Going to have to allow a proud dad to brag just a bit. Another Pinewood derby is in the books. Three boys building cars, the two younger brothers doing their best to "help". I thought this was Cub Scouts not Adventure Scouts. But yes, quite another adventure.
The boys did quite a bit of the work this year, they designed their own cars. I did my best to sculpt the block of wood to their specs using Japanese Carving Chisels. They had to do the sanding. Then they got to do the painting. They helped polish the wheels and I did the final assembly. We talked about the critical items on the car, aerodynamics, good finish, but the most important is the wheels. Get them straight and the race goes well. Any issue on the wheels will probably lead to poor results.
So how did we do? I had to scramble to get the weights on hours before the race, and after setting the bar real high last year, I wasn't optimistic. Last year the eldest son got second at the pack and 14th at the district. Son 2 got fifth at the pack and just missed going to districts. An awfully high bar considering it was our first year and I see more value in them trying and failing than have dad do it all so they can win. Couple that with trying to put more of the responsibility on the boys this year, I didn't expect doing as well.
But the good Lord be praised, my eldest son had another fine showing. He was running well, not winning every heat, but he must have been more consistent than the others. Watching his brothers tell him where he finished was entertaining. Then I would tell him his time and/or the winning time for each heat. I let him calculate the numbers.
He could hardly contain himself as the top 4 were announced. Afterwards I told him he needed to work on being more humble when he won. He told me, "I'm trying dad!" in his most subdued excited voice he could manage. Good for him. For a boy that trails his younger brother in many things, I like to see him win once in a while.
The other two did well, 6th and 9th respectively. And they are already planning improvements for next year.