January 28, 2007

sweep! sweet!

Last Thursday night was our Cub Scout pack's Pinewood Derby. The scouts, with varying levels of help from parents, create pine cars of certain dimensions and weight, then race them. It is a lot of fun. This was Ethan's fourth year and Sam's first.

Unfortunately for them, their father has neither the patience or the skill to make really fast pine cars. You have to grind down the axels, get the weight exactly at 5.0 ounces, reduce the wind resistance, etc., etc. Just a lot of work that a 10-year-old has little patience for. And if he's not doing the work, then I'm not doing it for him.

Fortunately for them, the race committee also offers awards for best design (craftsmanship) and best design (originality). Part of the fun is to see the cars--many are exquisitely crafted and beautifully painted, glossed and sanded to a high sheen. Since their dad does not, however, have the patience to make a fast car, it follows that the dad also has little patience for creating beautifully crafted works of art.

Thank God we have originality as an option.

This year Ethan earned his second trophy for "most original design" for his PodRacer. Ethan's a Star Wars nut, and Episode One is his second favorite episode, even though it sucks. He also received his very first iPod for Christmas this year, so when I suggested a PodRacer with an iPod theme, he was all over it and designed the car you see pictured here.

In Sam's first year, the competition was a little easer. A Tiger Cub, Sam mostly had to compete against dads who had never been to a Pinewood Derby before and therefore were unaware of the Tiger Division's originality award. When I suggested to Sam that he do more of an art project for his car, he came up with the idea for The Campsite, and we had a lot of fun building it together. Getting the little Elmer's Glue marshmallows on the ends of the sticks was tricky but seems to have worked.

So it was a clean sweep--most original design trophies in both categories. Pretty sweet.

No comments: