Region News


Northern New Jersey Region SCCA - USMC Toys for Tots ‘2017 Teddy Bear Road Rally’
By Peter Schneider


17-TeddyBearRally-3.pngDecember 3, 2017 marked the twenty-seventh annual ‘Toys 17-TeddyBearRally-6.pngfor Tots’ Teddy Bear Road Rally, hosted by Northern New Jersey Region of the SCCA and Motorsport Club of North Jersey. This year’s sponsor and the sponsor for the past five years was Subaru 46 of Budd Lake, New Jersey.

Thirty-three teams competed on this year’s event and only one team ran the rally ‘clean’ and did not fall for any of the three route following traps.

The NNNJR/MCNJ ‘Toys for Tots’ Teddy Bear Rally is the longest running charity rally associated with SCCA and the longest contiguous event hosted by Northern New Jersey Region SCCA. Since 1990 we have collected over 3,400 toys and hope to continue the event for many years to come.

This event is a very simple road rally using the back roads of Morris, Warren and Hunterdon Counties. The event started at SUBARU 46 in Budd Lake and ended about 57 miles later at the Long Valley Brew Pub in the center of Long Valley, NJ.

The rally is open to the general public and requires only a car or light truck with a working odometer and a pen/pencil to compete. The event is not a Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rally, but a mileage based lightly trapped ‘gimmick’. The entry fee, per car, is a brand new Teddy Bear or new toy, worth at least $30.00 retail which is donated to the USMC Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

17-TeddyBearRally-1.pngToys for Tots began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The idea came from Bill’s wife, Diane. In the fall of 1947, Diane crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas. When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one. He did. The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign.

The Teddy Bear rally is a mileage based course rally. 100 points are ‘awarded’ for each mile variance from the official route. The contestants note their car’s odometer reading at manned and unmanned (DIY) checkpoints as listed in the route instructions and the club utilizing an odometer calibration leg to compute corrected leg mileages and compare them with the official leg mileages to determine score.

17-TeddyBearRally-5.pngSince 2016, the region has been posting event notifications on Facebook and targeting individuals in the NJ, NY and Pennsylvania area with low cost ads, this in addition to email blasts on Constant Contact we have been able to maintain a steady list of entries for our events.

Since inception, the Toys for Tots rally has used ‘Photo Clues’ (a format barrowed from the Metro Porsche - Snowflake rally which has been run for the past 63 years) to provide contestants a little extra challenge. These Photo Clubs can be compared to ‘Lettered Route Instructions’ used on SCCA National Course events. The Photos of signs/scenes along the rally route at times are hard to spot (but not impossible), or are taken of easy to see every day common signs that have slight variations due to weathering or defects. All of these features must be taken into account when correctly executing a Photo Clue instruction. In addition to the Photo Clues, the rally has also used standard route following traps based on ‘onto’, spelling of street signs, forced turns and reversed numbered route instructions. Needless to say all route ‘traps’ are self-correcting, with the difference in the official on-course vs off-course mileage helping separate the scores.

17-TeddyBearRally-4.pngThis year event had only 4 legs, an odometer leg and three legs that contained simple route following traps.

Photo Clue A looked like a simple crossroad sign. The crossroad sign in the photo was not the first crossroad sign you encountered; but the third, you had to drive 2.3 miles past the first sign (you needed to be confident) to find the correct crossroad sign. In either case, the route self-corrected. The photo of the crossroad included a small section of the support post which could be clearly seen at the bottom of the picture. The first two crossroad signs you encountered had other signs directly under the crossroad sign which completely covered the support post. If you did not notice that detail you turned at the wrong intersection and shortcut the route by 5 miles, and added 500 points to your score. Fifty percent of the Expert and Intermediate teams did this trap correctly.

The next course following trick was a simple onto course following trap. Only seven of the thirty-three teams failed to stay on-course and encountered Photo Clue B and an off-course manned control. In either case the route self-corrected, but off-course teams picked up 220 points for the mileage error and entering an off-course control.

The third trap in the event involved Photo Clue D, which was not valid because it was a picture of a house number sign on a tree. Per the event cover page, there were no valid route-following clues involving trees, mail boxes/mail boxes supports or telephone poles. If you did not notice the sign was on a tree, you would have incorrectly executed the Special Route Instruction and driven off-course to add 130 mileage penalty points. All teams turned Left on Free Union Rd to self-correct.

