Leadership 310 teams with Boy Scouts of America for Potato Derby


On Sunday, a completely new, especially exciting, and fruitfully fun, event took place for the very first time. A group, commonly known and creatively named The Potato Racers, took on to host the first annual Potato Derby. 

This group, consisting of project managers Sierra Adkins, Jessalyn Kirchhoff, Arturo Mendoza, and Sierra Schmidt, was created as a part of their Leadership 310 Course: A Field Work in Leadership Studies. This course is the third and final class in order to receive a Leadership Certificate at FHSU. 

The main piece of this course is a project that is paired with a community partner in order to fully form developed and practiced Leadership skills. The Potato Racers were matched with local Scouts of America chapters with a mission to raise engagement and produce recruitment. 

“When we received the Scouts of America as our community partner, I was excited, of course, but I was also worried. I have never been a Scout and I really didn’t know what Scouts were all about. Our community partner and previous Scout member, Dr. Paul Adams changed that quickly though,” Schmidt said. 

“I was also more than a little concerned at first,” Kirchhoff said. “I remember thinking, what is a Potato Derby anyway? How are we going to get people interested and more importantly, in attendance, if I don’t know what I’m doing?” 

However, Kirchhoff went on to clarify how The Potato Racers found direction. 

“After a few hours of research and many Youtube searches of “Scouts Potato Derby” later, we were able to piece together an idea of what we needed to do to accomplish our task,” she said. 

The big question still remained though, what exactly is a Potato Derby? Mendoza was able to give some insight. 

“In simple terms, a Potato Derby is just like a Pinewood Derby. They have very similar elements. You carve a racecar, decorate it, add wheels, and put it on the track to be sent down,” he said. “Unlike a Pinewood car though, there are components of a potato that make this difficult, such as their odd shapes and heavier bodies.” 

There were 62 separate families in attendance on Sunday at Cunningham Hall.

“We were thrilled at the outcome,” Adkins said. “Our goal was to reach out to 60 families within the community and we met it. As an added bonus, everyone looked to be having a great time. It was great to see all of our hard work finally pay off – a very Rewarding moment.”

The Scouts of America plan to make this a yearly event. 

“We’re grateful to the Potato Racers for putting on such a great event for us.” Kyle Smith, the Coronado Area Council Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America, said “They really got the ball rolling on an event that is sustainable enough to put on every year. Potato racing is as timeless as you make it.” 

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