Monday, January 28, 2008

the pinewood derby fiasco

for those of you not versed in the evil ways, i mean traditions of the boy scouts of america, here's little background on the pinewood derby race.

the idea is that the BOYS start with a block of wood. they design and craft a little car out of it. several weeks later there is a pinewood derby race. each car is weighed in. there are rules about what you can and can't do to the car. it has to be legal, yada yada yada.

i've talked about this before. it is a cluster fuck all the way around. this one event alone makes me hate the boy scouts. friday night our den or pack or coven, whatever it's called, had its non-cub race. this is where the sisters, moms, dads etc. who've also made cars get to race. the girl made and raced a car this year. i was pretty proud of her cos ya know this is boy scouts and she didn't have to do it.

our coven has a high tech race course. ok, i assume it's high tech cos i've never seen any others. it's a metal track hooked up to a computer that has this specific software that tells which cars are racing, in what order, how fast they are going and who has set the track record. these little cars get up to 200 mph. the girl's car made it to 181; it was not the slowest but not near the fastest.

the thing that pissed me off first about this race is that the older boys, some of the dads and even the head boy scout leader guy were belittling the slower cars, loudly. really? how fucking old are you people? the head leader guy, he's the den leader of the boy scouts (my boy is in cub scouts, the younger group) and has three boys in the program. this guy is a total ass. he is arrogant and condescending and rude and i just wanted to smack him. at one point he was talking smack with another dad, all in good fun i'm sure they'd say, and he flipped the dad's baseball cap off! yes, grown people, scouts, acting like that in front of the boys.

so during the two hours it took for all of these heats to be raced the boy, who wasn't racing until the next day, was incredibly bored. and he was observing the race and hearing all of the teasing and bad mouthing the adults were giving the slower cars.

the bigger winner of the night? a three year old. yes, i'm sure he worked very very hard on his car. the other runners up were dads. that's fine, that's what the race was about, non-cubs racing, but c'mon, a three year old? really?

i was dreading saturday. even though saturday was supposed to be all about the cubs racing their cars that really is not how it works. i'd say the boy is one of the few kids that actually got to design, build, paint his own car. some of the boys aren't even allowed to touch their cars. their dad's spend unbelievable hours working on these things. it's so sad.

i asked the hubs if he thought it was just our coven that acted this way--this way in that men turn into 10 year olds and actually worry if their plastic wheels are balanced and if someone else's car might perhaps be faster than theirs--and he said no. his dad told him that when they were young and in scouts it was the same way and that the pinewood derby has always been a source of contention within the bsa organization. no fucking kidding. stupid neanderthals.

the boy decided he didn't want to race his car saturday. normally i'd encourage him to at least participate because it's not about winning it's about the fun of making your car and watching adults race it down a track right? but he wouldn't even be competing against his peers, he'd be racing their dads. so we didn't go and we didn't make him do it.

this brought up the conversation about whether to stick with scouts or move on. the boy has been mentioning soccer and tae kwon do (i'm sure it has NOTHING to do w/ the fact the nephew is taking TKD). we've told both kids they can have activities but it has to be one each at a time. i can't be one of those parents running from place to place every night. i don't see how kids that do that ever have time for homework or a life and plus i'm just lazy like that. plus when one of us is out of town that makes it hella worse to try to ferry kids hither and yon.

the boy has decided that scouts are out. he will complete this year (it's over when school is out) and then he's moving on to something else. i hate that he's quitting it, just as i hated it when the girl quit girl scouts, but i won't make them stay involved in something they don't like and something i can't really muster up the support for.


Anonymous said...

I vote for tae kwon do because you don't have to sit outside in the hot/cold! It's amazing quite physical. My boy (the nephew) has already earned his first stripe. Yeah!

creative kerfuffle said...

i watched the video! how totally cool! now he can be the one in the family that says i'm handing out lollipops and beatings and i'm fresh out of lollipops : )