District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

General race coordinator discussions.
idpwdnut
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District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by idpwdnut » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:46 pm

On a visit to a new area that I am moving to, I stopped in to the local BSA Scout Office to find out about the scouting program in that area and what it had to offer my son (11 year old scout) and my daughter (Venturer). I also inquired about the level of Pinewood derby. I have a track that I rent out and was wondering if I should take it with me and rent it out or sell it where I currently live.

The DE that I talked to said that they only occassionaly do a district derby, never a council one because it does not meet the purpose of the pinewood derby in BSA? I am wondering if any of you can shed any light on that line of thought for me.

I have been the district derby chairman for the past three years and would happily continue doing it in my current district if not for moving so far away. Our district derby race has ran for many years before I chaired it and should continue to run many years after i move.

I am hoping so of the veterans here can give me ideals to sell this council on the merit of starting district and even council derbies. Our district is always looked forward to by the boys and where it is held in the mall is alway great advertising for the Cub Scouts, which is 2 points that I will use, so any others would be helpful.



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by FatSebastian » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:53 pm

idpwdnut wrote:I am hoping so of the veterans here can give me ideals to sell this council on the merit of starting district and even council derbies
By not having a district race, your District executive is discarding one of the greatest opportunities to promote local scouting. We no longer live in a district that has district-wide races, but when we did, the district race was a huge marketing event for our district's BSA and Cub Scouting programs. Usually it was held in a highly visible venue, such as a local shopping mall, and widely promoted. It also received significant local media attention; once my son was interviewed and got his picture in the local paper for having won Tiger division as part of a larger story on the Derby and scouting.



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:45 pm

idpwdnut wrote:...
The DE that I talked to said that they only occassionaly do a district derby, never a council one because it does not meet the purpose of the pinewood derby in BSA?
What were they considering as "the purpose of the pinewood derby in BSA?" And how might their prior approach be amended to resolve the objection?


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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by *5 J's* » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:50 pm

FatSebastian wrote:
idpwdnut wrote:I am hoping so of the veterans here can give me ideals to sell this council on the merit of starting district and even council derbies
By not having a district race, your District executive is discarding one of the greatest opportunities to promote local scouting. We no longer live in a district that has district-wide races, but when we did, the district race was a huge marketing event for our district's BSA and Cub Scouting programs. Usually it was held in a highly visible venue, such as a local shopping mall, and widely promoted. It also received significant local media attention; once my son was interviewed and got his picture in the local paper for having won Tiger division as part of a larger story on the Derby and scouting.
Excellent FS. We have our District race at the host Pack's venue - their local Church - which doesn't offer a public audience. I agree it would be a huge marketing event for the district's BSA and Cub Scouting program if we held it at a public venue such as a local mall or similar venue.. I am going to make this recommendation to the DE.
Last edited by *5 J's* on Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by *5 J's* » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:52 pm

Stan Pope wrote:
idpwdnut wrote:...
The DE that I talked to said that they only occassionaly do a district derby, never a council one because it does not meet the purpose of the pinewood derby in BSA?
What were they considering as "the purpose of the pinewood derby in BSA?" And how might their prior approach be amended to resolve the objection?
I don't believe we do anything beyond a District race either. Guess I'll have to pose the question.



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:08 pm

*5 J's* wrote:I don't believe we do anything beyond a District race either. Guess I'll have to pose the question.
Do you see a value for both a district and council PWD?


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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by idpwdnut » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:32 pm

FatSebastian

I 100% agree with your point of not capitalizing on the marketing of BSA. We do our district center court of the local mall and it goes over very, well. Just meet with mall manager yesterday and we discussed that very point.

Stan,

I guess their "purpose of the pinewood derby in the BSA?" from what I gathered in my conversation with the DE is that every boy gets to participate. He said that only the top two from each pack get to participate, which I do not like. However, every boy does participate at the pack level and then the top winners, as is decided on the district level advances on. In my current district, the top boy out of each den gets to go to district, but every boy races at the pack level.

I need to make sure I clarify that he felt that neither district nor council PWD events fullfilled the "purpose of the pinewood derby in the BSA"

I felt that it may have been a money thing, so I mentioned to him how we currently have sponsors for it and that I have seen in other areas where the boys that participate either pay for it themselves or their packs pay for it. I then mentioned that we could bring the winners up from the pack level to determine a district champ and then open it up to a any boy can race for an entry fee which could be a fundraiser for the District/Council and his attention was certianly peaked at that.

Sorry about my previous post still learning how to do this. How do you guys do this quote box thing?



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by stang68 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:02 pm

On the Pack level its about the boys designing and building a car along with the parents, then you have the derby to highlight your work.After that everything else is just a race.



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by *5 J's* » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:18 pm

Stan Pope wrote:
*5 J's* wrote:I don't believe we do anything beyond a District race either. Guess I'll have to pose the question.
Do you see a value for both a district and council PWD?
Not necessarily for the participant directly - but perhaps for the publicity of scouting. When I "got back into" scouting two years ago I couldn't beleive how small the Pack was. In fact my childhood Pack was inactive and the local children were going to a neighboring Pack. The new Cubmaster and I had many discussions - usually focusing on reaching out to the children of our community to grow our Pack. In our neck of the woods as I'm sure it is around the our globe, there is a huge need for scouting in our youth. With that I look for any and all methods to recruit. In one year we have doubled the size of our Pack.

