The Pinewood Derby is a parent-son project. Please feel free to give guidance and minimal assistance to your Scout as he builds his Pinewood Derby car. This is a chance for your son to be part of a team (he and you), and to enjoy the spirit of friendly competition with his peers. Also for your Cub Scout to enjoy the satisfaction of building his own car from the kit provided.
A special note to all parents and scouts: Together, please read the following article on sportsmanship…
While everyone will be trying to win, it’s always a good idea to start out by remembering the Cub Scout Motto, “Do Your Best,” and some of the basic ideas behind good sportsmanship. Two things the Pinewood Derby requires each participant to learn are 1) the craft skills necessary to build a car, and 2) the rules that must be followed. Even more important, though, is how we act and behave while participating in the Pinewood Derby or any other group activity. This is called sportsmanship.
The first thing to remember about sportsmanship is that everyone’s skills are a little different. You may be good at something like singing or drawing, but not as good at something else like basketball or computers. Parents have different skill levels, too. This doesn’t mean that you are a good person one time and not good another time. You can always be a good person, whether or not you have good car-building skills. Remember, you and your friends are individuals first and racers second. This idea is often called having respect for others.
The second thing to remember is to follow the rules. Without rules, there would be no Pinewood Derby. You will never know if you are really good at doing something unless you follow the rules. This is often called being honest.
The third thing to remember about good sportsmanship is that there are winners and losers in every competition. You accept this when you choose to compete. There may be times when you win and feel happy, and times when you lose and feel unhappy. Being a winner is easy, and losing is sometimes hard. If you win, you must not brag or gloat. If you lose, you must not feel jealous or bitter.
To be a good sportsman, you must be able to say “I did my best” and be satisfied with the results. You must also be able to appreciate and feel happy for someone else when they run a good race or build a neat car.