Saturday, March 25, 2006

Everybody's A Winner

Last night was the big night...the Pinewood Derby Race for the cub scout pack. Believe me, it couldn't have come at a better time. Every ounce of energy and time in this house has been spent on preparing for the Pinewood Derby. It has consumed M for the past three weeks. R has been excited too (but I don't think quite as excited as M!)

We got to the gym at 5:45 because M wanted to get there early for the 6:00 race. Come 6:00 there were a lot of cub scouts and their parents there, but no race track. The track is owned by another cub pack and they rent it out to other packs as a fund raiser (pretty smart.) Anyway, the track arrived at about 6:15 and they began assembling the huge thing. I tried to keep the little first gradeTiger Cubs (our den) out of the way of the big Cub Scouts (big 5th graders) who were helping to set up all of the spectator chairs. This wasn't an easy job because 6 and 7 year old boys have A LOT of energy.

After the track was set up and tested, it was time for car inspection. The boys stood anxiously in line, each holding thier beloved car. There were cars in all sorts of shapes and colors. Some had a lot of parents' influence, and some were done by the boys by themselves (the older boys). Some had painted on numbers, and some had glued on drivers. They were all great.

The official inspection and weigh-in was very, very official. Once the cars were deemed legal to race, the cars were "impounded" and no one could touch them. As a matter of fact, during the race, no parents were allowed to touch the cars -- only the scouts and the officials. R had a clean car -- he was within weight and he had no illegal parts. The cars cannot weigh more than five ounces. R's weighed 4.9 ounces (M had wished that he had a really light weight to add to it, but he didn't have any light enough.) R's car was impounded, he was given the number Green #2, and told to sit down with the other scouts.

There were fourteen scouts there to race. They divided them into two heats and each car raced against every other car in the heat and in every position on the track. That means that we watched a bazillian races (yes, that's a technical term - bazillion.)

R was in the second heat. He was in the first race of the heat. His number was called and he quickly climbed the stairs to get up to the starting line of the track and put his car on. He and the three other scouts that he was racing ran down to the finish line. When they were situated down at the bottom, the officiant let the cars go. R's car was beautiful and shiny...and FAST. It whizzed out in front of everybody down the hill and maintained its speed on the flat part. His crossed the finish line first and a beautiful number 1 was illuminated above his lane. He won the race! Oh, you should have seen the big smile on his face and I know you can imagine how much he was jumping up and down!

He had to contain himself and go sit down in line until his next race. He had to wait for two more races before he was up again. His number was called and he quickly got to the starting line and placed his car at the starting gate. Confidently, he strolled to the finish line, eager to repeat the easy win that he knew his car could do. The race began and, again, his car sped down the hill in front of the others. Then, at the flat stretch, it slowed down, and slowed down some more...and he came in fourth -- last. But, that didn't bum him out at all. He got back in his seat with a smile on his face. The next race his car was, once again, the fastes down the hill, and he came in second, cool! Then, second again..okay, this sure beats last. Then, the next two races, he was looking at last again and again. Hmmm. In the end, he had one first place, two second places, and four fouth places. Crazy!

I over heard the two officals talking to each other about the "silver bullet" that they had named R's car. They were saying "that silver bullet is the fastest down the hill every time. It should be winning." "Yeah, but the wheels got lose and are wobbling on the flat stretch, so it loses speed."

Ahhhh, so that's what happened.

After R's seven races, he came and sat by me while the finals were going. Three of his friends in Tiger Cubs made the finals -- and two of them placed first and second in the whole Pack. We cheered them on. They're going on to "district" next month.

R was a bit disappointed, but said that he had a lot of fun. He was quite pleased to see that he (and everyone who participated) got a beautiful trophy. Upon getting the trophy, he said "I think I'll take this to school and show it to my teacher. She'll be really proud." I told him that I was really proud of him -- of how he worked hard with his dad to build it and I was proud of his good sportsmanship -- both when he won the races and when he didn't win.

Here are some pictures so you can feel like you were there.

R showing the intricacies of his shark car to his buddy.

Walking up to get inspected and weighed. Notice his very cool carrying case. M bought him a gun case with the foam in it and cut out the foam in the shape of the car so that it would be very well protected. He finished it off with R's name in metallic letters. Too cool for school.

R looks on expectantly as his car is inspected. Whew! He made it. He's good to race.

R places his car in the first lane of the four-lane track.

R proudly displays his beautiful trophy. As I was putting him to bed last night, I noticed that he put it next to his hockey puck and his autographed baseball. Nice.


CaliforniaGrammy said...

Oh my gosh, S - you did such a great job on telling this story! With tears running down my face, having to wipe them away so I could continue reading the blog to your dad . . . I felt almost like I was there with you guys anticipating each race . . . my heart beating oh-so-fast as the first race came to a winning finish. I'm so proud of my grandson . . . such a great sport and competitor he is . . . chip off the 'ol block, for sure! Awesome account of such an exciting event. And I adore the fact of displaying his trophy along with his other treasures! Thank you so much!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Everybody's a Winner . . . Great title. I even feel like I AM a winner! Way to go M and R!

A.J. said...

Oh my dearest little grand-nephew, I'm so proud! I'm all teary-eyed too!

kalebsmum said...

I've also got a 1st grade tiger cub and his pinewood derby is in 2 weeks. Now that I read your blog, I can't wait for the excitement of my sons first race.

v-party of five said...

What an awesome account of the derby race and great pictures too! Right on shiny shark car!! I'm so proud man. Way to go R and M.

GreatAuntieP said...

Me too!! I'm so proud R! Especially cause you were such a great sport!! Also am teary eyed. That car is sooooo cool looking! Congrats to R and M.

gramonthelake said...

Yes, M & R, you Rock. "Silver Bullet" says it all. 1st year at Pine Wood Derby & you did soooooooo well, alright. Watch out next year everyone, R & M....THEY WILL BE BACK. Great job reporting mom, thanks for taking us there. Just wondering, did T get a chance to try his car out too? R & T are very lucky to have two wonderful parents that try so hard for them.