Friday, January 20, 2012

BSA- Pinewood Derby Time

Yes, it is that time of year again...

Pinewood   Derby   Time!

Parents of Cub Scouts everywhere are scrambling to sand, paint, and weight this year's Pinewood Derby car.  Some Packs see trends of more emphasis on speed.   Other Packs?  It is all about design, thus producing deliciously creative interpretations of everything from a hot dog to a sea creature.  Our Pack, #631, sees a decent mix of the two.

The not-knowing-what-to-expect aspect of Pinewood morning is my absolute FAVORITE PART!   For some parents, Pinewood is a super competitive endeavor about angles and speed tricks.  Steve and I have always viewed it as pure fun, helping the boys to create their vision.  Regardless, gathering to see their peers show off their hard work is always a treat for the kids.

Late last night as Steve and I attached wheels and put the parental finishing touches on Reed's 2012 Pinewood Derby car, I paused and couldn't believe that this is the ELEVENTH CAR we have completed between he and Parker.

My babies are growing up. =(

Sometimes you have to to stop and reflect to realize how far you have come (note our school photos and Halloween costumes).   I thought that it would be fun to take a walk through Nenonen Pinewood Derby's Past...

Prior to getting  ill, my dad was extremely involved in the boys' Pinewood cars.  More skilled in woodworking, weighting, and aerodynamics... my dad assisted Parker in the design of his first 3 cars.  It was "their thing" and ultimately resulted in decent placement with traditional design.

During those years, he also assisted Reed, 2 years younger, in designing cars to race in the non-Scout competition.  Reed brought on an interesting trend in Casa de Nenonen as rather than a red or yellow car,  he asked for a "Bat Mobile".  The next year, he desired a "man eating alligator"- note the feet.  So began the Nenonen quest for creativity over speed...

The next year was Reed's first official year in Scouts.  Requesting a pig, my dad assisted him in designing and carving this one out of balsam wood.  Sadly, this was my dad's last Pinewood involvement, though he went out with a bang! The piggy shocked us by not only placing but becoming a crowd favorite!  Piggy invited a lot of  "oinking"  as he tore down the track. ;-) 

That year, Parker decoupaged the scan of a $100 bill, painted the side to look like a stack, and thought to ask the bank for a real money band.  Love this car!   The penny, however, was a band-aid.  During a last minute on-site weighting effort, the top was accidentally drilled through.  Ack!  Oops.

For Parker's last year, he opted to make it look like he didn't do a car at all, covering his with the Pinewood Derby Kit  box.  Steve worked closely with Reed that year and their final interpretation of Reed's requested "tree branch with a birds nest" was absolute genius in my opinion.  They utilized a real log that they retrofitted over the car.  I was not the only one charmed by this car, as Reed took Best in Pack that year.

Last year, Reed stated "I am thinking a coffin that opens maybe with a vampire in it".  If you know Reed, that is exactly the way he talks.  Go big or go home, I suppose.  Ha ha.   Ultimately, he did most of the work, lining the coffin with satin and and painting it himself.   It also became a crowd favorite as Steve managed to add sound effects.  The coffin cackled evilly when you opened it.

That brings us to this year.  Reed's vision?  Tom Sawyer's raft.  This is what he came up with after gathering sticks, painting, a trip to the hobby shop, and 6 sticks of hot glue...
Tomorrow is the race!  We'll see how it goes and then only 1 year left... =(