Gabriel John Seth

March 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Pinewood Derby Sportsmanship

Last week was the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.  For those that do not know, it is an annual event in the Cub Scout calendar that consists of racing little wooden cars of the scouts’ own design.  Our Pack gives the scouts the car kits at the holiday party and they have until March to create their masterpiece.

Truth be told, the D boyz did not even touch theirs until last Saturday night.  They had every intention of starting earlier, but aside from choosing a car from the massive collection of Matchbox cars to model their creations after , they had gotten nothing done.  Saturday evening they took turns with Daddy D drawing the designs onto the block of wood then working with tools in the shop to cut, shape and sand them into the final product.

I avoid this part of the process at all costs.  Momma gets more than a little high strung when it comes to power tools and her babies.  Daddy D has the utmost concern for safety and teaches them responsibility when operating machinery.  I just don’t want to watch!

Sunday involved a trip to the hardware store for paint selection and spray painting.  Monday included detail work.  Tuesday afternoon they tapped in the wheels and they were set to go!

Tuesday evening was the derby.   It was also Gabriel’s birthday.  It was his first time competing as he is a tiger cub.  He had a confusing mix of excitement over his birthday and nerves about the competition.

Seth, on the other hand, is a new Boy Scout.  But for the competition they consider the newly crossed over boys still Weblos 2s and he got to compete.  He has been frustrated with his results in the past.  Twice he has come in second, but never won a first prize.  Once he came in last.  He gets himself into a ball of nerves prior to the races.  He even carries a small stone in his pocket to rub and fidget with to take care of some of the anxious fidgeting.

There is an air to a Pinewood Derby that is difficult to describe.  Excitement. Anxiety.  Parents feeling the same way.  Knowing that only one boy will win each rank.  And that ultimately only one will take home the first place trophy.

Amidst that there is an opportunity for growth.  To teach good sportsmanship and manners.  Inevitably there are a few teary eyes.  Happily there were so many examples of great behavior from outstanding young men.

The birthday boy Gabriel won first place in the tiger division.

He was a little excited…

Seth won first place in the Weblos 2 division. That meant they had to compete against each other.  There were handshakes.

and races…

In the end Seth came out on top.  But what was wonderful to see was the two of them having a memorable night and having a fantastic time together. Complete with high fives…
and trophies…
Which made for a very proud Daddy D!
Way to go Seth and Gabriel!


  1. Awesome! My 7-year-old participated in his first Derby with the Cub Scouts this year. He was in first place throughout the races, and took 2nd place overall. Next month, he goes to the Regional Derby! He and Dad were so proud. Even my four-year-old built a car (or supervised Dad doing it! 😉 so he wouldn't get left out of the fun!

  2. Congrats to your two boys. My son is also a Tiger cub this year so he had his first pinewood derby a few weeks ago. He came in first for his den of 10 boys and then went on to the finals and came in 9th out of the 20 cars that made it to the finals, he was so excited. We have a pack of nearly 100 boys so we were so proud of him. Like you we waited till the weekend before to do the car, but he had a ball doing it and is already talking about what his car will look like next year.

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