One of the draws of joining Cub Scouts for Jake was the annual Pinewood Derby. For those not familiar the cub scout along with a parent or adult mentor helps design, carve, paint, weigh, refine and race a derby car made from a block of wood.
Obviously this is Jake's first year participating in the Pinewood Derby. He was excited but also, he truly has a lot on his plate right now with baseball season in full swing (more on this later), schoolwork, Cub Scouts and racing BMX. Joe put in a lot of work to make sure Jake's derby car was ready for race day. Joe also had Jake assist him in baking his "world famous" chocolate chip cookies to contribute to the bake sale that was accompanying the spaghetti dinner at the Pinewood Derby event. All proceeds will help pay for Jake and his fellow scouts to attend day camp later this spring. Along with opening ceremonies for baseball the same day, we were BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!
Here are the kids and I before heading out to the big event:
Once there, we signed Jake in and weighed his car. It was pretty light so we frantically taped loose change on top of the car to bring it to an even 5 ounces. We wanted every advantage we could have to help Jake's car race well.
Unfortunately, our newbie experience with derby cars showed the first heat Jake's car was in when, much to our chagrin, the car rubbed along the track and couldn't quite cross the finish line. Of course Jake was disappointed. We were in for a LONG night of racing.
Close up of his car:
Jake's car on the track against another car:
All the cool derby cars:
BUT, Jake is learning a very valuable lesson this spring about making the best out of situations, trying his best, being willing to put forth extra effort to excel at certain activities and how to be a gracious loser. He managed to turn his disappointment around and make the best of the night.
Here he is with his friend Chris, whom he has known since preschool and another BIG reason he wanted to do Cub Scouts. I have so much respect and admiration for Chris' mom, my friend Heather, who dedicates so much time to being an awesome den leader for this group of boys:
And here is Jake, not with a trophy but a certificate of participation and the award for fiercest car:
After the racing was over, we tried a few things to see if it would have made a difference with his car and we talked to several people who have years of experience building derby cars. We are now armed with the knowledge we need to come back next year with a more competitive car. But win or lose, I hope Jake continues to grow and mature when it comes to learning the valuable lesson about having a positive attitude even when things may not go our way.