Turn an ordinary 2-liter bottle into a rocket!

Blast off with the Pack 169 Rocket Derby. 

Meet us at the bus circle at LME. 

This is a fun, non-competitive event.  Awards will be given out for the following categories:

  • Highest Altitude
  • Most Patriotic
  • Most Unique Design

Safety is our primary concern.  All cub scouts, guests, and family members should stay in the designated safety zone to watch the launch. 

Any participant that ventures outside the safety area may be asked to leave the event.  Parents, please keep an eye (and a hand, if necessary) on siblings.

Scouts and guests should make their rockets ahead of time from 2-liter soda bottles.  Keep in mind that the mouth of the bottle will become the nozzle on the rocket bottom.  Our custom-made launcher adds water and pressurizes the rocket.  When a rocket is released, it can reach speeds exceeding 50 mph and can travel as high as 100 feet!

Rockets can be as simple as an empty 2-liter bottle drawn on with permanent markers or you can get more creative.  Just keep the following rules in mind and HAVE FUN!


1. Use only 2-liter plastic bottles (for soft drinks). Other sizes won’t work on our launcher very well. The launcher requires bottles with the plastic ring below the cap.  Coke and Pepsi products work well. Some of the less main stream bottles won't work with the launcher. I just buy a Pepsi 2-liter usually and dump down the drain.

2. Only single-stage designs.

3. Leave the bottle top open (the rocket bottom screws onto the launcher). 

4. Fins are OK, and can make the rocket more stable.  Parachutes are allowed, but don’t always work.

5. Don’t decorate from the inside. No paint, glitter, glue, etc. inside the bottle. When launching under water pressure, this all comes out and leaves a mess.

6. Leave a small 1/4"-1/2" strip running the length of the bottle undecorated/painted, so that the Launch Crew can be sure the water is filling to the proper level.

7. Don't add anything hard, sharp, or heavy and don’t make the rocket lopsided. It makes the rocket more dangerous on takeoff and descent.

The Launch Crew reserves the right to remove objects that we think could pose a danger to spectators.

Design Tips

1.  Make sure you don’t damage the bottle when decorating it.  Even a small hole will ground the rocket.

2.  Keep it simple and make sure anything fastened on is secure—remember it’s blasting off at 60 mph.  Since the rockets use water to launch, don’t use anything water-soluble.

3.  Fins and a nose cone can make your rocket fly higher and straighter, but are not necessary.  Cardboard and fun foam make good fins.

4.  Try coloring your bottle with permanent markers. Shiny wrapping paper and foil work well.  Trailing streamers make a nice effect. 

5.  Duct tape and clear packing tape will work well to fasten things on.  Conventional glues (like hot glue) are too stiff and break loose when the bottle expands on take off.

The internet offers a wealth of information on this type of rocketry.  For ideas and fun pictures, just type in “water rockets” on your browser.

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