31 Mar
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Cub Scouts: Unique Pinewood Derby Car Designs

I remember the first time I saw my husband’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby cars he had built years ago. I had no idea years later my own garage would become a workshop for Pinewood Derby cars each spring, and we’d have our own shelf to display our sons’ cars.

TV Remote - Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Car

I married an Eagle Scout. I went on my first Boy Scout camping trip as a newlywed before I even had kids. Our three boys are all involved in Scouting: a Boy Scout, a Bear (Cub) Scout and a Tiger (Cub) Scout. Scouting is a passion my boys share with their dad. The annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby car race is a highlight of scouting for our boys.

Pencil - Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Car

The boys are given a kit containing a rectangular block of wood, four nails and four plastic wheels. Each boy envisions what he wants his car to look like, and dad helps him make it a reality. Most years this isn’t an easy task. It’s time-consuming and filled with multiple steps. It also requires the patience of Job to complete. If there’s one thing Craig has in abundance, it’s patience.

Swiss Cheese - Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Car

I like to be there when the boys reveal their plans to Craig. You can tell for a split-second he wants to tell them it’s too hard and to pick something a little easier. He doesn’t though. Each year he tells them yes, no matter how crazy labor-intensive the idea. I watch as they bundle up and head to the garage on the weekends or week nights when homework is done. I listen to Craig patiently tell them what to do next. He’ll sit next to them on the cold, cement floor guiding little hands as they acquaint themselves with the proper way to use different tools and explain the step-by-step process that will get their cars to completion.

Pink Eraser - Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Car

I may hear a sigh from Craig as he repeats (again) what needs to be done, but he never raises his voice or quits. He may find working on Pinewood Derby cars tedious at times, but he never loses patience. He’s not just building Pinewood Derby cars. He’s building memories, and he knows it.

Roadster - Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Car

The boys want their Pinewood Derby cars to win on race day, but the act of building the car is why they really participate. They enjoy coming up with some new creative idea. Most years, our Pinewood Derby cars look nothing like cars. They’re food or objects around the house. Only one year has anyone actually designed a car. For my boys, the block of wood is just another medium for artistic expression.

Doublemint Gum - Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Car

They’ll be spending their nights this week finishing this year’s cars for the race this weekend. Now the blocks of wood resemble what they’re meant to be, but the details will make them come to life. I enjoy the moment each year when they unveil their Pinewood Derby cars. It’s fulfilling to make your vision a reality, even when you’re six years old.


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