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Unlocking the Secrets of the Pinewood Derby

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I would like to thank my son and daughter. In the spirit of the Pinewood Derby, I always wanted to make sure that they took part in the process and had ownership of their cars. Building a winning car cannot happen in one night if you want to include your children in the effort. They both were dutiful in accompanying me to the garage for numerous 10-15 minute work sessions. The result was that they learned a lot about being successful. It happens through diligence and hard work.


Both of my kids were also highly motivated for the science fair project which is the basis of this work. When the project was done, it was very gratifying for me to witness them standing in front of their triptych discussing the results of their project.


My son is now in Boy Scouts, but we stay in close contact with his old Cub Scout pack. We recently volunteered to host one of the pack's car building workshops. My son was telling the dad's at the workshop what they needed to do to build a winning car. It was fun to see a 12 year old boy giving grown men real speed tips, but it was amazing to see that he was spot on with what he was telling them.


I would also like to thank my wife. She was always very supportive of our efforts when competing in the Pinewood Derby. She was also pivotal in helping to put together the kid's science fair triptych. If I had to chose a single word to describe how the triptych looked, it would be “amazing”.


When I started writing this book, many mornings my wife would come into our living area to see me pounding on the keyboard. Her question was always the same, “What are you doing?” My reply to her was always the same as well, “Writing a book.” She never gave me any grief, though I am sure she thought the effort was an exercise in folly.


Lastly, thanks to all the leadership in Pack 350 in Fort Worth, Texas. They annually put on a great Pinewood Derby for both their pack and the district. They are a great bunch of parents who are helping to keep the scouting experience alive.

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