Pinewood Derby 2010: I've Decided On A Totem Pole Car!
For the adults category of this year's "April Fool's 500" pinewood derby race, I have begun carving my car. Seems like I've made every car possible during the last 30 years of ardent racing competition so I decided to pursue a totem pole car for 2010. As the accompanying pictures show I have designed it to sit upright, just as a real totem stands on sacred land so it will double as a fine nik-nak shelf piece after the race.
Each car starts out as just a 7" block of pine with four plastic wheels and axles, then as the pictures to the left show a design must then be thought out and applied to the wood. My totem starts out on the bottom with a bear, an Indian with full head dress, a frog, a coyote, and an eagle towering above on the top.As the pictures above indicate, I used some of the scrap wood cut away from the center of the pinewood block for shaping the eagle wings separately.
This car is going to be extremely light so it's not going to be a fast car... and that's okay because for a second year I've decided not to go for speed
because I just want to have a nice car and I think that a totem pole will be that car. Although I've begun painting the totem-car I still have a lot of detailing to go, so perhaps I'll post pictures of the finished car later.
The trophy shown in the pictures to the right is the car that I entered from last years race and yes, that's Dolly Pardon driving her pink country girl car. As mentioned above I also decided to step aside from last years race since I already have enough winning trophies on my display shelf and that would give others a chance to win.
So how did I get that wonderful trophy you ask? Although I didn't race it in the speed race I did enter the car in the competition for "Best of Show" and I'll be darn if she didn't win! Dolly is one of the funnest cars I've ever made and she surely produced a lot of laughs from everyone. Some even accused her of being too "front" heavy (use your imagination) so I guess it's a good thing that I didn't race this car. A pinewood derby race has the potential for a lot of fun, laughs, and group spirit so once again, if you haven't been part of such a race then find one in your community and help a kid have the time of his life!
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.