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Inviting Girls to Pinewood Derby

By Jessawhy

It was with great reservation that I said yes to the calling of Cub Scout committee chair last November. My oldest son is six, not old enough to be a wolf, and my only experience with cub scouts was more than five years ago as a Bear Den assistant.
Although I think the scouting program has helped many boys for generations, I object to it being part of the LDS church. First, not all boys enjoy scouting. Second, girls don’t get to participate, and programs that are supposedly comparable, really aren’t. Perhaps these objections are mutually exclusive, nonetheless, they are two reasons why I didn’t want to accept the calling. Still, I’ve never turned a calling down and with my husband’s encouragement I accepted, hoping to do my best to help both the boys and girls ages 8-11 in my ward.

So, when a woman at Roundtable (the scouting training/ idea forum) suggested packs invite the Activity Days girls in the upcoming Pinewood Derby, I jumped at the chance to include the girls in this exciting racing event. My visiting teacher happens to be the leader of the Activity Days girls and also the wife of the first counselor in our new bishopric. When I told her about my plans to invite the girls to participate, she was excited and made plans to go buy the girls their own cars to make and race. Actually, I told a lot of women in the ward, including the bishop’s wife and they were all excited. The only woman who disliked the idea was one of my new den leaders, who is not a mother of a cub scout. While I listened to her concerns, I figured it was my decision to make, and the benefits (equality, learning, and mutual respect) far outweighed the costs (the boys may not like the girls there).

Apparently I was wrong. The first counselor in our bishopric approached me on Wednesday night during a youth activity at the church to discuss cub scouting details. We talked about callings that needed to be filled, the possibility of combining our packs with another ward, and the scheduling of the Pinewood Derby. I was confused about whether the stake was having a combined Derby, or if the wards were having their own. When I mentioned it, the counselor said off-hand. “Oh, we’re not doing that.” Still confused, I asked for clarification. “We’re not inviting the girls. It’s the Bishop’s call.” He quickly walked away.

I was very upset with the way he addressed the issue, by not explaining why the decision was not mine to make, or why it was reversed.

The more I thought about it, the more I saw the irony of the situation, and I felt both disappointed and angry.

The way I was treated was a symptom of the greater problem of the way women are viewed in the church. That’s the exact problem I was trying to address by inviting the girls to the Pinewood Derby in the first place.

Despite this situation, I really like our new Bishop. He’s been a good friend for the five years we’ve been in this ward. He’s one of the most humble and open-minded men I know. My admiration for him was one of the reasons I was most disappointed with this incident.
I hope to speak with him this week and discuss this situation. I’m prepared to explain what happened and justify my decision to invite the girls, not only based on the idea of equality, but based on the way Jesus treated women in his day, far better than the rest of society.

Currently, I’m struggling to address the situation in a way that is both humble, and assertive. Being inexperienced in Cub Scouts, I know I need to defer to those who know the ropes. However, I’m not compelled by an argument based on tradition.
In Strangers in Paradox, the Tuscano’s give this little gem regarding tradition, “An objection based on tradition in a church that accepts continuing revelation is hardly an objection at all.”

Regardless of how the conversation goes, I am looking forward to discussing the issues of gender equality in church with a friendly church leader.
I hope that he will be open to my experience and be able to see my perspective, while at the same time, I hope that I will be able to listen and understand his perspective as Bishop.

Jessawhy

Jessawhy is a wife, mother, community volunteer, activist and student. She is currently working towards a Physician Assistant degree.

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33 Responses

  1. Bree says:

    I’m sorry you were treated so dismissively by the counselor. I had a similar experience, although mine was with a bishop, so I didn’t feel I really had a recourse. Best of luck in talking to your bishop. I hope it goes well. I usually feel like those conversations are a complicated dance and, even though I try to hold back some, I always end up stepping on toes.

    I look forward to hearing how it goes.

  2. James says:

    I can definitely see your point, and had I been in the bishop’s position, I would have opened the door for the girls to participate (though voluntarily – I can imagine some girls would simply not care to get involved).

    That said, there is a small corner of me that feels hesitant, and not because My inner “Captain Patriarchy” is kicking in. I’m still trying to reason through it (which tells me this comment may be premature, but here I go anyway!)

