Pinewood Derby Memory – A Long Wait

My son, Matthew, just won his first trophy for his first pinewood derby race! Matthew is a Tiger cub this year and he has been enjoying being a Cub Scout tremendously. There is a good story behind his joining, too. Matt came home with a letter about a Cub Scout recruiting night from his kindergarten class at school last year. He wanted to join and I said I would take him to the meeting. Well, we didn’t know that kindergarteners couldn’t join the scouts. All the scouting people felt really bad about disappointing him; he was trying very hard not to cry. The same recruiting letter came home again this year from first grade and Matt still wanted to be a scout. Again we went to recruiting night and Matt got to officially be a Cub Scout. Well, as it turns out he was the only first grader to join this year so there was no Tigers in our town! Our Cub Scout master was advised to send him to the next town to the Tiger den there. But our Cub Scout master decided to keep Matthew in our community and have him go to the Wolf’s den meetings, and hope that more Tigers would join up (We ended up with two Tigers by the time of the pinewood derby race). I’m am so grateful that he did, Matthew is a pretty shy boy and has blossomed under his den leader’s guidance.
Matthew and Mom (me) made his car together. He wanted it shaped just like the one on the box, because it had to be fast to get on the box! I did the cutting and he sanded. He was going to spray paint it but his little fingers couldn’t press the button on the can. He put the wheels on and I checked that they were straight. He put decals on it and we got the scale out to check the weight. It weighted three ounces. Matt got some lead weights at the hobby shop and wanted to use them as the seat. so we cut them down and glued them in the “cockpit”. It just happened to be one inch in front of the rear wheels (as I read in one of your stories). It was still a little light so we put “muffler pipes” up out of trunk area. It was 4.95 ounces.
On race day, Matt was so excited about possibly winning a trophy. I kept trying to impress upon him that even if he didn’t win, he could still have fun. When his car came across the finish line in the lead that first time, his face was so excited! I think the whole room cheered for him. He won five out of seven races! He was so proud to get his Tiger cub trophy and even more proud of his car! He still thinks he would have got one of those big trophies if he wasn’t a Tiger. I believe he is right, his car beat the second place finisher three times, but I didn’t ask.
This program does so much for the confidence of little boys like Matthew and everybody has been so great to him.
Lorraine Cressey
Phippsburg, Maine
From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 4, Issue 2
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