DERBY

Cherokee County Herald - - VIEW­POINTS -

“We let him pick all the paint and col­ors and de­cals and all the bells and whis­tles there but it is the fa­ther son time that you spend, not win­ning the race,” said Gar­rett. “As I told the Bear Cubs the ef­fort that went into build­ing the car with some­one spe­cial, whether it be a grand­par­ent, fa­ther, brother, mom or whomever, those are the win­ners of the day, the ones who got to spend that kind of time. But as you saw, there were the church was ba­si­cally packed and it was just ex­cit­ing from start to fin­ish.”

Grant’s en­try car­ried a Bat­man theme, Gar­rett said.

“We looked at a lot of pic­tures and carved it out and did a lot of sand­ing, a lot of paint­ing and a lot of clearcoat went into it,” said Gar­rett. “But he couldn’t wait each day when we got home from school, es­pe­cially when we were do­ing the paint­ing and putting the clearcoat on. We would do a step at a time and have to let it dry. It wouldn’t take 10 min­utes but we would work on it a few min­utes each day. And he would make sure that he came and got me ev­ery af­ter­noon to do a lit­tle work on the car.”

The Pinewood Derby has been a scout­ing tra­di­tion for many years, Gar­rett noted.

“I like to call it one of the high­lights of Cub Scout ex­pe­ri­ences hav­ing a Pinewood Derby,” said Gar­rett. “A lot of credit goes to the lead­ers, Mr. Allen, and Matt Allen, those guys put in a lot of time. I would hate to call names and leave some peo­ple out but there were a lot of peo­ple that put a lot of work into that set­ting up the track and I thought it was a very pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence for all the kids.”

Gar­rett said he still has the car he and his fa­ther built to­gether, which is a red ve­hi­cle. “I have held on to it for a long time and am proud of it.”

Ac­cord­ing to Gar­rett, there are just as many lessons to be learned from build­ing the cars the wrong way.

“My dad was prob­a­bly a lit­tle bet­ter en­gi­neer than I was so it prob­a­bly didn’t take him as long,” said Gar­rett. “I can still re­mem­ber work­ing on it. I re­mem­ber when we got the pack and opened it up and I can re­mem­ber the first one I got I ru­ined be­cause I was so anx­ious to get started. I started with­out dad with a dull pocket knife and I started whit­tling away and by the time he got ready it was be­yond re­pair. I wanted to get started and ab­so­lutely ru­ined it but he got me an­other one and I learned a les­son about fol­low­ing in­struc­tions at an early age and get­ting some help.”

An­other fa­ther- son team par­tic­i­pat­ing in this year’s derby was Ran­dall Crab­tree and his son Levi, who is 9.

“He has been in Scouts about nine months,” said Crab­tree. “He did most of it the work on the car. He en­joyed that part of it. We had a lit­tle race car. It was just some­thing he drew off a piece of pa­per and we molded it into the piece of wood that he wanted.”

“It took about two days,” said Crab­tree. “That is all he wanted to do was work on it. He cut it all one day and sanded it and it took the other day and a half to paint it.”

Crab­tree said he would en­cour­age other par­ents and chil­dren to be­come in­volved in Boy Scouts.

“With­out a doubt,” said Crab­tree. “I would en­cour­age ev­ery kid and ev­ery dad to get in­volved in Boy Scouts and what they have to of­fer. It is a good pro­gram. They teach lot about char­ac­ter, a lot of life skills can be learned. It’s a good thing.”

“The over­all prod­uct I saw I thought was in­cred­i­ble,” said Gar­rett. “The imag­i­na­tion of the kids and the fa­thers, the dif­fer­ent paint schemes. I saw some had some car­toon char­ac­ters worked into it, some had their fa­vorite ath­letic team maybe as a team motto with col­ored paint. I think there were some Auburn cars and Alabama cars. “

“And just to see the pride in the kids,” said Gar­rett. “You could watch them hold their cars and there was a lot of pride in their car. Ev­ery kid was so proud of their prod­uct and it was be­cause it was some­thing they had done them­selves or had a hand in with their par­ent, their mom or grand­dad, or sig­nif­i­cant other, and they ac­com­plished some­thing.”

“It wasn’t about who crossed the fin­ish line first,” said Gar­rett. “The win­ners are the ones who par­tic­i­pated with their par­ents be­cause those skills were the lessons we learned on that par­tic­u­lar Satur­day.”

“I was kind of blown away be­cause we brought all the dif­fer­ent troops to­gether and had great par­tic­i­pa­tion,” said Gar­rett. “They gym was packed and it was a very good day for it.”

Gar­rett shared some sug­ges­tions for get­ting more fa­thers and moms to do more ac­tiv­i­ties with their chil­dren.

“I think it is or­ga­ni­za­tions like the Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and get­ting in­volved in church,” said Gar­rett. “I think is ab­so­lutely im­per­a­tive as far as a fa­ther-son or mom­daugh­ter re­la­tion­ship be­ing in­volved in a group with your peers and hav­ing your par­ents a part of it. It may be Dixie Youth Base­ball, Girls Soft­ball, but any of those ac­tiv­i­ties are go­ing to bring par­ents and kids to­gether and that will be time when they are not work­ing on those de­vices.”

Those “de­vices” to which Gar­rett re­ferred in­clude smart­phones and cell­phones to which we all have trou­ble putting aside at times. And un­for­tu­nately the adults are of­ten worse than the kids.

“That is where I got to know most of these kids is the ball field,” com­mented Crab­tree.

The Scouts are now on hia­tus, Gar­rett said, but plan to re­sume in Au­gust with an end of the sea­son pool party to in­vig­o­rate Scouts and lead­ers for an­other year.

“Just so ev­ery­body knows, I am win­ning that Derby next year!” said Gar­rett.

“I think next year could be even big­ger and bet­ter and like I say, I don’t know how much bet­ter it could be but par­tic­i­pa­tion was out the roof and the qual­ity of the cars were in­cred­i­ble!” said Gar­rett.

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