A Day At The Races

A Day At The Races

Wow – how times have changed.  This past Saturday was Cameron’s first experience with the Pine Wood Derby races…and my first in over 20 years.  Suffice it to say, I think we were BOTH overwhelmed.  Cameron was overwhelmed with the experience – and watching his car zoom down the track.  I was overwhelmed with how far this event has come over the years.

I have such fond memories of Cub Scouts when I grew up – and I have especially fond memories of the annual Pine Wood Derby car races.  It was so fun to work on the car with my Dad, and to wait with excitement to see if I was going to win.  Sadly, I’m not sure I remember ever winning a race, but that didn’t take away from the fun.  This year was special because I got to be on the other side of things and see things from the ‘Dad’ perspective.  I got to help Cameron make his car (since he’s still not ‘fluent’ with a saw – I actually did most of the legwork).  Cameron loved coming up with the design and getting it ready to race.  And he actually did pretty good!  He raced four times, and came in 2nd place in every one of his races!  Not bad at all for his rookie season.  Oddly enough, he got 3rd place overall since the final results are based on average time.

Which brings me to my next question…when did Cub Scouts get so ‘techy’?  Honestly, we walked in and there were laptops, electronic tracks that monitored speed, and start-to-finish times, projection screens – you name it!  I remember going to mine as a kid and there was some rinky dink wooden track and a guy at the end watching which one finished first.  Cameron’s races were all tracked via computer and the results were tallied instantly.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of all-things-computer, but this was quite a jolt to me.  Fun?  Yes.  A bit over-the-top?  Possibly.

Regardless, in the end it was a great way to spend an afternoon.  Cameron had a blast (Ellie did not ;) ) and I’m so happy he now has a memory of his first Pine Wood Derby race with his Dad.

PS.  In case you were wondering…yes, I did race my car I made when I was a kid, but I didn’t have quite the same success as Cameron.  I came in 9th out of 16 spots – which is just about what I think I came in 20+ years ago.  Go figure.  Still it was a blast seeing it fly down the track all over again!


  1. Those cars are amazing! Back when I was a cub scout I,m noy sure we even had paint! Am I seeing electronic timing and scoring?
    and on another note the girl I live with checked with my mommy – I had no toys! But I had a great childhood! It is a long story soo not here not now.

    Back to the soap box derby Great job Cameron (and Dad) are you ready for a go kart or off road motor cycle?

  2. Mom (a.k.a.) Grandma

    I was able to pick your car out in the first picture. I remember how hard you worked on it. Can’t believe you still have it. Also hard to believe my son is helping his son with scouts! Where do the years go? Glad you both had a fun time, it shows in that great picture of the two of you with your cars! Proud of you both. Love Cameron’s car with the little lego guy.

  3. Uncle Charley & Aunt Kathy

    Wow I remember helping Brandon ( well maybe I did a lot of it) with his pinewood derby car. They sure didn’t look like the ones in your pictures!!! You were right in only having a rickety old wooden track and a guy sitting at the end judging who won, Matt!! How time flies…..don’t know if Brandon( now almost 36) has his original or not but it was a fun father/son experience. Congrats Cameron & Dad. :-) Uncle Charley

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