Any of you ever had a request from a den leader or others to build a slower car so others have a better chance to win? We do well every year and we work together in every part of the build as it should be. We have a test track in the basement so we just compare last years car to this years and build a faster. I just realized this year that we've been building the cars backwards for the past two years ;D. Every time they ask about how our cars are coming along I always give a response like, "we're still in the research & development process" or "we're waiting for lab results before we do anything more" . Just wondering if anyone else has had this happen.
You can make a slower car by gluing metal washers into the wheels (reduce the body weight to compensate). The heavy wheels cause the car to start slowly, and it won't reach the speed of the other cars. It will, however, make it to the finish line due to the momentum of the wheels. We did this last year for our leader, so that all the kid's cars could beat her car.
If I am understanding this correctly, they have asked you to build a slower car so others can be more competitive? The first thing I would say is that this is quality time we spend as a family, other times of the year we do other things, but for now we spend time on the pinewood project. If they want ideas to be faster, I would be more than willing to help. However, most don't want to put the effort into it.
Our whole family gets into pinewood derby. For our son's race this year our whole family raced in the open division. My wife was first, daughter second, myself third. My son won his division and broke the track record (it was later broken by an older scout, then my wife). There are around 60 kids in the pack and most of the parents know how we are about the derby. We were in Dairy Queen the other night and a dad whose daughter is in our son's class at school sat down by us and asked how to build a fast pinewood car for his daughter's powder puff race. I began to explain polishing axles, body design, and weight placement. After about 30 seconds, he said that it wasn't worth the trouble.
Those who put forth the effort will succeed to a certain degree. Keep doing what you are doing, enjoy it for the time you spend with your family, help them if they want, and let them try to get better.
Never lower your standards or allow your child to strive to only be second best. As a teacher, I see too many kids who don't try to be the best they can.
The funny thing is their older son beat my son (finished second in the pack) and their other son finished second or third in our den and got a trophy. Their sons also sold the most popcorn in the pack and won prizes for that. Maybe I should tell them to sell less popcorn so the rest of the boys don't get their feelings hurt. ;D. I think I'll have to find some 10,000 grit sand paper this year. When people say things like that it usually just motivates us to do even better.
Any of you ever had a request from a den leader or others to build a slower car so others have a better chance to win?
My response would be "Heck no! However, I'll be glad to share all my secrets so that others can build faster cars if they put in the effort with their kids."
In fact, I did just that, writing up a construction and speed guide that was emailed to everyone in the pack. We get accused of cheating every year because we blow everyone away, so this year I disseminated all the speed tips I've learned from the forums so others can do it also. We'll see how many parents actually use it.
I agree with Roosclan. Build the best car you can and share the knowledge. I loaned my copy of Speed Secrets to two father/son teams last year, neither of them did a single thing suggested in the book. Their cars barely made it to the finish line.
This year, I held a PWD clinic and got more interest.
My wife says she's starting a new support group... Widows of the Pinewood Derby.
Post by kcbcommando on Feb 22, 2011 19:31:35 GMT -6
Had this happen last year at our Awana GP. I took first but a couple parents who don't do anything but put axles in the slots were whining " He's too fast, nobody has a chance" So now I don't race at church. My car would have finished #2 based on the 3 test times I did the night before. It went to the Regional race and finished 3rd behind two cars from our church. I have decided that I won't race at church again as I wouldn't want to hurt some Tiger Mom's feelings.
Ironic that the parent making the most noise was the one that had me help their son with his scout cars which never lost a race in 3 years. It's ok if he can dominate but if the builder (I did his Awana cars too) can beat you that's wrong! Way to pass sportsmanship down to your kids!