Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pinewood Derbies and Other Competitions

Scouting and competitions have gone hand in hand since the beginning of the scout movement.
Boys vs. boys has it's merits as a way to check one's understanding of the values beging taught within the program.
Knowing first aid, for instance, is not enough but being able to demonstrate that knowledge of first aid under stress and in a real life situation is what the program is all about.
Pinewood derbies and rain gutter regattas and space rocket races were designed to allow a scout to design, build, and test their creations against their peers and to how their ideas matched up. Somewhere along the way, the spirit of competition gave way to win at all costs and scouts lost the original idea that winning was achieved through the mere designing, building, and participating in the event.
"Tommy just has to beat Johnny..." should never be heard nor should comments like "well he should have won because his father built the car or the car was purchased off the Internet."
Being a good sport win, lose, or draw is what the program is about and what we do with the knowledge and the experience is what matters. Not finishing in first place.
So here we are again and it's derby time.
Let the kids be kids.
Parents check your egos at the door and let the kids have their fun, lose, or draw.
A scout will always a winner if he does his best.

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