Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pinewood Derby!

Well, after a fairly somber detour, the ol' blog is back with some lighthearted fare!

And what could be more lighthearted than a Cub Scout Pinewood Derby??

Well, probably plenty of things, if you're a competitive Cub Scout/dad :). Luckily I'm just a Cub Scout leader, so although I created my own car, I had little emotional investment in its speed.

The Pinewood Derby is a pretty sweet activity for Scouts. Each boy is given the materials shown above - a block of wood and the axles/wheels and instructed to create a car. There are some restrictions - can't weigh more than 5 ounces, and something about what kind of stuff you can rub on the axles (I obviously chose the safe route of no rubbing at all) but other than that, the boys have free reign for the design.

Our dedicated Cubmasters, Brother and Sister Murphy, returned from their six-month snowbird trip just in time for the Derby, which was WONDERFUL (I had been filling in during their absence but am delighted to scale back and just be a den leader again). One night they had sort of an open house car clinic in Brother Murphy's shop area where the boys and their families could come to get their cars designed, cut out, and sanded.

Here's Brother Murphy creating my 'station wagon' from the sketch I made.

And here it is after being painted and detailed!

Pretty sweet, am I right? I was going for the 'most accurate depiction of an actual vehicle' award . . . which sadly only existed in my head.

There was a 'check-in' time a few minutes before the official start so the cars could get officially weighed in and cleared to race. Coins were taped on the top of the more lightweight cars to even the playing field a bit.

Due to a scheduling misunderstanding, there was another Pinewood Derby setting up in the (much larger) Cultural Hall so we all squeezed into the Primary Room;
we were verrry grateful the track fit!
(I do feel compelled to share that in the following days it was figured out that we did have the rightful claim to the Cultural Hall, but it's okay, I've clearly moved on).

Imagine this group, plus about twenty more people. Standing room only!

Most of the cars lined up - the blue tape shows where coins have been added to help them come closer to the weight limit.

The ol' station wagon only raced once - against Brother Murphy's super fancy sports car. He definitely won!

Brother Murphy made a wonderful car display stand for each participant.

So now the wagon has its own special place of prominence on the living room bookshelf! Feel free to check it out on your next visit by the house.

The Pinewood Derby was really fun, and I think only a few tears were shed (possibly by dads). It was probably the least stressful 'big' Cub Scout activity I've been involved with so far - we had such great participation and help from the Committee and Primary. And now I'm much more prepared for next year - I think 'Sister Izatt's AWESOME Station Wagon 2.0' will do very well . . .


Shawn AND Chelsey said...

how fun!!! your car is so cute!!! :)

Ben and Courtney Hugo said...

I think Sister Izatt sounds like an awesome cub master! You will be such a pro at the pinewood derby by the time Clyde and Will are in cub scouts!