At the Races! Pinewood derby 2019

Happy Friday! It's been a chilly week! We've been experiencing frigid weather, school cancellations, and whipping winds! Polar Vortex, you are a beast! This week's post will be short and sweet - you know, like racing and victory, without the milk being poured over your head!

Remington (left) smiles for the camera before registering his Pinewood Derby car, aptly named Storming Frog. Emerson (right) brought along the car he wanted to race.

Our kindergartener, Remington, joined Cub Scouts at the beginning of the school year. And this year, Reggie volunteered to organize this very special, highly anticipated event for Pack 211, the Pinewood Derby! Perhaps he'll elaborate on his massive organizational efforts in a future post, however, I can tell you, it was a lot of work to coordinate the day as well as the many volunteers who helped put it all together, from set-up to tear-down. Reggie and Remington worked on their wooden race cars for several weeks ahead of the event. As you can see in the photo above, Remington was quite proud of his work, and named his car Storming Frog! Emerson wanted to enter Lightning McQueen, however, due to weight and size restrictions, his entry did not qualify. He didn't let that stop him from playing and having some fun!

A few examples of cars made by Pack 211.

The races began around 9am with refreshments available for race fans. The oldest members of Pack 211 started with their cars first. Several heats were run for each den. The top 3 winners for each den would then move on to compete in the Championship Race, with the top 3 finalists moving on to the District Championships coming up in the Spring.

Storming Frog and some of his competitors wait for their turn on the track. Reggie made these wooden racks for the cars to rest on between races and for display.

The race track, timing system, and race stands were all set up the night before in the school gym. Test runs were made to make sure the technology portion of the event was working properly. The cars really do speed along the course! Reggie and the volunteers also got to test the track that night with some cars, and he quickly discovered that he needed to do a bit more fine-tuning on the fenders so that they wouldn't get interference from the medians.

Racing toward the checkered flag!

Parents were invited and encouraged to make their own cars to participate in the event. Reggie enjoyed working with Remington in our basement to design and build their speedsters. They polished the axles and used several tools to complete the job. Remington chose his theme and colors and did most of the work himself, with Reggie's supervision. Our little guy really does like to work with his hands, and he's got quite a nice collection of tools to use. I love that Reggie shares his love of woodworking, making, and design with our son.

The Open Class featured participants who are not in Cub Scouts, like parents, siblings, and friends. Reggie's car is pictured at the bottom right of the photo. Love the fenders!
Remington and Emerson took a break from the racing action for a little playtime with their friend.
The Lions sit trackside and cheer on their derby cars.

It was finally the Lions' turn to see their derby cars perform on the track! After several heats, Storming Frog garnered a 3rd place finish. Remington had a blast cheering for his car! In fact, he was awarded a handwritten certificate for Most Enthusiastic of the day! I think that was the best award that could have been won!

Storming Frog gains momentum, pulling ever so close to Cutting the Cheese!
Storming Frog's performance gets a cheer from its owner.

Remington's 3rd place finish allowed him to compete in the Championship Race. While up against 18 fellow Cub Scouts, he finished 12th. He was a bit disappointed in Storming Frog's performance when competing against the many other veteran racers. He had many congratulations from his fellow Pack 211 members, and we think he'll be excited for next year's Pinewood Derby.

Remington was awarded 3rd Place for the Lions!
The final races were intense!
Remington gets a hug from his biggest little fan.

Participation was not mandatory for the Cub Scouts. Being able to customize your car is definitely a perk, and it was obvious that every participant thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the process, by designing and making their cars their own. My hope is that Remington doesn't let the 12th place finish stop him from participating again next year. When I was cheering him up after his last race, a den leader came over to say congratulations and to thank him for being so enthusiastic during the event. She said something that I hope sticks with him - and with me - for years to come. She said that the ones who showed up that day were all winners, because they did the work to get them there. You can't win if don't participate. Now, I'm just paraphrasing her words, she said it much more brilliantly than this. I'm not sure that it sank in with Remington at the time, however, later that night he was beaming with pride as we had dinner with friends. He donned his Class A uniform and proudly showed them his medal and explained that he had won it at Pinewood Derby earlier that day. So not only do we service your favorite German cars at Reggie’s Motorworks, but you may also see Remington lead our Pinewood Derby Race division in the future! Have a great weekend!

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