Annual race offers more than competition
Connor Huguenard, 8, and his 19-year-old brother, R.J. during Saturday's Cub Scout Pack 46 Pinewood Derby at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 25, 2013 10:12AM
LAKE FOREST — With a trophy in one hand and his killer whale car in the other, Jac Clark was all smiles as he posed for pictures during Cub Scout Pack 46’s Pinewood Derby at First Presbyterian Church.
Clark’s car, which he designed and created with his dad, James, was the hit of the event — a whale-shaped vehicle complete with a Lego driver.
Even Cubmaster Neil Gardner commented that it was one of the coolest cars he has seen in several years of Scouting. Clark earned the derby’s award for Best Design.
“He wanted a whale car,” Jac’s mom, Carmen, said. “He had the idea and Jac and his dad did the design and created a killer whale.”
Carmen Clark wasn’t the only one snapping photos at Saturday afternoon’s event, Jan. 19. Proud parents and men from Lake Forest Place, who cut the blocks of wood into cars for the youth, used smartphones and cameras to capture the happenings.
Also shooting images of the event was a young man who may look back at the event with fond memories — not just because of his brother’s involvement, but because it may have given him his start in the photography business.
R.J. Huguenard, a freshman photo major at the Art Institute of Chicago, was the official photographer for the event. He hopes to go into architectural photography.
Den mom Leslie Gould, who has been an advertising art director for major clients, said she feels it is important to give young talent a chance to get their feet wet, and when she heard a photographer was needed for the event talked to Huguenard.
His photos will be used by the troop on its website and elsewhere.
“I also help my brother with his car,” Huguenard said of his double involvement in the race.
His brother, Connor, experienced his first Pinewood Derby and his Green Machine finished fourth in one heat, which was enough to get younger Huguenard already thinking about next year.
“I want to race faster,” Connor said.
John Huguenard, father of the two, had been out of the Pinewood Derby scene for 10 or 11 years – since R.J. was Connor’s age.
“The cars are a lot faster and there are a lot better designs now,” John said.
Being within earshot of Connor’s goal “to race faster,” John Huguenard knows that just completing a car won’t be good enough for next year.
“The bar is higher now,” he smiled.