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Derby Made Easy!

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Introduction

The Derby is a part of the Scouting program that seems to draw more controversy than all other parts of the typical pack’s annual program put together. Even worse, if a particular pack has problems one year, those tend to snowball from year to year and draw out the less attractive elements of our character, to put it kindly. I have lost count of how many times I have heard or read some one say “I hate pinewood derby!”

There’s different things packs do to try and solve the recurring problems:

Unfair judging? Remove the judge.
There is an entire industry that caters to the idea that in order to determine the fastest of two blocks of wood with nail axles and plastic wheels, you must have a computer, machined high tech track, software to run endless round robin races, and laser guided smart timers accurate to 1/100,000 of a second with GPS Positioning accurate to 1 nanometer.

Parental overinvolvement? Remove the parents.
We see packs that sequester the boys in secret workshops with no parents allowed so that every block of wood is 100% boy carved and none are tainted by the unfair influence of a parent with greater skills or interest than any other parent.

Always stuck in the “slow lane?” Remove all chance.
We have packs that race every single car against every other single car on every single lane twice so that there can be no complaints about a “fast lane” or a “slow lane” or a bad start. Some packs boast that they can hold a race every 45 seconds. Can you imagine hundreds of races going so fast nobody can figure out what is happening?

It doesn’t have to be this way! It can be fun, challenging, and interesting. You can have a great time and the boys can have a great time!

This book is about using the Pinewood Derby as another part of the greater program and vision of scouting. It is a wonderful tool to teach sportsmanship and having respect for other people. It offers a fine way to help parents and cubs bond and work together to achieve a common goal and hopefully make it clear that every scout can come away from the pinewood derby a winner.

Every scout, parent, friend and supporter of the pack will leave the race excited about next year’s Pinewood Derby!

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