    The best way I this thought is through an analogy: Suppose there was a annual relief society event that was looked forward to with great anticipation for weeks (or even months), and someone had the idea that because it was so wonderful, that all the men should be involved as well. I would suspect there would be much concern on the part of many (though perhaps not all) that the dynamics of the event were being fundamentally altered to the point that it just “wouldn’t be the same.” Frankly, that’s a valid concern in my opinion.

    Now, I realize this comparison doesn’t exactly provide the last word for this situation (or the broader issues). But in my experience as a cub/boy scout, scouts was a space where “boys could be boys” and including the girls would have really changed that dynamic. There is definitely a time and a place for mixed and separate activities – I think the pinewood derby would be fine to mix up, but others may have different thoughts.

    I offer these ideas rather tentatively but hope they are helpful in furthering the discussion – I’m not sure what or if there is a right/wrong here (I certainly don’t pretend to know for sure).

    One last question: Do the activity days girls really WANT to do the Pinewood Derby, or sense some type of inequity because they are normally not involved? If the answer to these questions is “no,” maybe this is all much ado about nothing.

  3. Roger says:

    Please keep us informed, and good luck. I think this is an issue you should push. If it is your calling to make these decisions, then you should be the one to make them.

    This week was scouting Sunday in our ward, and half the youth were left out. I agree, it is long past time for a change.

  4. Vada says:

    To preface, I have the same objections to scouts that you do, and was happy to be released from my den leader duties a couple of months ago. I therefore come at this from the perspective of someone who would like to be released and is therefore perfectly willing to make waves, so you should take that into account when reading my thoughts.

    I think both the bishop and his counselor were absolutely wrong. I think the bishop was wrong to second guess your decision. I think he was completely wrong not to talk to you about it himself. I think the counselor was wrong to mention it off hand in another conversation and then walk away.

    You are the cub scout committee chair. You’re giving of your valuable time to serve others, and the bishopric should be helping you, not hindering you, in performing your calling. How a particular cub scout event is run should be your call. Sure, it might have been nice for you to run it by the bishop (I wouldn’t have thought of doing so either, though), but ultimately inviting others to attend and participate in an event that you are in charge of should be your decision.

    I’m glad that you’re friends with the bishop and look forward to this being a good conversation. I know my immediate reaction would be something like, “If you want to run the cub scouts, go ahead. I didn’t want the calling anyway. If you want me to do it, you need to let me.” But well, I’m somewhat confrontational when upset.

    Good luck talking with the bishop, and I’m sure you’ll do a much better job of stating your case for inviting the girls than I would have. I think it’s a wonderful idea.

    One more thought as I think back to the years my little brothers were in cub scouts. I wasn’t ever really involved, but I remember that one year they invited younger siblings (or younger brothers, at least, I’m not sure about younger sisters) to make and race cars as well. However, since the pinewood derby is a cub-scout wide event and I think there’s the possibility of winners from one area then competing with winners from another area, etc, they had the official derby with just the cars of the cub scouts. They then had a separate derby with the cars of younger siblings, and then at the end they had races between the winners. If the bishop’s objection has to do with only cub scouts being able to officially participate, you could suggest doing something similar — a cub scout derby, a girls derby, and then the winners of the two racing for fun at the end. (And remember, all of this last paragraph is based on a very fuzzy memory of an event I don’t even think I attended.)

  5. Vada says:

    Also, as a follow-up to James’ point: I can see sometimes having separate boys and girls activities. However, families of all the cub scouts (including siblings) are already invited to the pinewood derby, so it’s really not a “boy space”, but a family space, so I don’t see that being particularly valid here.

  6. Jessawhy says:

    Bree,
    Thanks for your comment. A complicated dance, indeed. I am not very good at gauging other people’s feelings during conversation, nor in helping myself or others save face, so I’m a little bit worried about how to handle myself in this conversation. The fact that we’re friends does give me some amount of peace, though.
    I will keep you posted on the outcome.

