Technically, the boys are supposed to make their cars by themselves with minimal help from adults. What happens is the boy finds an "awesome" car design, dad cuts it out (because boys can't operate a band saw), boy sands...and sands, and sands..., and then boy puts on a base coat of paint. From here many parents take over so the car will look truly cool...and not like an eight or ten year old painted it. I have been on both sides of that coin. I have let my son(s) paint and detail his car all by himself, AND I have been the parent who has the boy do the base coat and then taken over the project. It bothers me that the coolness factor overshadows the fun of the boys making their own cars.
The other thing that has always bothered me about the Pinewood Derby is that it truly feels like the boys take a backseat for the adults to have fun. Once the boys are done designing their cars and the weights and wheels are in place...they aren't allowed to touch their cars...AT ALL! The adults take the cars from the boys and line them up on a table with "security guards" to make sure that once they weigh exactly 5oz., someone doesn't secretly add more weight so their son's car will win. "Security" tape is placed all the way around the track so none of the boys can get to close to the track. A few adults (or older scouts) are assigned to pick up each boy's car and place it in the correct starting gate...and then one adult gets to pull the lever to start the race. The boys don't race their cars...and it makes me sad. They barely help make the car and then the adults run the race while the boys watch from behind a roped barrier.
That's all I'm going to say about it. I just wish it really was more about the boys and less about the rules.
Here are some photos from Isaiah's Pinewood Derby race last night.
I love Caleb's face in this picture! hahaha!
I thought the car in the middle was unique. They used a cell phone for the weight!
Isaiah found a Wii remote Pinewood Derby car on the internet and decided that he wanted to do one. I think it turned out great!