Sunday, January 30, 2011

Boys and Their Toys

Colby is a Tiger Cub.  I love that he is learning lots of important things, like respect, flag etiquette, and wood working.  It is always more meaningful when a lesson comes from someone other than good ol' mom and dad.  And the pack plans fun activities like roller skating and a camp-in.  We will also be camping this summer.  Yay!

Yesterday was the annual Pinewood Derby.  Each boy received a block of wood and four wheels/axles a month ago.  Rules were distributed.  And the big plans began.  The cub scouts worked with their adult helpers to construct a car to race in the derby.  Colby had a bit of a handicap, as his dad's woodworking skills involve a lot of cussing and duct tape.  But never fear, Uncle Chris was once a cub scout and is a bit handy with a saw.  There is a wealth of knowledge on the internet on Pinewood Derby car-design and how to make the car go fast.  Colby chose a classic car design that did not involve too much cutting or sanding.  Chris, Grandpa, Ron, and Colby hovered over the saw as the car was born.

Chris reminisced about melting lead shot in a spoon for his Pinewood Derby car.  But thanks to the internet we avoided the blow torch and inserted fishing weights instead.  This mom had to keep reminding those big boys that this was Colby's project and he needed to be involved.  So Colby chose the car design and colors, sanded, and painted.

Friday night we got to bring the car in for a pre-race check in and track test.  The little boys were excited to see each other's cars and to try out the track, but they were soon exploring the bleachers and rolled up wrestling mats.  The dads were the ones that were most excited about the practice.  At one time I think there were a dozen dads on various parts of the track rolling cars short distances, watching for wheel wobble or drag, giving suggestions, and making adjustments.  We all got to take the cars home for last minute adjustments.  Unfortunately, Colby's car was found to have a 'toed-out' wheel.  Something that took more skill to fix than we could handle at our house--that glue had been set for over a week.

Saturday check-in was at 11:00.  The cars had to meet strict racing guidelines in measurement and weight.  Colby's met requirements--Chris had measured and weighed that baby every time he made any changes--but a couple of others were overweight and had to be drilled to make weight.  Then we waited for the 1:00 race start.

Pairs of boys watched their cars travel the track.  Their peers, siblings, parents, and fans cheered them on.  It was double elimination.  Unfortunately, Colby only got to race two times, darn wheel.  He was disappointed, but took it well.  Another Tiger Cub (first grader) got third place overall.

We stayed to watch the outlaw race.  Those cars were something else!  If you want to see grown boys with their toys--you have to watch a Pinewood Derby Outlaw Race.  Where the official race cars had to be 5 ounces or under, some of the outlaws weighed 3 pounds.  Some had minimal body shaping, but some were intricately designed.

It was a fun afternoon.  A great experience for the boys and their families.

I did take pictures, and will try to come back later to add them.  I've been working on this post off and on for three days.  It's time to publish and head to town.

1 comment:

  1. YOU are a fabulous story teller! I could just see all those dads in various forms of stooping, kneeling & even laying on the floor to watch the details of their & the opponent's cars!