Over the past few weeks as we worked on Nate's car maybe we should have taken notice, instead of shaking our heads, as we saw numerous books in the bookstore about Pinewood Derby cars, and whole aisles in the craft stores devoted to the Pinewood Derby.
But being new to scouting, we didn't, and we gave it our best shot knowing basically nothing about this event. Here we have Nate's car lined up for a race against another little boy's from his den.
And really it is a very fine line deciding how much parental involvement there should be. Do you let the child do most of it himself with minimal parental guidance so they can learn and be proud of their achievement, or do you take over so he has some chance of competing? Because there was lots of stuff there that didn't seem to have been done by elementary school children. (I know that sounds like sour grapes, but jeez, check out this entry! And this one!)
And the one you see here. A very, very cool entry, but I have to wonder how much the child did. This is displaying my ignorance of the Pinewood Derby industry (yes, it's an industry!), but this car had some kind of shiny plastic coating perfectly molded around it, resulting in a mirror finish. Is that paint? What the heck IS it?
But Nate had a great time watching the races and hanging out with his buddies. And I have to say that I was surprised at how exciting it was to watch the cars competing, even when I didn't know the boys whose cars they were. (I found myself saying to Tim quite a few times, "Watch that one with the blue top! It's FAST!") So I'm glad we did it.
But next year we might have to kick it up a notch or two.....