Re: Pinewood Derby
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sat, 15 Feb 1997 09:14:52 -0500
There was another cartoon recently, showing a proud dad in a scouter's
uniform, holding a pinewood derby kit in his hand and going on to his
wife about how much he loved this time of year, and what a great care
they were going to have, how they were going to carve and shape it
according to the most advanced aerodynamic principles, place the weights
in the most mathematically exact location for maximum momentum as the car
sailed down the track, etc. The mom looked the dad in the eye and says,
"So is Danny actually going to get to do some of the work on it this year?"
Dad replies, "Well, maybe he can wax it."
When I was a CM, believe me, I saw a lot of this. The winner two years
in a row was the same kid, and if he did a lick of work on the car, it
was not very evident.
I have heard of some cub packs that actually have a separate derby for
the dads, who seem to get a smuch of a kick out of building the cars as
the boys do.
I myself never had a problem, though, with dads working on the cars with
the boys. The event is supposed to be a way for the boys and their
"adult partners" L(usually dads, in my experience) to work on a project
together. When the boys are wolf and bear cubs, it isn't all that
unusual for the dads to do most of the work. However, the usual
progression was that as the boys got to Webelos, they would end up doing
the bulk of the work on the cars. Not that there weren't exceptions, of
course--see comments above.
We always gave away plenty of style trophies, too, so that kids who
clearly put a lot of their *own* effort into their cars wouldn't come
away disappointed. We had "judge's favorite" trophies in each age
bracket, as well as 8 or so other trophies. It worked out that most of
the kids who came got a trophy, and of course everyone got a patch.
Frankly, I don't think I ever saw a case of abject disapointment amongst
any of the boys the 3 years I was CM, although I did have to deal with
one mightily ticked-off dad one year! Isn't that the way it always is,
Anyway, I always liked the pinewood derby, and actually went to the one
held by my old cub pack this past January. It was a lot of fun, and gave
me a chance to show the T-113 flag, so to speak, to some future scouts!
YiS (I used to be a Beaver...)
SM, Troop 113
GW District, NCAC
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City