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Pinewood Derby as a Cub Scout Activity --- Or is it an Adult Activity?

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Every year we did PWD i told myson before the event. that he was going to lose because the dad's build some of the cars. I would help him but that was it.

By the time he was in webelos PWD was more of a pain for him.


Amazingly he lost to cars that had looked like they had CAD/CAM work done on them. He knew the race was fixed from the beginning.


best thing about boy scouts no PWD :)



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Ours was home-made out of plywood and it worked just fine. I bet it cost maybe 50$ in materials when we made it. It had two lanes and took a while to 'set up' so the lanes ran fairly. But other than t

A little joke I've been telling my peers lately is that I am so excited that my son is in Tiger Cubs because now I finally get to build my OWN Pinewood Derby car!


Yes, my Dad helped a little "too much" when I was a cub back in the 1980s, and yes, it kinda goes with the territory... but it is such a challenge to hold back. Lately, I've been looking through some guidelines on advising OA scouts, and the gist is basically, "Be helpful, just not TOO helpful." That credo works in this situation also.


Our Pack has a few checks for overzealous Dads:


First, all cubs are required to pick up their kits at a Pack "Build Day". We have sawhorses, tools and templates. The leaders make sure the majority of cubs are doing a majority of the work.


Our Pack also has a separate category for non-cub-built cars, so that helps channel the adult male ego away from the cubs.


On the district level, we also have distinct categories for "racing" cars and for "beautiful/creative" cars. Just another check in the system.


But, even on the instructions that come in each PWD kit box say, this is a "cub and adult activity".

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In the past we've bought pizza to serve during the race.


This year I'm planning to propose that boys make their own pizza.


The church parish hall where we meet and race has big commercial ovens available. So I'd make a big batch of bread dough and carve off a piece for boys and parents to roll out, sauce, cheese and pepperoni, and then bake.


Making your own pizza is vastly cheaper and can be fun to make. In my view, every family that likes to eat pizza should be familiar with how to make their own as a family activity.


It aseems to me that making your own pizza during the PWD could help with developing that skill and experience.


In past years, we've had pizza making as a den meeting activity, and it's been very popular.


Anyone else do pizza making as a den or pack activity?

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SP, when I was CM we did something similar but with BBQ, not pizza. It was very successful and paid not only for all the kits for the boys but for the trophies as well.

st0ut, others with a similar problem: I think the key is to be clear UP FRONT with the parents that the boys, not the parents, make the cars. Yes, the parents can do the power tool thing and offer suggestions but the boys have to make the cars. AND inform them that this will be strictly enforced at the derby and any car that had mostly parental construction will race but not for trophies. And then you have to enforce it.

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To kick-off the PWD "season", our pack holds a Lego derby on the evening that the blocks of wood are handed out. Kids can build their cars ahead of time at home, or use spare Legos provided by other kids. We purchased special Lego axles so they can race on the PWD track. There are no winners or losers, just kids having fun racing cars. The kids are definitely capable of building their own Lego cars and it helps build anticipation for the PWD, which is much more structured. We also have a sibling race after.

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Dedkad, that's a good idea. I had no idea that Lego had those axles, thanks.

To me the primary measure of success is determined by how much fun the boys have. That the adults get caught up in all this is to be expected for a family-oriented program. We just have to try to keep it focused on the boys and not the adults.

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I'm saddened that someone thought it was worth their time to do all that research and post it on Wikipedia. Sad. But it was interesting to read.

Wiki editors are bored people.

The comedy website SomethingAwful.com has a game called wiki groaning where you open a wiki article on a fake thing, say, hyperspace from Star Wars, and a comparable real thing, and groan at how much more detailed the fake thing's article inevitably is.


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