and responsibility.”

YMCA Adventure Guides is a adult-child program that encourages developing healthy relationships, gaining a sense of belonging, and learning about the importance of giving back to the community through one-on-one interactions, activities with other families, and community service projects.

Adventure Guides parent, Janelle Kurtz participated with her daughter, Sasha, who placed second in the kindergarten-1st grade division. “The Pinewood Derby is an event that I never would have participated in on my own,” said Kurtz. “I had no concept how to take a block of wood from the kit and turn it into a car that goes – let alone one that goes fast! We relied on our Adventure Guides community to help us turn our design into a car and the Y was tremendously helpful in sharing tips and tricks for the finishing details.”

The Kurtz family is part of an Adventure Guides circle known as the “Magical Creatures…From Space.” Several pairs of Guides and Explorers from their circle participated in the Pinewood Derby.

“My favorite moment from the Pinewood Derby was watching the kids in our circle interact,” said Kurtz. “They cheered each other on, supporting their wins and consoling their losses. The friendships the kids are building take on challenges together and lift each other up at every turn. Such belonging is a beautiful thing and I see it played out in many small moments among parents and children.”

The Y’s next Adventure Guides community event is the Adventure Academy on Sunday, April 23 at Silver Lake. Families will spend an afternoon learning essential skills for future outdoor adventures, including how to start a fire, build a shelter, and more. To learn more about Adventure Guides or to register for Adventure Academy, please visit YMCA Adventure Guides.