So - with that goal- "Guess I'll have to pose the question" and see what others in the Council think.



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by FatSebastian » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:25 pm

idpwdnut wrote:I then mentioned that we could bring the winners up from the pack level to determine a district champ and then open it up to a any boy can race for an entry fee which could be a fundraiser for the District/Council and his attention was certianly peaked at that.
:) Some folks are averse to the derbies becoming a "championship series". In one district we belonged to, there was no qualified advancement from the Pack level to the District level; any Cub from the district who paid the nominal entry fee could race at the District race regardless of how he placed at the Pack level. They also avoided giving a single District title, but awarded placement trophies by rank at the end of the day. This made the District event more about participation and not about competition, which was more likely within the "purpose of the pinewood derby in the BSA". Of course what naturally happens is that kids are "into it" place well at the Pack level and will enter the District race, while those who did poorly at Pack level tend to not bother entering the District race, so it tends to work out to about the same level of participation, only less pressure and more fun IMO.
idpwdnut wrote: Sorry about my previous post still learning how to do this. How do you guys do this quote box thing?
Hit the Image button, then edit away! And you can always delete your post without consequence if no one has posted after it - just hit the Image button.



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by *5 J's* » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:35 pm

This made the District event more about participation and not about competition, which was more likely within the "purpose of the pinewood derby in the BSA".
Perhaps I'm missing the "purpose of the pinewood derby in the BSA". Is competition not encouraged? In the CUb Scout How-To book there are even Physical competitions such at the Leg Wrestle (pg 3-31) or the Broomstick Wrestle (pg 3-29), etc. I didn't think we have taken competition out of scouting - at least not yet.



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:55 pm

idpwdnut wrote:Stan,

I guess their "purpose of the pinewood derby in the BSA?" from what I gathered in my conversation with the DE is that every boy gets to participate. He said that only the top two from each pack get to participate, which I do not like. However, every boy does participate at the pack level and then the top winners, as is decided on the district level advances on. In my current district, the top boy out of each den gets to go to district, but every boy races at the pack level.

I need to make sure I clarify that he felt that neither district nor council PWD events fullfilled the "purpose of the pinewood derby in the BSA"
quote: In the upper right corner of the posting, there is a hyperlink "quote". Click that instead of the link at the bottom of the postings.

Here is something I learned from a national survey I did about 15 years ago: Participation in district/council races peaks if participation is "selective but not too selective." Participation (as a percentage of registered membership) peaked when the 3 or 4 boys from each rank from each pack qualified to race. This has the additional benefit of increasing the excitement related to pack races ... part of doing well in the pack races is to earn the right to represent the pack in the district races. And, it avoids the tendency of some pack leaders to elect to not hold a pack derby with the "out" that
"Those who want to race can just go to the district/council races and we won't have the bother of a pack race."


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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by FatSebastian » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:59 pm

*5 J's* wrote:Perhaps I'm missing the "purpose of the pinewood derby in the BSA". Is competition not encouraged?
Sorry - that comment was tongue-in-cheek and aimed at idpwdnut's impression of his district's possible answer to the question. At our district race, we were certainly there to compete, whether our District executive liked that or not! ;) (Don't know either way.)



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by *5 J's* » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:06 pm

FatSebastian wrote:
*5 J's* wrote:Perhaps I'm missing the "purpose of the pinewood derby in the BSA". Is competition not encouraged?
Sorry - that comment was tongue-in-cheek and aimed at idpwdnut's impression of his district's possible answer to the question. At our district race, we were certainly there to compete, whether our District executive liked that or not! ;) (Don't know either way.)
;)



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Re: District and Council Derbies do not meet the purpose?

Post by FatSebastian » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:49 pm

Stan Pope wrote:Participation (as a percentage of registered membership) peaked when the 3 or 4 boys from each rank from each pack qualified to race. This has the additional benefit of increasing the excitement related to pack races ... part of doing well in the pack races is to earn the right to represent the pack in the district races.
No disagreement, although I was thinking a more relaxed arrangement might appeal to idpwdnut 's District that is not accustomed to conducting district-wide derbies.

At the District I referenced it basically worked out the way Stan describes: packs encouraged those who placed to go to the District race; some packs might have even paid the nominal registration fee for those that placed (ours didn't though). However, from the District's perspective, there were no restrictions on who could participate. There was no referral paperwork required from a Pack representative to say that the racer was "qualified", there was no impounding of cars between the Pack and District race or rules about the District car needing to be same as at the Pack, there was no management of allocated slots for each Pack. Etc. I believe that district may have been more exclusive at one point, but then relaxed a bit with time for practical reasons; nevertheless, it was mostly the fastest cars from the local Packs that showed up. Of course a few racers that didn't place would sometimes show at District (with reworked cars), and some of the faster cars didn't go to District because they had conflicts (no proxy racing) or were disinterested or forgot; so in the end the participation level seemed about the same as what would be expected if you restricted to just 3 or 4 per rank per unit.
Stan Pope wrote:And, it avoids the tendency of some pack leaders to elect to not hold a pack derby with the "out" that "Those who want to race can just go to the district/council races and we won't have the bother of a pack race."
Fair point.



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