This post is sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America,but all opinions are my own.
Pinewood Derby is one of our favorite events of the year. The prep work can be exhausting but my boys love the creativity and anticipation of maybe winning a really cool trophy.
My oldest son is 12 so Our household has been doing this for six years and over time my boys have learned so much.
Here are 5 things pinewood derby has taught my boys.
1. Hard work really does pays off.
When we first joined our pack, we were still using an old wooden track and having to eyeball which scout placed first second and third. This wasn’t always easy when there was a close tie.
Our cub master searched and found this amazing metal track that could connect to race software. This would take the guesswork out of placements.
The track cost a lot of money and it was not in our budget. We presented it to the boys and they were eager to earn money for a track specific fundraiser. It was easier for them to see what their hard work was going towards.
They quickly earned the money and couldn’t wait for the next year’s race.
2. Pinewood Derby is not always about winning.
This year, my middle son did not place, but his little brother did.
His little brother isn’t even a scout yet.
He was less than thrilled, but when we found out WHY his brother won, he was just as grateful as we were.
So how did my little outlaw place? There was another scout graciously bowed out of the outlaw races so there would only be 3 racers, allowing my little guy to place. He’s only five and wasn’t paying attention so he didn’t realize what happened.
If you aren’t familiar with outlaw races, it’s a short race after the official race for any parents or siblings that want a chance on the track.
Of course, Seeing our friends win can sting, but congratulating them is always important and will make you feel better.
3. Patience will always be important.
Race day can be very fun but long. Very long. My husband and I usually volunteer for Pinewood Derby so we are there from around 8 am until the very end, usually well after noon. Not to mention setting up and checking in racers the night before.
The kids get restless and tired but they have learned the importance of helping everyone else get ready for race day. Little by little their patience has grown.
This past year I stepped down and my husband only had a volunteer half a day, so it was easier on our kids than years past.
4. The pride you feel when you do something on your own.
We let our boys choose their own car design and do as much of the cutting as safely possible.
Once it’s ready, we let them decorate it. It’s never the prettiest car on the track but there’s no doubt we stuck to the spirit of Scouting and let them do the work themselves.
Sometimes, they get a little sad when they see were really cool, perfectly painted cars orbcars with stickers on them. When I reminded them that mom or dad probably helped orbthey printed stickers, they quickly decide they very happy with their free-hand work.
5. Mom and Dad won’t always be there to cheer for you.
I’m circling back to number three just a little bit here, but I think it’s still it’s own lesson.
When my husband and I volunteer we are not always able to watch the races.
In the past I have helped with the snack table and activities for younger siblings. I’m not always in the same room, and on the rare occasion I might sometimes miss my boys’ races. Luckily each scout races more than ine “heat”, so I don’t miss everything.
When our pack bought the metal track, my husband started operating the software. This kept him very busy, with little time to pay attention to when our boys’ cars were racing. He has since passed the torch and shares the responsibility.
Our youngest son turns six this summer so we still have at least six years left in scouting.
For now we have stepped away from volunteering as much as we have in the past, so we can just enjoy these precious moments with Cub Scouts.