Story contributed by Emily Elliott, Marketing & Public Relations Director of the Crossroads of America Council
Every winter, Cub Scouts around the nation prepare their Pinewood Derby cars to race down tracks in hopes of being the fastest. They learn how to add weight to make their cars faster and what it means to be a good sport. For many of the Scouts, the opportunity to build a Pinewood Derby car with their dad is a special memory they will remember the rest of their lives. However, Tiger Cub Scout Elias will remember his first Pinewood Derby for another special reason.
Elias’ father, Isaac, is currently serving in the military in Kosovo. In his father’s absence, Elias decided to honor his dad with his Pinewood Derby car. He chose a wedge-shaped design, put a helicopter sticker on the nose of the car, and then spelled out “Miss You Dad” in camouflage letters. Elias and his mother, Carrie, did their best to build a competitive car, but engineering the car for speed was beyond her skill set.
“This project, while a lot of fun, really made Isaac’s absence all the more apparent,”said Carrie. “As an Eagle Scout, this is something I’m sure my husband looked forward to doing with his sons. It was hard for me knowing what he was missing.”
When Elias arrived at the Pinewood Derby race, his car barely weighed two of the possible five ounces allowed. Like a group of uncles, volunteers from Elias’ pack stepped in to help him and his car by installing weights and showing him how to add graphite. Elias was insistent that the decor of his car be untouched with the addition of more weights and the leaders were happy to oblige.
“As a mother, the help given by all the leaders meant more than I could possibly put into words,” said Carrie. “They stepped up when my husband couldn’t be there to help Elias. They showed so many characteristics associated with the Scout Law and Scout Oath.”
Elias eventually won his den’s Pinewood Derby race, but the most important part of the day was the example the adult volunteers put forward to help other people at all times.
“Isaac was so moved by Elias’ car décor and the help given by the leaders,” said Carrie. “I think this gave Isaac a connection to home and all the things he has to look forward to once he gets home. He did joke that we set the bar a little high for next year.”
Scouting Wire would like to thank Emily Elliott for submitting this story.