Tykes take the wheel: Kings County Cub Scouts compete at full throttle in go-kart race

Tykes take the wheel: Kings County Cub Scouts compete at full throttle in go-kart race
Photo by Steve Solomonson

These scouts have a need for speed!

Cub Scouts from across Kings County descended on Floyd Bennett Field last weekend to jump in the driver’s seat of homemade go-karts for a competition that gave the city kids a taste of the open road.

“A lot of New York kids don’t always get the chance to get outside,” said Cub Scout bigwig Morgan Kernosky, who oversees the Brooklyn arm of the scouting organization, which is open to youngsters in kindergarten through fifth grade. “It’s great for them to spend time outside and have these little adventures.”

Scouts in Sheepshead Bay’s Pack 238 took home the top prize in the May 12 derby, according to Kernosky, who could not say if their proximity to the race course at the Southern Brooklyn green space inside the Gateway National Recreation Area contributed to their first-place finish — a victory she instead attributed to good old-fashioned elbow grease.

“The winners are the ones who really practiced,” Kernosky said. “Some were out there weeks before, learning how to run and push the kart.”

Race rules require the boys and girls who participate to build their own go-karts, called “cubmobiles,” under supervision of their adult cubmaster, who offers a guiding hand as the youngsters cobble together vehicles that are steered with feet via the front axle, and must include seat belts and a handbrake.

And those who came out for the day’s events competed in two contests — a best-design challenge that recognizes the most impressive four-wheeler created for the annual derby, and the race itself, which requires one scout to push each go-kart while another steers it. The twosome then switch positions halfway through the course, according to another cubmaster, who said there’s a clear preference when it comes to operating the go-karts.

“Most kids like to drive,” said Milton Davis, who leads Brownsville’s Pack 1400.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Do it yourself: The kids, including Kaleb Joseph and Matthias Rennie from Pack 1400, had to build the karts on their own using tools.
Photo by Steve Solomonson