The last trap in the rally caught all but three teams, Photo Clue F was a picture over a very large red barn, right along the side of the road and only three instructions from the end of the rally. This was the third building used as a Special Photo Clue, and the other two photos did not involve any tricks and were selected to lull the contestants into the last trap. Photo Clue F was not valid because it was a picture of a Mail Box Support. Yes, if you looked closely at the photo or the actual building as you drove past it, you would have noticed a very large mail box sticking out of the middle of the building, making the whole building a Mail Box Support, which per the event cover page are not a valid route-following clues for today’s event. Since the Mail Box was right along the side of the building which abutted the road it was very easy to see, and the navigator could reach out and touch it if they wished, and the driver had to be careful not to clip the side door mirror, since the Mail Box extended into the roadway. If you failed to notice this one little detail, you then went straight at a STOP intersection before turning Left at the next STOP intersection, per Route Instruction #28. Both on-course and off-course teams looped back to a SIG intersection and you turned toward LONGVALLEY and to the ending location at the Pub. This last trap id done incorrectly added 410 points to your score.

This event could be driven in two hours, first car was out at 12noon and scores were announced at 3:30PM.

The event was scored in three classes: Novice, Intermediate and Expert, with special awards for Best First Timer, Best Subaru, Best Saturn (a prior sponsor), Best Porsche, Best MG, Best Family, Best Husband & Wife and Dead Last But Finished. We keep the costs down for the awards by using simple frames to hold an individual poster type award created on a quality color printer. But since the event is for a good cause we have never had any objections from contestants on the nature of the trophies.



Subaru 46 & Northern New Jersey SCCA
Motorsport Club of North Jersey

27th Annual Teddy Bear Rallye


A Charity Rallye Supporting the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots

Sunday, December 3, 2017
Registration: 10:30 AM
First Car Off: 12:01 PM

Start: Subaru 46
364 Route 46
Budd Lake, NJ

More about Toys for Tots

Download the Teddy Bear Story as a pdf

Pre-Register online at www.MCNJ,org to register

Trophies will be awarded for each class (Expert, Intermediate and Novice)

  • 1st Place Novice Class, 2nd Place Novice Class
  • 1st Place Intermediate Class, 2nd Place Intermediate Class
  • 1st Place Expert Class, 2nd Place Expert Class
  • Dead Last But Finished
  • plus - Best Husband & Wife Team, Best Family Team, Best First Time Team
  • Best Subaru, Best Saturn, Best RVSCC, Best SCCA, Best MGCC. Best PCA

You don't donate your animal until the day of the event

Come enjoy a low pressure 'FUN' event while contributing a bear or other stuffed animal to the Marine Corp's Toys for Tots Program. The Rallye will be less than 70 miles with lots of awards. Run in 3 Classes: Novice, Intermediate and Expert to give everyone a chance at trophies. You can bring the whole family; 2, 3, 4 or even more in a vehicle.

No rallying experience or special equipment is necessary. All you need is a car (any car will do) with a working odometer (a trip odometer is preferable), plus paper and pencil. Please plan on staying after the rallye for a lively discussion and the presentation of trophies.

Cost per car: A Teddy Bear or other stuffed animal worth at least $30!

Limit: 35 Cars

The Northern New Jersey Region (NNJR) of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) holds a number of road rally's per year. A favorite rally is the Teddy Bear Rally held the 1st Sunday of December for the last fourteen years. This is put on with help from the United States Marines and the Motorsport Club of North Jersey. The entry fee is a Teddy Bear and we always have a lot of fun. 

Come on out and join the fun of challenging yourself and your partner. This is a short fun, lightly trapped non-Time-Speed-Distance event about 60 miles longs. Scores are determined by the teams ability to stay on-course. 100 points penalty points are awarded for each mile over or under the official route. As in past years, the rally will award trophies generously.

In addition to first, second in Expert, Intermediate and Novice Classes, there will be awards for Best First Timer, Best Saturn, Best Family, Best Husband & Wife, and Dead Last but Finished.

For more information please contact Peter Schneider at 908-876-4597