Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Race Is On

Today was the day that all of the boys in my sons' Cub Scout pack have been anxiously waiting for - Pinewood Derby race day!!!     Both boys even happily gave up their last day of house league hockey for the chance to race their creations!

Grandpa came up with his saw and cut the blocks of wood for the boys, but each boy sanded the truck and painted and put on the decals, before getting help with putting the wheels on from Grandpa before Andy took did the final touches with the weights.

This year Steven went with a flame theme for his reddish orange truck and he made it a mission to use every decal on the page.    Trevor went with a Patriotic theme for his blue truck. 

I'm not sure how other pinewood derbies are run, but ours is a 6-lane track that hooks into a computer and the software keeps track of the speed of each car, down to the one-thousandths of a second.  Each car makes 6 runs down the track - the software determines which lane each car is in and which cars they are against in each run.  At the end of the 6th run, each car will have raced once on each track and gone head to head with every other car in the race - then the computer tabulates the time for each and every car, and the fastest car wins.   They also have a projector hooked up to the computer so that all the spectators can see the results of each run and try to gauge how well their car is doing overall.

There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies for the four levels of Scout packs (Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos).    Once again this year, there are 4 Bears in Steven's pack which means 1 boy is going to be leaving without a trophy in his hand.   Trevor's Tiger pack has 8 Scouts this year, so while he has more competition, it is a little easier for a boy to take if he has other Scouts to commiserate with over not receiving a trophy.   As we've done in the past for Steven (this was Trevor's first year racing) we have been talking for weeks that it's not all about the trophies, that it's about the fun of customizing a car and getting the chance to race it and about the possibility that they each come could home empty-handed, while watching 3 boys celebrating with their trophies.     We've also been stressing to them that if by chance they did win a trophy that they needed to be a considerate winner and not boasting and bragging. 

Knowing Trevor as well as I do, I knew that if he came home without a trophy and big brother did win one, that we'd have a very dissapointed little boy on our hands today, no matter how many times we tried to warn him about that possibility.   Earlier this morning, I told Andy that I was hoping for either 2 trophies or 0 trophies! 

Both cars ran wonderfully today!!   Trevor's car came in first in 5 out of the first 5 rounds, so I was very confident that he was going to be a happy little boy at the end.  Steven's car did well and by comparing his results to the others in his group, I had a strong feeling that he too was going to be holding a trophy at the end.     The 6th round came up and finally both boys' cars were racing at the same time.  Steven's car actually came in a couple hundreds of a second faster than Trevor's.     They tallied up all of the times and it was time to announce the winners.

Trevor took 1st place for the Tigers den and Steven took 2nd for the Bears. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that out of the 36 cars racing today Trevor's was the fastest overall and Steven's was the 6th fastest overall.      As you can imagine, both boys have been smiling all day today!!!      Trevor even gets to race his truck again - as a 1st place finisher, he advances to the District derby in a few weeks.   

1 comment:

  1. So glad they both came home with's hard when it's not equal...but I know it has to be sometimes.