Checkered Flag Waves at Melaleuca’s First Pinewood Derby

women placing a car on Melaleuca pinewood derby tract

Start your engines! Or maybe just let gravity do the work!

On September 14, 2023, Team Members enthusiastically gathered to participate in the company’s very first Pinewood Derby at Melaleuca Global Headquarters. Whether the participants saw this race as simple entertainment or a serious competition, it allowed them to relive a bit of their childhood.

“Our Team Members don’t just love working together; they love spending time together,” said Vice President of Human Resources Jamie Reynolds. “We host several events throughout the year to strengthen camaraderie and friendship, and this activity fits into our work hard, play hard culture. The Melaleuca Pinewood Derby created a thrilling activity to bring our Team Members together, have a little fun, and cheer on our coworkers.” 

After the event, Melaleuca Team Members agreed that Pinewood Derby races aren’t just for young folks anymore. Many of the current crop of competitors were Cub Scouts themselves, or they had previously helped their family members build wooden cars before realizing they missed the action.

Melaleuca employee cars at the finish line

The Race Is On!

No matter where the racers placed on the medal stand, they agreed the experience surprised them by bringing out a childlike excitement. And spectators enjoyed watching their coworkers’ wooden cars zooming down the track!

The intense races featured a four-lane aluminum track equipped with an electronic timer and an instant replay camera to catch every detail of the action. The race was conducted by Pinewood Derby race master Spencer Goodmansen.

Each car raced eight times. The seven best times were combined to form a total time for each car, with first-, second-, and third-place trophies in each class awarded to the three cars with the shortest times.

Cars were registered in two categories: standard and open. Standard class followed basic “Cub Scout” rules, while the open class relaxed many of those restrictions.

There were also trophies for the most unique car and the best-looking car. Cars came in all shapes and sizes, from creative and engaging designs to sleek racers.

Melaleuca employee cars at starting line

Rewarding Creativity! And a Melaleuca Rowboat Piloted by Frank VanderSloot

For some of the contestants, their car’s design was far more important than its performance. And for some of the attendants, the custom artwork was the best part of the event! 

Spectators were treated to a pinewood-worthy version of the Mutt Cutts van from Dumb and Dumber, a Scooby-Doo-themed stock car, a hotdog on wheels, and even a Melaleuca-branded rowboat piloted by Frank VanderSloot himself.

Melaleuca Pinewood Derby Most Unique car winner

The Winners Circle

Here are the pinewood derby winners of both classes and winners for the most unique and best-looking cars:

Standard Class

1st—Lewis Rasmussen

2nd—Skyler Young

3rd—Josh Johnson

Most Unique Car—Christian Haroldson

Open Class

1st—Lewis Rasmussen

2nd—Josh Johnson

3rd—Skyler Young

Best-Looking Car—Cody Ottley

Melaleuca Pinewood Derby  winners

“Building Pinewood Derby cars with my kids, grandkids, and dozens of other friends over the last 40 years made me happy, especially when I could see how thrilled they were to receive their first-place trophies,” said Lewis Rasmussen, Vice President of Leadership Development. “But I always secretly wished that I could have my own trophy. Thanks to Melaleuca, I finally had my chance to win, not just one but two trophies! Now I know how the kids felt!”

Free popcorn, drinks, and ice-cream bars were also provided. After the official race was over, the race master even installed loops onto the track to let the contestants see if their cars were worthy of the “circles of death.”

We can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Fun Events, Activities and Competitions at Melaleuca

The Melaleuca Pinewood Derby is just one of the many competitions and events that Melaleuca puts on for its Team Members. For sports and competition enthusiasts alike, Melaleuca puts on a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, 5K and 10K fitness runs, and a golf tournament aptly named the MelaMasters.

Earlier this year, Melaleuca also hosted its very first cornhole tournament at Global Headquarters. And each year, Melaleuca also hosts Chukars night, a free night of Pioneer League baseball at Melaleuca Field.

In the summer, the Melaleuca Family Picnic brings thousands of Team Members and their families together in an outdoor carnival that rivals a state fair with games, a raffle, and other entertainment and activities. Additionally, a complimentary day at the Idaho Falls Zoo attracts thousands of animal enthusiasts both young and old.

In the fall time, Melaleuca holds a Halloween festival to delight children and grandchildren of Team Members; the fun-filled event summons thousands of little visitors, and even many Team Members get into the spirit by dressing up.

Finally, the year concludes with the annual Christmas celebration, which features live entertainment and prizes including vacations, furniture, and high-end electronics.

Community Service: Cleaning Up Our Riverwalk

Melaleuca Employees clear out debris from local river walk

But fun can also be paired with hard work. We at Melaleuca love our local Idaho Falls community. That’s why this last summer about 300 Team Members took time out of their busy work schedules to help clean up the banks of the Snake River in downtown Idaho Falls.

Covering two-and-a-half miles on both sides of the river, the volunteers pruned overgrowth and picked up debris. According to the Parks & Recreation department, our Melaleuca volunteers accumulated more than 1,000 hours of work.

Melaleuca loves to work hard and play hard. And Melaleuca Team Members have ample opportunity to do both, from fun competitions to company events and meaningful community service projects.

For Melaleuca Team Members and their families, having fun, and making a difference in the community is an annual affair.