Arts & Entertainment

Race Day for Clark-Garwood Girl Scouts, Powder Puff Derby Winners Announced

Overall Winners of the Clark Powder Puff Derby, from left: 2nd place Gabriella Scipioni (Cadet), 1st place Isabella Papa (Junior Scout), 3rd place Reese Sebok (Brownie) Credits: Alicia Scipioni
Daisy Division Powder Puff Racers Credits: Alicia Scipioni
Brownie Division Racers Credits: Alicia Scipioni
Junior Division Racers Credits: Alicia Scipioni
Cadet Division Racers Credits: Alicia Scipioni
Clark-Garwood Girls Scouts Powder Puff Derby race day. Credits: Alicia Scipioni
Isabella Papa and Taylor Normann Credits: Susan R. Bonnell
Credits: Alicia Scipioni
The Donkersloot family Credits: Susan R. Bonnell
Credits: Susan R. Bonnell
Credits: Alicia Scipioni
Credits: Alicia Scipioni

CLARK, NJ – It was a combination of speed and style at the annual Clark-Garwood Girl Scout Powder Puff Derby Saturday at the Clark Recreation Center.  The derby cars – 80 of them – were handcrafted from small blocks of pinewood, then decorated and weighted for their ride down the racetrack.

“The Powder Puff isn’t just about making the fastest car,” event organizer Alicia Scipioni said. “It’s a STEM project the girls can complete with a family member and we wanted to recognize the girls’ creativity and hard work that they put into it.”

The cars raced in divisions based on Girl Scout rank with the top two cars in each race advancing to the overall competition.  Prizes were also awarded based on special themes and Tracy Eltringham served as the theme-car judge.  A special “family race” was held for cars made by moms, dads and siblings.  

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“As the girls checked into the race, we heard many parents explain how much fun they had working with their child building their car,” Scipioni said. “Many said they didn’t care if they won or lost it was more about the quality time they spent together.”

Cars reflected their builders’ interests and imaginations.

“Mine is a piano named Rocket,” Junior Division first place winner Isabella Papa said, “because I play the piano.” Second place winner Taylor Norman styled her car after the “Flash,” a superhero known for his speed, because she thought her car would go as fast.

This year, newcomers to powder puff racing attended a Q and A workshop to learn about building cars and to get ideas and tech tips.  

Powder Puff Derby 2017 Winners

Daisy (Kindergarten-1st grade) Division, 31 entries


  • 1st Vivian Laskody
  • 2nd Olivia Cece
  • 3rd Josie Giglio

Brownie (2nd-3rd grade) Division, 15 entries


  • 1st place Reese Sebok
  • 2nd Madison Jackson
  • 3rd Alexis Meshinsky

Juniors (4th-5th grade) Division, 15 entries


  • 1st Isabella Papa
  • 2nd Taylor Normann
  • 3rd Livia Cantor

Cadets, Seniors & Ambassadors  (6th -12th grade) Division, 5 entries


  • 1st Gabriella Scipioni
  • 2nd Georgia Sebok
  • 3rd Jessica Moore

Overall Winners:

  • 1st Isabella Papa (Junior)
  • 2nd Gabriella Scipioni (Cadet)
  • 3rd Reese Sebok (Brownie)

Family Race

  • 1st Valentino Scipioni (Dad)
  • 2nd Melissa Papa (Mom)
  • 3rd Scott Edmondson (Dad)

Themed Awards:

  • Most Creative: Alessandria LaBarbera
  • Most Girl Scout Themed: Alyssa Collins
  • Funniest Car: Lucia Junkroft
  • Best Named Car: Olivia Cece with Cheese Wizz
  • Most Sparkle: Chelsea Burbridge
  • Amazing Design: Marcella Junkroft
  • Best Paint Job: Alexis Meshinsky
  • Most Scout Made: Erin Mazzeo
  • Most Bling: Amy Punala
  • Prettiest Car: Madison Jackson
  • Most Sporty: Julia Kleczynski
  • Most Unique Shape: Vivian Laskody
  • Most Cartoonish: Mariela Jukic
  • Fastest Looking Car: Georgia Sebok
  • Most Colorful: Sienna Guarino
  • Plainest car: Makhaela Gonzalez
  • Flat Tire (slowest car): Abigail Matlosz

Scipioni extended her thanks to the Recreation Director Ralph Bernardo, the Pit Crew consisting of Matt Normann, Thomas Sebok, Joe Moore, Valentino Scipioni and Boy Scout Aidan Edmondson who ran the track, Steve Donkersloot who served as the master of ceremonies and kitchen manager Stephanie Kleczynski.

“We’d also like to thank all the parents that helped throughout the day,” she said. “We couldn’t do it without everyone’s generous support.”

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