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NEED A TRACK FOR THREE MONTHS

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If you read the rest of my post you'll the story, but the new pack leadership is leaving half the district high and dry. Is there anybody near STL that has a track with timer that can be loaned to another for 3 months. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but I am serious. The first derby is friday. Please somebody, HELP!

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"we run a bunch of derbies for other units, some numbering 80+ boys."

So if you're running derbies for 300 or 400 boys why don't you just buy a track?

Charge a couple of bucks a kid and it would be paid for in one year.

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Glad it worked out.

Maybe you can buy a track for next year, one of them fancy aluminum jobs with the high tech computer controlled timers.

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Glad it worked out, but since we are talking about it...now is a great time to salespitch buying a track to the pack.

 

We had 120 boys last year when we brought up the fact that if each scout donated $10.00 - it would buy us a four lane aluminum track AND the electronic timer AND the program for a laptop to run it.

 

Came with cool racing sound effects, plus the program will allow different varibles of random lineups so that you don't have scouts sitting all day waiting on their turn while another scout gets eliminated from racing on the first heat.

 

 

Again, for 120 scouts, it came out to $10.00 each!(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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Being the neo-Luddite that I am, we went the other direction. Spent a Saturday with the dads and cubs building our own out of plywood. Cost less than $100. Then we employed boys from the troop to judge the finish line - in full uniform (they were paid in snacks and salutes from the cubs...plus they were allowed to bring their old cars for display and 'practice' runs). Just two lanes, but the pack was small so it worked fine even with double elimination and final overall pack championship runs. PWD was an all-day family event that was one of the best ideas ever to come out of the program.

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First year I was volunteered to run this used the existing wooden 3-ln track with painted finish line.

Second year we overlaid a 3-ln aluminum, with automated timer, and computer sw to eliminate all those 'My son's car was first. Was not. Was too, etc", or the "My son's car is in the slow lane. Is NOT. Is TOO, etc"

Timer was .001 precision, and still had 3 ties.

 

BUT I had said up front that the computer was the final authority. No one cared to try to argue with it.

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Personally, I'm with Packsaddle.

 

I find too many Pinewood Derbies dominated by parents and over produced.

 

We'll be handing out Pinewood Derby kits to boys with a track set up. The boys will be free to assemble their own cars right then and choose who they want to race against.

 

We patronize our district Pinewood Derby race, and that gives boys additional weeks to perfect their cars and do a formal race.

 

But frnakly, I think they have more fun setting up their own races with cars right out of the box.

 

 

Last fall we did a Raingutter regatta as a recruiting night event to attract new boys. These weren't the kit boats, but 3/4" blocks of wood with a point cut into them, with a steel rod to suppoort a corrugated plastic sail.

 

I took samples of the boats to schools and invited boys to come, make a model boat and RACE it against their BUDDIES to see who had the FASTEST boat!

 

They came in droves --- we used up 35 boats.

 

I made up Raingutter Regatta certificates for each boy. The boys at the recruiting night assembled their boats with the aid of their parent. While the boys were organizing their own races against each other, we signed up parents for Cub Scouts.

 

The winner of each match the boys organized received a star to put on their certificate.

 

My plan is to do something very similar for our recruiting night in the spring using "stomp bottle rockets."

 

 

In my view, too much formality in competitions for Cub Scouts gets in the way of having fun.

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The Pinewood Derby was one of those things that was a culture shock to me after being away from Cub Scouts for almost 40 years. I guess I should have suspected it when the Pack brought out the power tools they had stored away in the church basement which were used once a year for Pinewood Derby construction. IIRC, there was a drill press, a saw, a belt sander, and probably a couple more exotic pieces of equipment that I don't remember. (And yes, before anyone asks, as far as I know, they followed the G2SS, meaning that the adults did those parts of the construction.)

 

But I wasn't prepared when I came in race day to see the electronic timers, precision scales, computers, etc., etc.

 

I suspect our current pack is a little more laid back, but I'm really not sure.

 

The Pinewood Derby car that I remember making as a kid still holds the record of being the world's slowest, and I don't think my record will ever be beat. :)

 

Fortunately, from the Rain Gutter Regattas that I've seen, it appears that the neo-Luddites are still firmly in control there, and that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

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