Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pinewood Derby

Tuesday night was our Cub Scout Pack's Pinewood Derby.

I wanted to make a race car. ES wanted to make a HMMWV (a.k.a. "Humvee"). It's "his" car, so I went with his choice. We looked up some pictures of Humvee's on the internet and used a pencil to sketch the basic shape on the block of wood. (The top two drawings were the initial ideas I had drawn when ES told me he wanted a Humvee).

After we sketched the outline on the side of the block of wood, I used the saw to cut out the rough shape and the sander to smooth it out.

Next, I asked ES what color he wanted his Humvee to be. He said he wanted camouflage. We went to the NEX and looked through their selection of paints. ES decided he wanted gray and brown. So first we put down two coats of the gray.

Then I asked ES if he wanted a tiger-stripe pattern or a spotted pattern. He said spots. So we cut a small circle out of the middle of an envelope (thanks for the Easter cards, Uncle Jon! :-) ), and held the envelope up and sprayed little splotches of the brown on it.

Here's a not-so-good picture of what the car looked like when we were done painting it.

Well, it only weighed-in at 3.4 ounces. Pinewood derby cars are allowed to weigh up to 5.0 ounces, and the more weight the better. So there was a group of people there with a hot glue gun, gluing spare change onto their sons' cars to bring the weight up.

Note to self: Hot glue guns are very very very very hot, and it really really really really hurts like hell when you burn your finger with one.

It works out to about 0.1 ounces per quarter, but the glue has some weight, too. I ended up gluing 8 quarters on top of ES's car, and it weighed in at exactly 5.0 ounces.

Here's the lineup (photo by YS - his car is the third from the left in the back row):

Here's ES's Humvee-Plus-Two-Bucks going down the track:

Here are the Tiger Cub Den winners receiving their awards:

Aside: Like our new Cub Scout Pack t-shirts? I think they came out pretty nice.
Knowing that Humvee's aren't very high-speed/low-drag type of vehicles and anticipating the results of the race tonight, LW and I tried having a talk with ES about the concept of good sportsmanship before we went to the Cub Scout Pack meeting tonight.

He just did NOT get it. He was getting rather annoyed with us telling him he should tell the other boys that they did a good job and refused to listen to us.
Aside: On a positive note though, I have noticed a positive trend in ES's attitude lately. More and more, I see him becoming downright... dare-I-say... helpful. It happens sporadically, but it's been happening more frequently, and it's warmed my heart to see it. I'm trying hard to make sure and give him positive encouragement and tell him that he did a good job when he does helpful things.
Even though he was unwilling to learn about good sportsmanship tonight, ES did learn through empirical observation an important lesson in aerodynamics. Humvee's are not aerodynamic. After losing every single heat, ES then talked to me about why the other cars were faster and I think he now understands the concept. We agreed we would make a race car next year.

In the meantime, ES won the "most unusual" award from the Cub Master. :-)


JoLee said...

Please tell me that the didn't have an award for EVERY child¿

pdxboxer said...

Very cute! Glad the card came in handy! lol