If you'd like to see how our derby was set up, these photos tell it better than I can...
Cubmobile Derby photos
http://picasaweb.google.com/Pack940/Cub ... 1572734434
Now let me narrate a bit. Our pack is large, usually around 80 to 100 kids. We decided to plan a cubmobile derby for the older boys. We have traditionally done a raingutter regatta for the younger ranks, and wanted to do something special for the older boys. We felt a cubmobile event would be age-appropriate for the Bears and Webelos.
Each of our bear and Webelos dens constructed a car. This led to a total of 5 cars, that the kids built themselves. We provided "kits" and some guidance, then the boys did the rest. Here is one den in action...
Cubmobile assembly photos
http://picasaweb.google.com/Pack940/Cub ... 4902600994
We also had one extra car that was available for the Tigers and Wolfs to try on race day, purely for fun.
By using "kits", this made the race more of a "stock car" event. Differences in performance were primarily decided by the ability of the driver, and less by parental influence.
A few local businesses sponsored the event. Our local hardware store sells scout uniforms and supplies, so they were a perfect match. I also found a local landscape supply company that loaned us about 30 bales of hay, and we agreed to pay for any broken bales and return the rest.
I worked with my town parks and recreation dept to find a good location in our main park with a winding paved path and just the right amount of slope to be both fun and safe. The slope was gentle in the beginning, and then increased further down the course, so that each kid had more of an opportunity to get a feel for the car prior to hitting the steepest part of the course. The pack only had to pay a small fee to rent a picnic shelter at the park, and fill out some paperwork.
I wanted a winding course because this is more interesting for the kids and parents than just a straightaway. The winding path his gives the child more opportunity to control the cubmobile and to have a more engaging and interactive experience. Again, this gives the child more influence on the outcome.
For a starting and finish line, we just used sidewalk chalk to draw a line on the pavement. We used good walkies talkies to communicate from the finish to the start line. The starting line would call down to the finish with a countdown of "3, 2, 1, go". At "go" the child would release their brake and begin to roll down the course. When they reached the finish line, the person with the stopwatch was there to record their time. I especially liked the way the race began with the child releasing their brake, because it put more control in the hands of the child, and avoiding the need for a starting ramp. I think a starting ramp has more potential for injuries, plus I would not want to store such a contraption!
Another way we minimized the chance for injuries was to run this as a timed event with one car running the course at a time. I also think a timed race reduces the potential for full fledged competitiveness of the event, because the kids are racing against a clock. To emphasize teamwork, we calculated an average time for each den.
Finally, every kid got a participant medal. We also made up some fun design awards. We introduced each den in order of finish, from 5th to 1st place, but no emphasis was not placed on naming a "winner". The emphasis was placed on teamwork--from building to racing.
Whew, I didn't intend to type so much! But you can probably tell that I enjoyed this just as much as the kids. I am hoping this becomes an annual tradition in our pack.
Thanks for posting and welcome to Cubmobile !!
Nice pics and lots of info, neat curvey road race !!
I would recommend a foot safety board !!
Any issue with the wheels ? I seen those break in the past ? was curious ?
Really neat seeing the kids assemble them !!
Send me a pm with your e-mail address, I will toss you a pdf file cubmobile manual.
The wheels held up fine, and showed no signs of stress. I have seen different qualities of plastic lawnmower wheels, and I feel these particular ones are slightly beefier than some others. My guess is these will be fine at the relatively low speeds of our particular race.
I agree that these cars wold benefit from foot safety boards. That is on the to-do list for next year.
On the topic of safety, I would welcome any input on our decision to not use seat belts. I talked with other leaders about the fact these cars will be traveling at low speeds, and discussed whether it was better for a kid to be thrown free versus attached to the car. I see pros and cons. I am still not sure which approach is best. No kids were injured, but that does not mean I need to wait for an accident to occur.
The seat belts I believe are in the cub scout guide book.
however, I have seen them come in handy, if the child tips over, the seat sides keep the arms in the car, the seat belt keeps the child in the car, protected from scratches and road rash.
It could also prevent a head on collision, say a tree or a dip in the road, causing a lunge forward out of the seat.
Brake to inner thigh injury ?? possibles also
I am for the seat belt. but a low impact speed crash, is something to thibk about.
Our kit included boards for each side of the seat, to help hold the kids in the seat during turns. To enhance this, I want to add some sort of cushioned bolsters to each side board of the seat. I've seen it discussed here, but have not seen any photo examples. But I may have overlooked them.