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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Derby day!

Meet the local Webelo racing champion!

Last night was the annual Cub Scout adventure called the Pinewood Derby. For those unfamiliar with the event, it is an unmotorized race-- the cars run on a wooden track, maybe 30-40 feet long. The track is on a stand at one end that makes the starting point about 5 feet off the ground. It has three lanes, and the cars are each rotated through 3 heats, so each car uses each lane once-- thereby (one hopes) eliminating issues of one lane being faster or slower than another. Then the top three finishers in each age group run a set of heats against one another, to determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each division.

The cars are placed behind little metal stops at the start, which are all triggered simultaneously by levers on the sides of the track. One of the parents flips the lever, and the cars roll down, speed across the length, and cross over the finish line at the end. Other parents (augmented by older boy scouts) watch to keep track of how each car finishes each heat.

And at the end of the evening, awards are given to the winners in each age group. A prize is also given for "Best of Show:" the car deemed by the judges to be the best looking vehicle of the evening.

This year, Kyle's car took first place, winning almost every heat it ran! You can't tell it from the photo, but he was one excited kid-- very pleased that "the coolest car I ever did" also raced very well. The form is as important as the function to my young artist, and he worked hard on the shaping and the paint job. Those are carefully designed flames, I'll have you know-- drawn, painted and shaded completely freehand. He did a great job, and had a ball with it. Meanwhile, Dad was in charge of seeing that the car met spec, adding weights on the bottom to bring it up to the allowed maximum. Mom was pit crew-- handling any last minute modifications necessary before check-in (have glue gun, will travel!).

Kyle will be old enough to move up to Boy Scouts in the fall, if he so chooses, so this was his last year racing. From now on, other activities will be on the docket. And he's okay with that, especially after going out on a high note. But I will confess that I'm going to miss it, a little. I will never be entirely nonchalant about my children outgrowing things...


Blogger Dawgdays said...

Huzzah! Congrats to the new champ!

January 22, 2006 12:41 AM  

Anonymous Mark J. said...

Woot! Go Kyle!

January 22, 2006 12:58 AM  

Blogger cheesehead said...

Oh Cool! My son never got very far in Pinewood Derby--even with an engineer for a dad.

January 22, 2006 8:05 AM  

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