    James,
    Nicely worded disagreement. 🙂
    I can tell you have experience commenting on feminist blogs where you must add a disclaimer to everything.
    Your point, that this is a special boys activity, is well made. My SiL suggested the same thing, that of all the scouting activities, this would be the most difficult to change by inviting girls. Almost like trying to hike the tallest mountain first.
    I do agree, and I probably wouldn’t have started with this activity if it hadn’t been suggested at Roundtable. Pinewood Derby is a place for boys and their dads (usually) to have fun together, it’s not really a place for moms and sisters.
    I do think that it could change and that it would be good. But, I can also see your point, about it being just for boys.

    Also, I don’t know if the girls want to go, but when I was that age, I would have loved it. I think some girls will want to do it, and others won’t. (Think of what a cute car I could design and paint!)

    Roger,
    Thanks for your support. I hope that situations like this, that start out with a bad flavor, can be changed into a positive situation for everyone.

  7. James says:

    Wasn’t really intended as a “disagreement” (like I said, I would welcome girl participation if they had the interest), just hashing out an “on the other hand.” I can see valid reasons both ways, but would ultimately come down on your side in this case. The way the councilor handled it was unfortunate (but I sympathize with the guy, it was probably NOT a conversation he was looking forward to having).

    Vada, you’re probably right in your assessment that cub scouts is more “family space” than “boy space,” so that thought probably carries minimal weight.

  8. Jessawhy says:

    Vada,
    Thanks for your comment. You sound just like me.
    Yes, of course my first instinct was, “Fine, if you don’t like the way I’m doing this calling, then do it yourself!”
    In my initial raging, I went beyond that to, “Why don’t we just label one drinking fountain for the boys and one for the girls? Does the Bishop want to choose the color of the tablecloths for the banquet?”
    It took me several days to calm down and look at the situation logically. In the meantime I learned that the only benefit of rage for me is improved aim. (I was able to throw items in the garbage from far away with deadly accuracy.)

    The idea of a separate derby for the girls/siblings is a good one. Perhaps it’s the beginning of a compromise 😉

  9. Jessawhy says:

    James,
    “It was probably not a conversation he was looking forward to having.”
    Yeah, it came across like it was a casual, oh I almost forgot, kind of thing. But, it was probably the purpose of the conversation.

    I do appreciate your playing devil’s advocate. I don’t think this blog would be any fun if we all agreed exactly all the time.

  10. cupcake says:

    Boy can I relate to this. I remembered suppressing all my feelings of resentment when my brother had his Court of Honor. He had his photo taken. He had a fancy uniform. He got a U.S. Flag flown over the capitol. He had a ceremony and medals. I got my allegedly comparable Young Womanhood Award (An ugly, unwearable disco medallion for all that work! Is it too much to ask for a trinket that I’d actually want to wear?) as a brief mention that ws just part of the morning business in Sacrament Meeting. “Separate but Equal.” Hardly.

  11. Sarah says:

    I think our ward is doing a “scouts” race and then an “everyone else” part of the race. It was announced from the pulpit a few weeks ago that anyone who wanted to build a car to race could pick up a kit from the primary. That may make it more “family friendly” and less of a focus-on-what-the-girls-can’t-do twist, if that matters.

    My brother is two years younger than I am. My mom worked her tail off as a den leader. Den meetings were held at my home with boys from my brother’s primary class as well as my primary class in the den. This was before the advent of Activity Days, so there were no activities for me. I just “got” to babysit my little sister. At least with my sister, the year my parents spent a week at scout camp running the program for our ward, she and two other girls got their own “little sister” merit badges.

    Whew–Sorry to be so bitter about this. I can’t tell you if I would really have wanted to make a derby car when my brother was in scouts. And I can see that it would take time away from my dad and brother bonding. But I agree that second-class citizenship is wrong for any of God’s children.

  12. Raymond says:

    I agree with your opening the most, many LDS youths hate scouting and community scout groups at least at age 14 have girls in the troops.

    To make the decision without you there shows the dictatorial nature of many church leaders.

  13. porter rockwell says:

    The whole “I hate the BOY scouts” posts are old and tired. There is a huge varety of levels of scout programs from ward to ward. Some wards work it, others wards’s scout programs are truly pathetic. In my experience Young Women’s programs are almost always better organized, better administered, the leaders are closer to the youth, and better in every way. I think if it were not for the BS many a mutual would end up with a pack of boys smoking cigarettes out behind the maintenance shed in the Chapel Parking lot.

