Re: Pinewood Derby Winning
Douglas Flewelling (dougf@GROUSE.UMESVE.MAINE.EDU)
Thu, 30 Jun 1994 14:54:32 -0500
I generally agree that sportmanship needs to be learned by cub age boys and
girls and losing gratiously is part of that process. Losing is easier if
that competition is fair and enter into willingly. The first point is often
aspired to, but probably never fully reached. Fast lanes, wear and tear
from multiple races, and other variables all take their toll.
I my experience, the second point is where my guilt probable rests. I over
sold the whole race to the boys in my den because of my experience the year
before. I enjoyed the process of helping my son build his first car, and we
(opps, he) won second place in the Pack. This really put a whole different
slant on the race the next year. The was a higher expectation on my son's
part, and a big disappointment when he was eliminated in semi-finals. We
both learned from that one. He learned to be a good loser (he was) and I
learned that expectations have a lot to do with enjoyment.
My den's collective disappointment was quite high, but by the end of the
race all but one had decided that their life could go on. My denner, to his
credit, continued to root for every boy in the den when they were racing
even though he was eliminated in the first round. One boy decided to quit
Cubs right there and then until I reminded him that I needed his game
leading skills at den meetings. I spent the most of the race doing damage
control. Most of the time the boy needs to be reminded that he did his best
and that alone was good enough.
... and there's always next year.
During the awards each boy received a ribbon with a "win" in some category
such as "Most likely to eat another car" (my son made his into a shark).
Next year I will suggest that we localize the competition to either dens or
one-on-one races with tickets as described in past discussion on this
issue. This will hopefully reduce the pressure for superstar status, but
also give the boys a competition that they choose to enter into. I will
also suggect that we save the $50 in trophies and buy patches or pins for
Nothing can produce more discussion than Pinewood Derby.
Webelos Den Leader
Pack 301, Bangor, ME
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City