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MollieDuke

pinewood derby questions

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A week before race day( just works out that way this year) at our Pack meeting.After awards and business is done we have a Test and Tune. The boys can test their cars on the track.We also have the scales there to check the weight.I guess you could call it a practice lap.The boys love the extra time on the track. We also run what we call a unlimited race at the lunch break.For $5.00 anyone can enter the race.There are no rules on weight. This is for the Dads and Moms or Boy Scouts.We have a group of Dads that sons are long out of scouts that have returned year after year to race.Sometimes the local business'sponser cars with donations going to the pack.

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Semper - I found a pack, but got the "Don't Leave Us" speech from a couple of the den parents. I decided to try to be a better scout and suck it up for a little while longer. Though after digging into the PWD rules & procedures (something I didn't do when I'd decided to step down) and browsing through the Scouter forums, I'm sure you can guess what I think of my decision to be a better scout - but hey, we've got a 6-lane track, so it's not all bad.

 

 

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I love beasties mom's thought of the unlimited race. I think I'm certainly going to include that one next year. That would be really fun. Do you have to get a fundraising form to do this from the council?

 

I also agree on a basal level with OGE, because I think we water down competition with our youth in this country even to the point that when we grow up and compete for jobs or promotions, we have no life skills to do that because it was such a "level playing field" for us as kids. However, this year we've had a lot of problems with complaints about rigging this past race to the point that we're changing the entire set up of our derby at pack level. I have nearly grown children and have no "dog in this fight" so I was asked to help set it up and probably run it next year. The person that set it up had a son in the race and the son came in first. I wasn't there and he could have honestly won, but it was still a sore spot with several people. I know there are ultra competitive moms and dads out there and these complaints may be just due to those people, but when the adults start in, the boys don't have quite as much fun.

 

I also like the point system so the boys (and parents) don't know if they are winning or not. Keeps the suspense going, I'd think, especially in the younger boys. I think also that racing in each and every lane is paramount to a fair race and evidently, that was not done here this year. The winning car was reported to race in the same lane each race.

 

The pack I'm helping with isn't very large, but it seems to grow by the day (good thing). Unfortunately, it might be huge by the next derby (bad thing--for me---grin), so I want as much efficiency and accuracy as possible so the participants are free for maximum fun.

 

This has been really helpful for me.....more ideas?????

 

Thanks,

Mollie

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Our pack does a number of speciality races. After the dens and pack championship we have the following races:

 

Open Legal (follows all the same rules). It used to be a leaders race, but it's been opened up to everyone. Lots of kids race their cars again in this one.

 

Open Unlimited - No rules except that there can be no artificial propellent and it cannot damage the track or other cards. The fastest cars I've seen were "the brick" and "the hammerhead". You can guess how they got their names.

 

Girl Scout Race - I know, sacrilege to some. We've got a lot of sisters in Girl Scouts. They bring their cars and race as well.

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"Girl Scout Race - I know, sacrilege to some. We've got a lot of sisters in Girl Scouts. They bring their cars and race as well."

 

naw, not sacrilege, just celebrating diversity... and fun and beginning the inevitable recruitment to Ventures

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I shared this in a recent forum related topic.

 

 

Several years ago, I was working CS Day Camp in an area with little electric saws helping CSs cut out pieces of wood for some kind of gizmo. We had a stack of odd shaped scraps of wood left over, so I took a felt tip marker and made awards out of them for the best this and the best that. Every kid that left the area was a winner for something or the other. They all seemed excited to win and it was just fun and funny. One kid got left out one round for some reason, so I whipped out the old marker, picked up a scrap of wood and wrote something like best request for an award. A few years later at an Eagle COH, the lad's Father reminded me of the "Best of" awards at that Day Camp that his son had received. He said that his son still had the "Best request for an award" plaque hanging in his room.

 

Kids are special and need to be reminded of it frequently.

 

I have wanted to propose this PWD pre-event for some time. It is kind of technical but could be the source of shared information for the next generation(s) of cars. The event is voluntary and anyone is eligible. The Scout or person writes up one secret on how to make the fastest car on a form given out two months before the Derby. The secrets must not abridge the standard rules. The secrets must be different form or confirmations of any other in the Great Book of PWD Secrets for the Pack. After each PWD, the Great Book (* on CD-R) is passed out to all members of the Pack to study for the next year.

 

Secrets must be either methods that have been shown to be effective or hypothetical ideas that have some (*controlled) testing or retesting to show the benefit of that method. The Scouts can design experiments and test out their ideas during the year in the den. Fathers can design and run their own experiments in their garages and then write it up their own proposal and submit them. Everyone that submits a proposal is given a nice computer generated certificate for their efforts if it meets the rules above in either of the two classes. The accepted proposals are not compared hierarchically.

 

The target idea is to distill the technology and make the PWD competitive for more of the Scouts through shared information. The secondary idea is to teach the experimental method and also to understand the cause and effect relationship.

 

FB

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EagleinKY, I'm very interested in your comment that you have built a web-based application to do this work. Is that something that you can share?

 

Also, your "electronic eye finish line" is something attractive. We don't have the money or need for the expensive timers that are available, but being able to quickly and objectively rank 1-2-3 would be like heaven.

 

I'm new here (and pretty new to scouts, if you don't count my Webelos days as a kid 30+ years ago). Thanks for sharing - I really appreciate it.

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