    We had the whole “why can’t girls do campouts” thing in our ward. Bishop said “fine”. Turned out no girls or leaders really wanted to go, and they never did.

    Same with Sports, How come the boys have basketball, girls are capable/love sports, etc. They scheduled a YW season, no one showed. It turns out girls are interested in different stuff than boys.

    Having said all that, the Bishop sounds like he made a poor decision here, and the counselor is a weasel! Practice some civil disobedience, have the activity day girls show up barefoot and (fake) pregnant.

  14. Violet says:

    I’ve not a big fan of scouting – although being in scouts looked more exciting than crafts at Young Women’s. I have a lot of younger brothers and was told numerous times by my parents that scouting was better than Young Women’s, the projects harder, than personal progress, and my medallion didn’t amount to a whole lot. Made me feel pretty bad and they wondered why I didn’t want to help with my brothers’ Eagle projects.

    Now as an adult, I see the inequality in the programs offered to the girls and boys. So I am glad there are people like you who are willing to invite the girls to the pine wood derby. I hope they get to come. I would have been one of those girls who would have enjoyed making one. Good luck with talking to the bishop.

  15. Jessawhy says:

    My first comment just got erased. So this one will be shorter.

    Cupcake,
    I didn’t wear my YW medallion either. And, I can’t put it on my resume like a man can put “Eagle Scout.”

    Sarah,
    Little Sister merit badges sound cute. What a good idea. I do wonder sometimes about the value of too many awards and too much recognition in Cub Scouts. Perhaps it encourages higher self-esteem, but not necessarily self-efficacy.

    Raymond,
    My BiL is an attorney and has wondered when the church is going to get sued by a girl who wants to be a scout in an LDS troop, but is denied based on her sex. Maybe that issue’s already been addressed, but I am disappointed that BSA allows girls to participate but the church doesn’t.

    Porter Rockwell,
    I don’t hate Boy Scouts in general, I just dislike them as part of the church programs (only in the US, right?). If that’s what you meant by tired and old, well you didn’t have to read this post to begin with. The title made the topic pretty clear.
    As for your experience, perhaps some wards the girls don’t want to go camping, that’s fine. I’d just like to see them given the opportunity.

    And when it comes to keeping the boys out of trouble, I’d say that sports does an equal or better job of that, at least that’s how it was when my husband was YM President.

    Violet,
    I’m sorry that your parents made you feel that your program was less worthy. I hadn’t thought of that, but perhaps that is a side-effect of this cause I’ve undertaken. Maybe the girls will feel like they’re missing out on the pinewood derby when they hadn’t even considered it a possibility before.
    Hmm, I’ll have to think more about that.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  16. Caroline says:

    Jess, you’re handling this with a lot more grace than I might have. 🙂

    Good luck, and don’t give up. I’m anxiously awaiting an update about your conversation with the bish.

  17. JrL says:

    Jessawhy: “… BSA allows girls to participate but the church doesn’t.” That’s not true of cub scouts, boys scouts, or varsity scouts. It is true for Venturing, which the Church uses (though rarely more than on paper) for priest-age boys.

  18. Jessawhy says:

    Caroline,
    Thanks. Will let you know how it goes.

    JrL,
    That’s good to know. I did know that Cub Scouts didn’t include girls, because I asked at Roundtable. Still, I wonder why I’ve never heard of a Laurel asking to join the Venture scout troop. That would draw some attention.

  19. Kelly Ann says:

    The best activity I ever attended in a Singles’ ward was a Pinewood/ Potato Derby. For those who were prepared, the men and women raced pinewood derby cars against each other. Everyone else carved and raced cars made from potatoes. It was a hoot. But several of the ladies joked that the men had a distinct advantage after years of scouts – it was true, but not really considered. This was the same ward after all that invite the brethren quarterly to “Men”richment.

