The Burnsville 500 (inches)

Last night was the last Pinewood Derby any of my children would ever participate in. It is Matt's last year in Cub Scouts. Jim is not a worker of wood by any means and I think he's glad to be done with Pinewood Derby cars (this was the 9th one). I tried not to get involved with the Derby other than to watch it and cheer on my son's vehicle; I'll do every thing else to help my sons advance rank in the Cub Scout program, just not help with the Pinewood Derby car. I can only do so much, and so much doesn't involve coming within 10 feet of a band saw, or watching my sons come within that 10 feet either. I'd get very nervous. Think "freak out."

Our parenting philosophy, when it comes to school or scout projects, is to let the children do as much work on their projects as possible; and (forgive me for doing this) we tend to raise an eyebrow at some of the nearly professional-looking cars that the other Cub Scouts bring to the Pinewood Derby. Of course we wonder who did more work on the car: the kid or the parent. Who knows, maybe some boys are pros with electrically-powered saw technology; mine certainly aren't. My boys' cars have always looked like a kid designed (i.e. boxy and ill-painted with inexplicable paint color choices) and made them, with Dad strictly relegated to advisor/safety inspector/assistant. This year was no different.

Matt titled his car "The Million Dollar Car" because he thought it looked like a lump of gold. Can you see the $1000000 with the misplaced comma on the side? He used coins for weights to add to the idea that his car was "worth a lot of money."
To me, it looks aerodynamically challenged. But he came in 6th place out of 40, so I guess "boxy and angular" doesn't necessarily mean "slow". Sadly, I didn't get to see the race this year because of a conflict with Paul's track schedule. But Matt knows I was cheering him on from where I was stationed, waiting for the call to pick up Paul.

Comments

Jessie said…
When they lived back in California, Bon's dad worked in a craftsman shop and he always talks about all the ward dad's coming in to have him tweak "their" pinewood derby cars. He'd get them to within a milligram of the maximum weight, rub the axle down with graphite, and sand the cars to a glassy finish. Men and their pinewood derby cars. *geesh*
Dennis said…
A few eeks ago I viewed for a shot time the Lakeville Pinewood Derby. I must say some of those cars looked very profesisonal. It was fun to watch because they had sound effects, timed races with electornic timing and the whole enchilada (oooh, now I want some Mex food). I'm on your side, the derby is for the boys (the young type, not dad's that wish they were still boys).
Matt's car looks wealthy and healthy.
froggybaby said…
Yay for Matt, and yay for closing a chapter in one's life and moving on!
TaterBean said…
hehe...they make you use a band saw and some other very dangerous machinery in middle school...I think like 7th or 8th grade...that's how I made my fishy car which I still have somewhere...
Jen said…
Congrats to Matt to getting 6th place with a car he made entirely by himself. How many other kids can say that? I agree that it's ridiculous to do all the work for your kids. What does that teach the children?

I've really been trying hard to walk into another room while Annie does her homework and then check it afterward. She seems to becoming a lot more independent about pulling out her homework each day, reading the instructions, and getting started without asking me what to do.