Part of having lots of boys (I consider 5 is “lots of boys”) is having each boy enter cub scouts when they turn 8. Well our 4th of 5 boys – we call him Mason or #4 (yes sometimes with six kids it is easier to refer to them as #1, #2, etc.. I know that does not make me mother of the year 🙂 entered cub scouts just last month when he turned 8. Cub scouts are great, they go to den meetings where they learn about knots, recycling, service, sports, and other boy stuff. Well it is great except when there is homework.
Once a year the families get the ULTIMATE homework assignment, BUILD a pinewood derby car, bring it on the designated night and race it! Oh my the pressure, especially when this is your families 8th pinewood derby (lots of boys in cubs=lots of pinewood derbies) Each cub gets a a block of wood, some supplies, and is told to cut it into a car, sand it, sand it, sand it some more, paint some cool design (my cub is all about THE UTAH JAZZ- so we had a Jazz car), then comes the strategy- this is where dads become just a tad competitive 😉 See the more the car weighs the faster it goes down the track.. so you add weights, but all the cars have to be weighed in on the same scale the night of the race. The car can’t weigh over 5 ounces, so each car has to be adjusted accordingly. Meanwhile the suspense builds.
The moms are there trying to assure their little cubs, (especially the new ones) that it is ok if their car is not the fastest. You give the “good sportman” speech, wonder if they are listening. By this time my anxious cub was pacing, wanting to throw up, etc- he takes some things a little to seriously. After all he had been building, painting, sanding this car for over two weeks.
This race is so serious that there is an extensive electronic setup that keeps track of which car passes the finish line down to the thousandth of the second. (and we had two awesome girls run the computer-see the pic below) They get the music pumping, basically songs from the movies “Cars” and the race is on. Each car is raced three times, and the computer picks at random who races against whom.
I am proud to say an Edman cub scout actually placed in the top three! We have never placed! It took 8 tries but we finally figured out how to build a derby car, where the wheels don’t fall off, and the car can hold it’s own. As you can imagine my super serious Mason was very very excited. Below is just a few pics of the night. Enjoy or not it is a great right of passage for each cub. Thank you to all the leaders, dads, and parents who make it a great night for the cubs!