  20. P.S. says:

    Just one thought about the pinewood derby for you to consider: do you want this to be an official Cub Scout event, or more of a general Ward Primary activity sponsored by the Cub Scouts? The second option may be the best way to “sell” it to a reluctant Bishopric. Just bear in mind that if it’s not done “by the rules” (i.e. only Cub Scouts participating) then the winners won’t be able to participate in the district pinewood derby run by the local Scout Council.

  21. A Francis Chisolm says:

    Full disclosure.I currently serve as a Bishop
    and wanted to give you one Bishop’s perspective
    on your experience. First, when a person is called
    to a position of responsibility, as you have been,
    I would defer to your ideas unless there were an
    express reason not to. I have yet to have ever found such a reason. With the shoe on the other foot, If the Activity Days Girls invited the boys to one of their events, it should not be the Bishop’s concern
    either. I think that your plan is a great one
    and I would have fully supported it. But if I had
    questions, I would certainly have wanted to sit
    down and get your input before making any decision.
    I believe that Bishops do well to follow Joseph Smith’s
    counsel to teach correct principles and let the Saints
    govern themselves.
    As for the comments about the relative treatment of
    Eagle Courts of Honor and Young Women’s awards, we
    allow the parents to plan both and we have a very
    similar night for the Young Women with speakers, a
    display of their projects and celebration of what they
    have achieved.
    Young Women are equal to Young in the sight of God
    and must be so in the eyes of the Bishop as well.

  22. esodhiambo says:

    In wards where they do not do scouts, don’t the girls and boys combine for Activity Days/Nights? I think so. certainly, there are real rules for scouts that LDS too often overlook–we tend to have very relaxed/lazy troops. So I think it is important to make the race valid for the CS. But it is common to have EQ Pinewood derbys, so why not borrow the equipment and have one for the Activity Night girls, too? Or, as others have suggested, do it the same night, just different races.

    The thing is, Pinweood Derbys are annual activities that people really look forward to. The Activity Girls have no such activity to be excited about. I am sure lost of them would love to join in.

  23. sab says:

    Ive been thinking about this a lot lately since my son just started scouts, and he has a sister just younger than him (and a mother who grew up with a scouting dad so she was always at all the activities and did indeed make her own derby car but didn’t get to race it).

    I have decided that boys need their time with just the boys. Although I think it would be great for our daughter to learn the same things and spend time with her dad, too, I think its also important for our son to get his own, special alone time and activities with dad.

    This doesn’t mean leaving girls out of the equation, period. And it doesn’t mean accepting lousy substitute programs either. It means making meaningful activities just for them (and their dad).

    How about a daddy daughter dinner dance?(this used to be a very common activity in the church!) And making sure dad teaches the girls in the family how to change a tire? Or instead of *always* asking the boys to help with handyman stuff, he sometimes asks the girls?

    I feel like scouts is a special program for the boys and their dads. And as much as I dislikes gender typing (hey, I like to go camping, too!) and as much as I think the program is too intertwined with the church…I am willing to work it into our lives and hope that it creates some great memories for my son.

  24. Zenaida says:

    Just to throw in my two cents…
    I always resented not being invited on campouts, earning merit badges, etc. Young Women’s was never a place I connected much with the people there. I didn’t relate much to the other girls there, and while the leaders there were nice and fun, I never made personal connections with them. I received my medallion because it was simply what you did. I finished it last minute and as an afterthought after I graduated from high school. I think my mom had a little open house for me and put the medals in a display box which is currently gathering dust in a box in my parents’ basement. I never engaged the program in a meaningful way.

    I remember that when I was in the Beehive and Mia Maid leadership, I suggested changes (or proabably more accurately complained about the inequality), but no one else was on board. There was “no interest.” They were interested in scrapbooking, craft painting, etc. So, by the time I was a Laurel, I had really checked out of the program.

    I never knew there was an opportunity to join Venture Scouts at the age of 16. I’ve never heard of such a thing, and what on earth would entice me to do such a thing anyway, because I had no experience in interacting with boys on “their turf” up to that point, and at 16, I felt much more concerned about other interactions with boys anyway because now I could date (not that I did much of that either). I was following the model laid out for me. Looking back, I wish that I had been able to do such a thing, but I don’t see it being a reality because of my lack of confidence, and the institutionally/culturally supported gulf that separates the sexes.

