Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pinewood Derby

Last weekend was a very busy one. I'm going to take it in parts -- this episode will be about the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby, which both boys were able to compete this year (T's first year and R's second year.) The boys (including M) have been planning their cars since January. First, they spent time drawing and redrawing their car designs on graph paper, starting over when they decided they didn't like their design or when M decided that their idea was too tricky to make.

Then, they got their kits and bought wood.

R wanted a "plain wood car that was really shiny." So he got some fancy-smanchy hard wood called "cocoballa" or something like that. (Yeah, I know it's called "pine"wood derby. I asked M about five times if it was legal to buy a different kind of wood besides pine. He reassured me over and over that it was legal and finally he printed off the rules so I could see it with my own eyes. It's all good - you don't have to use pine in a pinewood derby. Crazy!)

Here is Riley posing with his car before the race. (Notice the very lovely patriotic background that M set up for me. Actually, I took photos of all the boys -- as I did last year -- which everybody enjoyed.)
T wanted an "old fashioned racing car" and the color he wanted to paint it was "British Racing Green." Very specific, that boy is! He first designed an extremely difficult car that M really wanted to help T build, but just couldn't figure out how to build it and make it even sort of fast. T repeatedly said that he didn't care if it was fast. Finally, I asked T "T, if your car looks really cool, but it's always the last place in all of your races, would you still be proud of it because it looks cool?" He teared up a bit and said, "no, I guess I want it to be a little bit fast too." Relieved, M helped T design this really cool racing car. It's a bit hard to see, but believe me, it looked really cool with it's racing stripes and fake engine on top. (M tried to convince T to put a little Lego hat on top so it looked like there was a driver down in the car, but T wouldn't go for it. He likes his things to be authentic and cars don't have little hats on top. M even showed him pictures of race cars on the Internet and you can see the helmets and only the helmets sticking up, but T wouldn't budge.)

Here's a close up shot of it. M takes these "beauty shots" of the cars each year. It's an awfully cool car. As a matter of fact, I thought it might win the Best in Show prize. Alas, a Sponge Bob inspired car won that award that is voted on by the scouts themselves.

The race was a blast to watch. T and R raced in two different heats. Both boys did well. T got a few firsts, a few seconds and some thirds (he raced 10 races in his heat.) R did really well, getting mainly firsts and some seconds in his heat. He did so well that he qualified for the final heat...and won second place! (I had this huge fear that T would do better than R and R's been doing this for two years already. Luckily, both boys were extremely happy.

One of my favorite moments was when T leaned over and said to me, "I'm so happy for R! aren't you?!"
"Yes, I told him. I'm happy for R too. but you know what? I'm very proud of you too, T."
Yeah, me too, he replied.

The award ceremony was fun, because M was the MC since he's the Cub Master and because R got a second place medal. All of the kids got a trophy. Fun times!


A.J. said...

Oh what a super fantastic pinewood derby you all had! The cars were great looking, and I especially love all the stories. The Cubscouts are so darn cute, too.

I knew you had a big weekend, so I've been looking every day for the blog. This was a great one.

Ken said...

Great blog. The cars look great!

Tell both of the boys I am very proud of them.

Did you go to Washington D.C.?


CaliforniaGrammy said...

I thought of you so much last weekend, wishing we could have been there with all the fun stuff going on. The cocoballa wood R picked for his is absolutely gorgeous. And T's car is awesome looking too . . . and they were both of-so-very-fast! Way to go all of you. And I love the photo background for the "official" photos taken by you. What a nice thing to do. I'm curious why T picked British Racing Green rather than Funky Racing Purple??? However, it's a classy looking car. Did any other car have a Lego hat on top? And Sponge Bob beat our Smooth and Shiny? How about two Best in Shows ... one voted on by the scouts, and one by the parents? Oh, yeah, that wouldn't work ... I guess there can only be one Best in Show.

Great stories, sweet stories, I love those boys, they're getting so big and growing up so fast!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Proudly checking out, yet once again, the pictures of my grandsons this morning, without an ounce of caffeine in my body, my eye zeroed in.... what is that thing on the knot of T's kerchief around his neck. Oh-my-gosh, it's an itty-bitty pinewood derby car! How cool is that! Is that something T thought of all by himself?

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kalebsmum said...

I loved your pics and blog of the Pinewood Derby. Your mom suggested I look at your site since my son K just did his PD. (I worked for your mom at Fuller about 12 or so years ago)