Derby Fun

IMG_5579It’s April, a time for sun, snow, spring, & the Cub Scouts’ annual Pinewood Derby!

While my son had moved out of the area with his mom, I have continued to support the local Cub Scout Pack, going to meetings and pitching in where I could. This year, while we didn’t make cars, I did sign up to be in charge of the games.

You see, it takes a while to register, weigh, and inspect the entries, and not everyone shows up at the same time. Having a few games helps occupy the youngsters until it’s race time. The adults were talking about all the previous years’ cars and that it was a shame that there’s not much to do with them, so I endeavored to put thIMG_5585em to good use.

Originally, I was going to do a ‘Demolition Derby’ where old cards could go out in a blaze of glory. As time was running short, though, all I could think of was the mess and mechanics involved. Instead I found a few uses for old cars that would preserve their function, while bringing glory to their builders (in the form of candy prizes).

First up was Derby Bowling. Safeway had a sale on the smaller bottles of Gatorade, so I picked up a couple packs and drained them into jugs. Ten bottles netted me over a gallon of Gatorade, which is IMG_5586still in my fridge almost a week later. Labels peeled and rinsed out, they made excellent pins for the Derby cars. After some trial & error, I determined 5 feet to be an optimal distance between the target and release point. The Cubs had to knock down ALL the pins for candy. A spare earned them 1 piece, a strike 2! They had to reset any pins they knocked over.

The second activity was Derby Shuffleboard. Reusing the 5 foot distance, I placed an X on the floor with painter’s tape. Some part of the car had to stop over the center, where it was 2 tapes thick. This proved to be a challenge, as it was more about accuracy and a lIMG_5592ight touch. Still, a few scouts had the perseverance to get the hang of it.

Both games were a moderate hit, and accomplished their goal of entertainment.

Lastly, I had a few activity print-outs that I scattered on the tables. Word searches, mazes, that sort of thing. I had a looping DVD slideshow of last year projected on the wall, with car trivia and some oldies music to round it off. (These are always a huge hit with the parents.)

Lastly, I was dubbed score keeper, and kept track of both the Cub Scout and ‘All Comers’ heats. Trophies, metals, and awards were given, and we all enjoyed a great lunch. Despite not racing, my boy had a blast!


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