My son is in Cub Scouts. He has had a fantastic time this year learning new things. I personally find two things bothersome about Boy Scouts. 1) It never ends. It goes through the summer, through the spring, winter, fall, etc. and almost up to Christmas. And 2) It is really expensive.
I know that most people who blog about scouting are die hard fans of the scouts, but that is the truth. It is taxing to me that we never get a break from the intensity. And the cost is so high that I wonder how we would manage to do the same sort of things for our daughters (who are not interested in this right now.) I further wonder if it won't become cost prohibitive for our family.
The pinewood derby car has cost us over $50. We spent $400 for a tent. We have not been able to buy sleeping bags yet. We just have not been able to afford them. The camping trips costs somewhere between $12 and $17 per person (and the whole family is invited to come), even if you sell popcorn. This year they instituted a $5 monthly fee because their donations from major corporations are down. You have to buy a uniform (and it is not cheap.)
OK. Enough grousing.
Let me tell you about the car. My husband watched several Youtube videos to see what we would need to do to create the little car. We bought the kit ($2 at the Boy Scouts). We then had to buy all sorts of things to put this car together, from tools to weights, to a scale to check the weight, to spray paint.
My husband traced the outside of the block and told my son to draw the design he wanted. My son looked at the paper blankly. He couldn't wrap his mind around drawing what he could imagine in his mind. So I got out the modeling clay and gave him a piece approximately the size of the block. I told him to carve it to look like he wanted. Wa-LA. In about 15 minutes, he had created a beautiful little car.
I then copied that shape down onto my husband's paper with the block of wood on it. I asked my son if it matched. He agreed that it did.
My husband and my son worked all day one Saturday (Jan. 7, 2012) on the car. They cut the wood using a little hand tool. It was hard work.
Then they sanded and primed it.
Then they painted it "Perry the Platypus" blue.
Then they worked on the wheels, getting them smooth. (Our local rules allows this as long as you don't change the shape).
Then they worked on the axles, getting them smooth.
They attached everything. They weighed. They added the little weights. (This part proved to be very difficult as the weights themselves were causing the car to ride too low. The car had to be chipped away at the bottom in order to make them fit.) This caused the bottom to be unlevel because of the chipping. That made it hard for the weights to stay on. After struggling with this problem all afternoon on Sunday (January 8, 2012), they finally decided they had to just nail them in and put wood putty over the hole.
My son added the embellishments. This is the finished project.
Now to race. I will update after the Pinewood Derby Race. It is next Saturday. We all plan to attend.