Volume 6 Issue 6
January 2000

Margaret Holcomb, Bellejoye, contacted USSSP about a Pinewood Derby poem she had written wondering if we would share it with other scouters. It is with pleasure and honor that I share it with the readers of Baloo's Bugle

Pinewood Derby

Each year for Christmas wrapped in shape of a box
This Cub scout receives a gift and no it's not socks
Some axles and wheels, a small piece of pine
You wonder what it is that makes his eyes shine

That Cub scout, he knows, his mind all in a whirl
These small pieces, more precious than pearls
For in his hands he is holding a dream that is due
To enter a race to be held in month, maybe two

But for this one scout, this race it will be his last
For he is a Webelo, his car will have to be fast
As he turns the small piece of pine in his hand
His mind is on shapes and he starts to plan

He gathers pencils, paper and a carbon or two
Traces, erases, discards, and decides on a few
It will continue like this for a few days more
Can't make up his mind, making his brain sore

Finally, picking his pattern his relief is quite great
Then we stand by for action, it is time to create
Out come the tools, a knife ,a saw and a drill
There is nothing like it, it is such a great thrill

To have watched this young grandson we adore
Year after year, build the cars, this will be four
I can now see the wheels turning in his head
Should I design this one or that one instead

Now the pattern is chosen, he traces the shape
With pencil to carbon, then he uses his tape
Making sure the length meets what is set out
In the rules that must be met by all of the scouts

He now turns to the saw, the goggles go on
Safety comes first or rule one will be blown
With his granddad or dad standing close by
He starts the cut and the sawdust does fly

When the dust settles, he fingers the cut wood
Then lifting up his goggles and nothing could
Ever be more prideful than the grin on his face
It is just the start, preparing for one last race

He runs his hands over the shaped piece of pine
I wonder what he's thinking, I'd give a whole dime
Picking up the paper to sand the wood just right
For hours he works with it late into the night

For days and days he leaves it sitting to the side
Thinking of paint and stickers, then eyes open wide
You can see the idea in his head start to form
Man or man this one will be out of the norm

Picking up his scout knife, he carves the first line
Places for the headlights, now this will take time
He has been taught the right way to handle a blade
He carefully finishes it, the groove has been laid

The knife is then closed, so carefully put away
Now on for the fun part, Hurrah! and Hooray!
This car, his last, has been built just for speed
Down deep inside him this hunger this need

For to be Grand Champion the head of the pack
Just one memory to savor, one day looking back
Tell his sons, of long ago times and to talk about
What it was like to learn and live the life of a scout

For now the time has come to just leave it alone
It is just perfect, time to let it stand on it's own
All the work that can be done has been done
He now feels it in his heart that this is the one

His dad and granddad and he all act as one
Packed in a special box, the time has come
To submit it to be judged, then the long wait
He can't touch it again, it's now all up to fate

His car is now checked for weight and design
To see if directions were followed line by line
His weight, length and height are all just right
His car has a number, impounded for the night

None will see the cars till the Derby Day Race
Now preparations for the day pick up the pace
The leaders, parents and scouts volunteers all
Join, to ready the track, they all answer the call

Derby race day is here, he is up with the sun
Trying to remember what he might have done
To build his car so it would have more speed
It is all too late, for he has now done the deed

The large building in which the race is to be run
Is filled with families of scouts who have done
Each one their best that they could possibly do
Do your best. is the motto, and each held it true

The excitement builds as all take their places
The anticipation the fever I see in small faces
The ceremony to honor our flag is has begun
The salute to the same all now pledge as one

The first cars now race swiftly down the track
The pace will be kept, there will be no slack
Yelling and screaming and cheering, we each
Encourage our own boy a crescendo we reach

The eyes of each boy is now sparkling with zeal
Hoping against hope that he wont lose a wheel
As cars plummet down the track one last time
I look at the scoreboard the moment sublime

He's done it I scream and jump up and down
He'd won the den, the pack, now the last round
Of the District Derby which has been his dream
To be grand champion, again I start to scream

With tears in my eyes and a silly grin on my face
I hug my husband, son, everyone in the place
I turn to face my grandson blow a kiss and sigh
I give him a sign, two fingers in victory held high

It's not the trophies that he has won on this day
The accolades of what others have had to say
It's in his heart and mind that someday will rest
That as a Cub Scout, he tried and did his best

June 11, 1999

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