Grandson Jacob* has competed in his Cub Scout Pack Pinewood Derby competition since his Tiger Cub days. Every year, with help from his Dad, he experiences race anticipation while crafting a car. Even so, his car has finished in last place the past four years. Jacob is currently a Webelo II. After his Blue and Gold Banquet in two weeks he will be a Boy Scout.
Jacob is a great kid. When he grows up he wants to be a paleontologist. When he was little he slept with Sue, his dinosaur stuffed animal. Five years ago, while we were all in the north suburbs putting on the glam for his aunt’s wedding, his Dad took him and his sister to see the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton named Sue at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History. He was so excited. I think it was the highlight of his trip. Although, there is the picture of his cousin Peter and him holding each other in ballroom dance mode and galloping around the dance floor. And his sister Kahlan and cousin Alice have picture evidence of him and Peter in the Country Club locker rooms climbing into a locker to hide.
When Jacob was little and I came to visit, he would meet me at the door wanting to know when we were going to play in his room. We played storm and defend the castle. I was in charge of the bad guys and even when it was my turn to use the catapult, winning was not in the cards for me. Now days we play board games, Skip-Bo or Uno. Sometimes I am really lucky and my visits fall on Jacob and Kahlan’s soccer team game days.
This year Jacob, with help from his dad, made a car for the race. He named the car White Storm after a character in the book he is reading from the Warriors series by Erin Hunter.
White Storm won all heats at the Webelo II level. White Storm began winning heats in the competition with other levels. Jacob’s family excitement was growing. White Storm won every heat it raced in. Jacob was the pack champion for his Cub Scout Pack’s 2011 Pinewood Derby. White Storm’s fastest time was 190.6 milliseconds.
Kahlan made a car and competed in the sibling races. She used a sander belt to make the body, fins and nose for her Dolphin Racer. This was her first car and she was somewhere in the middle on final times. She does have a very cool car.
Today the Boy Scouts of America are celebrating their 101st birthday. On their website, they provide information on the history of the Pinewood Derby and the benefits of the competition. “The father of the Pinewood Derby®, Donald Murphy, described his vision for the event to Scouting magazine in 1999: ‘I wanted to devise a wholesome, constructive activity that would foster a closer father-son relationship and promote craftsmanship and good sportsmanship through competition.’ ”
The Pinewood Derby certainly fulfilled Mr. Murphy’s vision in Jacob’s life. White Storm will long be remembered for promoting my grandson’s ability to craft a car, compete with his peers and foster family relationships …………
*Disclaimer: Pseudonyms will be used for persons 17 years of age and under
©2011 Susan Kendall. All rights reserved