Pinewood Derby

So this week, I attended our ward's Pinewood Derby. The first thing I have to admit is that as a Cub Scout mom [many years ago], I was not supportive, nor did I enjoy the Pack Meetings and all the [dorky] stuff that goes on there. Think 'round-of-applause' or 'watermelon cheer' and you'll probably be able to relate. I hated those things.

More, I hated the Pinewood Derby experience. It seemed to me then that way too much time and emphasis was put on sculpting this dumb block of wood, weighing it, working on the tires, etc. etc. etc. And then when the actual race happened, mostly our racers came in dead last. I can't say I enjoyed it and what I can say is that I was pretty cranky about it all. More than anything, I hated seeing the dads really take it way too seriously. This was for the boys, right?!

But as I sat at our ward's Derby this week, I was struck by how much work those boys and dads had put into those cars, how excited they all were, and then, how they cheered each other on. When one of the first cars lost a wheel on its first run, the boys were all there assuring the owner that it could be put right back on and all would be well.

Mostly, what these Cub Scout activities are supposed to do is provide specific opportunities for parents to do things with their children. Fun things.

And it was!!


Natalie Scott said...

I agree, and my attitude has improved significantly in the last year or two. The boys love it, and we have some great boys/dads in our scouting program!

Carrie said...

Can I just tell you how much I appreciate your honesty? I didn't know what I was getting myself into, but for the last 2 years I (well, my husband and I) were our ward den leaders for the Bears and Webelos. I was excited at FIRST.

At our first round table meeting, I knew I was in TROUBLE. I hated the calling, but worked really hard with the boys. I must admit, for various reasons the program was not very successful in our ward. It is, however, better than it was when we were called. So, I guess that's good!

Needless to say the Pinewood Derby was our highlight. The Dads and boys really DO come together and WERE extremely supportive. Thanks for showing me that there can be a silver lining in anything! :)

SweetmamaK said...

Speaking from the point of view of a Mormon among Gentiles, I LOVE SCOUTS!!! Since it's not a church calling, whoever is involved in it is there because they want to be there with their children. Our Pack is very family oriented and I really love it.
The pinewood derby, I could live without- lol- my boys dont' get too excited about it, but they do make their own cars under dad's supervision. What I love is the mutual support you talk about. Every year there has been at least one tender moment where I got choked up. One year two brothers didn't understand the weight rules and came with MAJOR HUGE non regulation cars, no amount of work would let them in, so several of the boys let them race their cars- the boys weren't prompted by parents, they just did it. Last year one car was too too light and no add on weights were left, so the kids were all digging for change to glue on the car.
I LOVED IT! I'm so glad that you went to your ward's derby for support. It means the world to the boys to have their "teachers" present.

hoLLy said...

i have no experience with the pinewood derby with my own kids(yet anyways!) but it looks like fun!

and i agree, some of that cub scout stuff is pretty corny-i remember going to a couple of things when my bros were little-lame-o:)

tiburon said...

Argh! Ours is May 1st and there has already been much angst and gnashing of teeth about the car.

Good to know that someone else wasn't a big fan! Hopefully I can come around too :)

100 Percent Cottam said...

you know i love me the cub scouts!! good times.

Suzanne said...

Having had five sons go through the program I, too, had mixed feelings. ;o)

Andrea said...

Oh, I love cub scouts! And I love it most when the boys love cub scouts! We have such a great pack with great boys and supportive families and I think that makes all the difference.

Phogles said...

Yeah, Scouting is like a foreign planet. It's so counter to my nature, I had to really push myself to be supportive when Hyrum was in Cubs. It's so goofy and full of ceremonies and guidelines and procedures and even more silliness...and then they called ME - one of seven daughters, mother to four of my own! - to be a den leader a few years ago. THAT was an insane education. I now have a lot of respect for the program, and I got to attend a Little Philmont with the General Primary President and the General Young Men's President, and it WAS AWESOME! I came away with such a testimony of the whole thing. So, now, I'm converted to making it work for my sorely-out-numbered boys. Hyrum's in Boy Scouts now, and Mark is there with him for all of it, because they called Mark to be the Young Men's president!