Sorry, we’ve been away from the blog site for a while (between family vacation, and the Thanksgiving Holiday).
So, tonight, we have a Stockade meeting where we plan to finish working on our large-format, poster-board gliders (hopefully!). Special thank you to Josh G., our resident aeronautical engineer and junior ranger – it was his inspiration and passion that developed the craft activity. We’ve sampled the prototype plane and it will fly well if handed with care.
Next Monday, December 5th we will meet in the “Sunday school annex” in the white house across the parking lot from the main church building. This is to allow the girls to use the lower auditorium for their final “Christmas Tea” event.
Assuming that the gliders take the rest of the evening (tonight), we’ll start working on our pinewood derby car kits next Monday. For families who’ve never worked on a car kit with their son(s), it is a fairly simple task that involves a couple of steps:
- Deciding on a car shape (race car, pick up truck, family car, fire truck, etc.) (See picture at right for basic shapes)
- Cutting away excess wood into the general shape of the desired car/truck.
- Adding craft wood (balsa, bass wood) from the craft store to build up other areas of the model.
- Sanding, sanding, sanding to make it smooth and to get the right curves into the shape.
- Sealing and priming the car with autobody spray paint (or general spray paint). If you don’t like working with spray paints, any craft paint can be used, but it will “stick” better if the wood body is sealed first — can be done with latex wood primer (from Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, ACE hardware, etc.)
- Add decorations such as stickers, stripes, etc.
- Make sure the final car is FIVE ounces or LESS in weight to qualify.
Assembling a derby car is exciting, but it isn’t intended to be rushed and done in a single night – we expect to work on the cars for a couple of meetings before we race them (so there’s no rush, or need to work on the cars during the Holidays). IF boys take car kits home, please keep track of them — lost kits can be replaced, but hard work that is lost can’t be easily replaced. We recommend that each boy sign the bottom of his car kit and keep it at the church until after the race (*unless he plans on working on it with his mom, dad, older brother, etc.).
The leaders can (and will) help each boy with his car project on anything that they don’t feel equipped to do at home — we can cut blocks, assist with shaping details, and helping cut down the weight of the car so it meets the racing weight requirements. However, for the boys to “own” the process, they should be involved in sanding, painting, and decorating the car to suit their tastes. There are no perfect cars, and there are no ugly cars — each boy should be proud of his own entry and we’ll try to help without taking over his project. If moms and dads want to help, that’s OK, too – just balance your involvement with his involvement so that he’s learning how to do things for himself. One (of many) good web sites on derby cars is – http://www.shapenrace.net/ This site can provide inspiration, practical tips and ideas.
To see highlights from our old boy scout troop’s race (in 2012, at another church) – here is a link – https://vimeo.com/40243194
Scheduling: Next Monday, December 5th will be the final stockade meeting of the year due to the many holiday commitments coming up for schools, family and neighborhood. We’ll be sending a reminder note by email and via this blog site when we’ve got our January schedule worked out.
BATTALION (grades 7-12 and college age): due to scheduling conflicts, our December 2nd meeting will be postponed until December 9th.