Newbie assuming derby responsibility - much advice needed

General race coordinator discussions.
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birddog
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Re: Newbie assuming derby responsibility - much advice neede

Post by birddog » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:35 pm

GPRM has a "test mode". My suggestion would be to run some "mock races" in test mode (i.e. without the timer hardware) so you can get the feel of how it all works before your hardware shows up. That should save you some time.

Setting up your new best track for the first time can take a few hours (as you need to put connectors into each section and bolt together the ramp section), but once you set it up that first time, subsequent setups will go very quick!

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Re: Newbie assuming derby responsibility - much advice neede

Post by resullivan » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:28 am

May I point out that the intent of PWD is not for the scout to build their own car, but for a dad & son team to work together and build the car. Take whatever approach on the rules you would like (I personally prefer open rules that allow for learning and creativity), but just make sure no matter what the rule that it is A) enforceable and B) you are enforcing it on everyone. I am totally against letting cars pass inspection then putting them under further scrutiny just because they win (unless stated in the rules).



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Re: Newbie assuming derby responsibility - much advice neede

Post by tomormatt » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:58 pm

You and I could not be more aligned. People seem to grasp that the scout should be involved, but I have always pushed back hard when people infer from that the parent should be involved only minimally. When my son was a wolf, he was as involved as he could be at that age, but I obviously did most of the steps that would be dangerous for someone his age to try. He did more of the building as he got older.

I have always viewed the Pinewood derby as a great chance for the scouts to learn elementary physics. The first year after my son won, I could not have been more proud when he provide insight into how we built a car (our pack usually has the winner give some tips or explain what he did) and was able to talk about gravity and friction. The next year, I did a den meeting with each den to go over the scientific aspect of building a derby.

I firmly believe that putting too many restrictions limits the ability to apply creativity and knowledge. I had one committee member this year who wanted to have the scouts all get the "wedge kit" (I guess it is a Pinewood Derby kit that has the block already cut into a wedge shape) with the instructions that they could not modify it. His thinking was that since no boy could operate a power saw that all of the derby design was being done by the dad. He wanted the only differentiation to be the paint. The line of thinking, which I find all too often, is that the boy should be doing everything so any tasks that are outside of their ability should be limited by rule.

The one area that I struggle with is when access to specialized machinery or scouts with more financial resources can use that to their advantage. Having access to a computerized lathe machine can definitely create an advantage so I understand when people introduce rules to limit those situations.

We are good this year in that everyone is very clear on the rules and the same rules are being used by District. Thanks for everyone's help with this.



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Re: Newbie assuming derby responsibility - much advice neede

Post by Rukkian » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:58 am

I know we have a bigger track, but plan plenty of time. We heard the 2-3 hour time frame many times, but ours took like 8 hours total with 4-6 people working on it. For reference, we did get the 6 lane, 42' with lift and leveling kit, so it was more complicated, but do not plan just 2-3 hours and think everything will be great.

What we did not realize until we opened the box, is each lane is sent separately, and you have to bolt them together.



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Re: Newbie assuming derby responsibility - much advice neede

Post by Scrollsawer » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:49 pm

resullivan wrote:May I point out that the intent of PWD is not for the scout to build their own car, but for a dad & son team to work together and build the car. Take whatever approach on the rules you would like (I personally prefer open rules that allow for learning and creativity), but just make sure no matter what the rule that it is A) enforceable and B) you are enforcing it on everyone. I am totally against letting cars pass inspection then putting them under further scrutiny just because they win (unless stated in the rules).
I know this is a bit of a resurrected post, but I read this, and it resonated with me this year in our Pack. We have a new Cubmaster, and lots of new parents of Tiger and Wolf Cubs. During our Pack Meeting when the Cubmaster announced this years's Pinewood Derby, and handed out car kits, both he and a parent in the audience spoke up to say something along the lines of "Make sure your kid builds the car himself." That irked me right away, but instead of correcting them on the spot, I went home, pulled up the history of the Derby, and emailed it to our new Cubmaster. Fortunately, he read the history of the Derby to the entire Pack the next month to clear up the misunderstanding and hopefully to educate the parents in the Pack. This resonates deeply with me because my dad was crippled by a stroke when I was a Cub Scout, and he couldn't help me with my cars. As a result, I had a horrible time as a child with the Derby, and deeply wished my dad were able to do it with me. As an adult, I was not about to lose the opportunity to bond with my boys building cars.

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Re: Newbie assuming derby responsibility - much advice neede

Post by ngyoung » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:57 pm

You happen to have a link to the text that he read?
Scrollsawer wrote:
resullivan wrote:May I point out that the intent of PWD is not for the scout to build their own car, but for a dad & son team to work together and build the car. Take whatever approach on the rules you would like (I personally prefer open rules that allow for learning and creativity), but just make sure no matter what the rule that it is A) enforceable and B) you are enforcing it on everyone. I am totally against letting cars pass inspection then putting them under further scrutiny just because they win (unless stated in the rules).
I know this is a bit of a resurrected post, but I read this, and it resonated with me this year in our Pack. We have a new Cubmaster, and lots of new parents of Tiger and Wolf Cubs. During our Pack Meeting when the Cubmaster announced this years's Pinewood Derby, and handed out car kits, both he and a parent in the audience spoke up to say something along the lines of "Make sure your kid builds the car himself." That irked me right away, but instead of correcting them on the spot, I went home, pulled up the history of the Derby, and emailed it to our new Cubmaster. Fortunately, he read the history of the Derby to the entire Pack the next month to clear up the misunderstanding and hopefully to educate the parents in the Pack. This resonates deeply with me because my dad was crippled by a stroke when I was a Cub Scout, and he couldn't help me with my cars. As a result, I had a horrible time as a child with the Derby, and deeply wished my dad were able to do it with me. As an adult, I was not about to lose the opportunity to bond with my boys building cars.

Scrollsawer



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Re: Newbie assuming derby responsibility - much advice neede

Post by Scrollsawer » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:22 am

Here's what we used. There's a lot of online resources out there via a quick Google search.

http://www.pinewoodpro.com/pinewood-derby-history.php

ngyoung wrote:You happen to have a link to the text that he read?
Scrollsawer wrote:
I know this is a bit of a resurrected post, but I read this, and it resonated with me this year in our Pack. We have a new Cubmaster, and lots of new parents of Tiger and Wolf Cubs. During our Pack Meeting when the Cubmaster announced this years's Pinewood Derby, and handed out car kits, both he and a parent in the audience spoke up to say something along the lines of "Make sure your kid builds the car himself." That irked me right away, but instead of correcting them on the spot, I went home, pulled up the history of the Derby, and emailed it to our new Cubmaster. Fortunately, he read the history of the Derby to the entire Pack the next month to clear up the misunderstanding and hopefully to educate the parents in the Pack. This resonates deeply with me because my dad was crippled by a stroke when I was a Cub Scout, and he couldn't help me with my cars. As a result, I had a horrible time as a child with the Derby, and deeply wished my dad were able to do it with me. As an adult, I was not about to lose the opportunity to bond with my boys building cars.

Scrollsawer


"Laugh a while you can Monkey Boy."

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