Saturday, February 9, 2008

Whose Race Is This Anyway

The Pinewood Derby is an annual event that kicks up a lot of excitement in our Cub Scout community. This year was my son's third year to race and he captured 3rd place in his age level. I thought his car was great and he had fun building it. He was not entirely happy with his placement, you might notice the attitude in the post race picture and the crossed arms as he's receiving his award. Last year he got 1st place in his age group and was on top of the world, but that's how it is when your the car to beat! Competition gets more intense every year.

This year we had his den over to our house to cut out and sand the body of thier pinewood derby cars. One of my son's friends (actually his mother) made a point to get my husband to cut out a car identical to my son's winning car from last year. That car captured first place in the race, and my son noticed. He was a good sport about it, but he learned not to share his racing secrets with anyone (yes, there are racing secrets and it's very confidential I might add!) The Cub Scouts have to check in their cars the day before the race. At check in everyone has the opportunity to get a look at the competition, and I have learned enough about pinewood derbys that I can spot the potential winning cars. I can spot the winning families by how much graphite they have under their fingernails (including me, my husband, and my son in that order I might add, and that leads me to make the statement "Whose Race is this?"). The top cars are usually within a few tenths of a second difference in times, so you can imagine how competetive it can become.

The races are run very well with a computer software measuring the finishes. It's quite a thrill to see the times flashed up on the video screen that's set up for the fans. Racing music plays in the background while parents and kids all fill up on pizza and coke. Oh, the thrill of victory.


Hol&J said...

It sounds like you all had fun, even if S didn't come in 1st.

Hang onto the plans/template for his winning car from last year. What a hard lesson to learn... letting someone in on your secrets. The disappointment and frustration.

I saw pinewood derby kits at the craft store the other day. It made me smile.

glee said...

What fun! I remember soap box derby when my brother was a Webelo and remember wondering what the big deal was (probably because it wasn't about me!) and when Ky had a similar project in AWANA, it was the top event of the year.

Perhaps now would be a great time to discuss top secret clearances and their importance. Then, The Inventor could decide what was Top Secret, Confidential and Open Source for next years' race. I believe a little competition will get his wheels a spinning. Nothing will top him next year!

Congratulations, however. Those of us not in Einstein's footsteps think third place is pretty good!

Linda said...

Your family has so much fun.