Two more uniforming errors
The September 2003 issue listed three common Boy Scout uniforming errors [regarding neckerchiefs and Order of the Arrow and merit badge sashes].
Here are two more mistakes I see often:
Successful pinewood derbies
Thank you for the wonderful article in the October 2003 issue about the 50th anniversary of the pinewood derby.
Like the derby in the article, our district uses computer technology to determine finish results, and winners in each age group are based on points accumulated in several races rather than single elimination heats. (At day's end, the top three in each age group race for the district championship.) We also give special awards for painting, unique design, and Scout spirit.
Because the pinewood derby provides an opportunity for a Cub Scout and his parent(s) to interact with one another and for the boy to learn new skills, we require cars be made from scratch, using the official BSA kit, with regulation wheels and axles.
For boys who may not have parent involvement or whose parent lacks the skills to help him, many packs in our area have a special den meeting several weeks before the derby. An adult leader uses several simple templates to help each boy choose a car design. The leader then cuts out the rough shape in the wood block, after which the Cub Scout does the detail work, sanding, painting, installation of the axles, etc. This ensures that a boy both designs his racer and is instrumental in turning a square block of wood into an individual car.
The pinewood derby is a great recruiting opportunity, so hold it where the public can see the action. Invite the media, who are always looking for community interest stories. I try to run our district derby on a Saturday at center court of a major mall, starting at opening and running through midafternoon.
Robert E. Collett
A fantastic weekend
In July we attended the Viking Council's fantastic weekend camping experience for Cub Scouts and parents.
The program was a blend of fun activities with exercises that taught ethical values. Friday featured a campfire put on by Boy Scouts for the 120 Cub Scouts and parents. Saturday was action-packed with archery, BB guns, badminton, crafts, and a fantastic Charlotte's Web Ethics in Action challenge.
The lesson of this last exercise was how to work together regardless of what country you are from. Without talking, Cub Scouts had to use gestures to get every member of their team through a web of string.
My sincere admiration for the BSA program continues.
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