Pinewood Derby – Boy-Built Car

Fifth graders do not usually join Cub Scouts, but this kid did. He was a friend of a scout in my den; he joined in for a half year or so of fun before moving on to Boy Scouts. Having never seen a pinewood derby much less made a car, this was all new to him. He made a sleek sports car sort of design and painted it shiny silver. Nice job considering our cars are completely boy built in den meetings with nothing more fancy than a coping saw.
Weigh-in night showed the little car exceptionally light, so he used what change I had on hand in my purse: a handful of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters that he could add to the car until it reached the magic 5 ounces – or nearly so. Masking tape held them on (kind of ruined the ‘look’ of the car, but what do you do?).
Well this car came in 2nd Place in the den races, even though we had to keep adjusting the coins to hold them on. Time came for the main event where the top cars from each den raced against each other. Some cars were most definitely not boy-built, but engineer dad-built, and the boy’s car did not look to be the favorite. Guess what? It took 2nd Place in the pack. He was happy, and had done it himself!
Keep it simple, make it fun. Isn’t that what it is all about? The smile on the boy says YES!
Janis Tipton-King
Fremont, CA.
From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 6, Issue 7
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