    Ok, this is clearly a soap box for me, and I’m going to stop now. But, I do have a question: why doesn’t the church embrace girl scouts in the same way? I think it’s sad that I don’t know anything about the program other than the cookies.

  25. Violet says:

    Zenaida there was a post not to long ago over at fmh by Spunky about girl scouts, which I believe addresses your question. Here’s the link http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/?p=2304

    I wanted to be in girl scouts as a kid, but was told by my parents that they supported abortion so that they didn’t want me joining. On the other hand my parents didn’t like that was cub scouts for boys, but nothing for girls as I grew-up pre-activity days so my mom organized a 4-H club with girls from our ward and neighborhood. We did mostly sewing and cooking and once we did a class on computers. So despite my parents doing some damage later by comparing YW to scouting they at least tried to remedy what they saw as an inequality. It also goes to show how people often have blind spots with regards to equality.

  26. jks says:

    I think have a separate girls one sounds like a great idea. I would go ahead and encourage the girls to do something if they are interested and the girls leader is willing.
    I suggest you go ahead and say you prefer that it be combined, but if not, you are going to have to get people to set the track all up all over again to do an entirely separate even if you do it separately.
    Or you can you have it like a track meet? Girls only races, boys only races, so that it is still the exactly same normal rules?
    I guess the bishop can come and micromanage you and tell you exactly how each little thing in your calling should be done, but he doesn’t have time for that. Approach it like you will be inviting the girls in some way, it is just a question of what is the best way this year.
    I wouldn’t bring in baggage about gender equality in the church. Just bring in the idea that you want to invite the Activity days girls to use the equipment, or join in the activity in some way.
    Good luck!
    I have an 11 girl and 9 year old boy. She has great girl leaders so she isn’t jealous of the lame cub scouts. Sure, she’d enjoy the pinewood derby. But, I love ways that my son can shine away from her shadow. Boys go to school with girls who are much better students at school on average, much better readers at this age on average, much better fine motor skills on average. I love that he has a chance to be around just boys (not a sports team since he doesn’t enjoy that–he would love a lego team!).

  27. suzann werner says:

    Jessawhy,
    I love your name, it is so appropriate for you.
    I am thinking you should re-approach the Bishopric Man and ask him to ask the Bishop about girls participating in the derby. Tell Mr. Bishopric Man that you think the Bishop will approve, encourage him in a positive way.

    Also, about men in callings: they approach all things from a male point of view, meaning, it does not always occur to them to handle situations in a helpful way. They just want to get the job done so they can go home. That said, I have worked with Bishops and Stake Presidents who have gone the extra mile for me over and over again. I adore them.

    Lots of luck. Suzann

  28. Jessawhy says:

    The excuse of a crazy last few days is hardly good enough to delay my response about meeting with my bishop.

    Luckily, I had an entire week to cool down and contemplate the issues surrounding the Pinewood Derby scenario.
    As I expected, Bishop was very nice and understanding about what happened. He was perplexed that the decision had been pinned on him, but shrugged and said, “Whatever.” (This was what I had suspected).
    He did however, give a few practical reasons for why he didn’t think inviting girls to the derby was a great idea.
    In fact, he had asked his 10 yo daughter and her friends if they would want to participate in the derby. The girls wanted to decorate the cars, but not make them. So, he thought about how that work would be passed on to an already burdened parent.
    His other response was strange to me, but he dislikes competition between boys and girls ages 8-11. Since I don’t have children that age, I had to defer to his experience. He claimed that the boys became more arrogant or more sullen (depending on if they won or lost) around girls than they would if it was an all boys activity. I was surprised, and didn’t necessarily think that was a good enough reason to not do it (his explanation actually made me realize how early the roots of misogyny creep up in our culture). But, I didn’t know how to overcome that concern without having experience in the Pinewood Derby, or in raising children that age.
    He did say he’d love to see the boys and girls combine to do non-competitive activities, such as a walk through the Riparian Preserve. We both thought that would be beneficial for the girls and boys.

    Also, I remembered that Primary had been directed to avoid games and activities that were overtly competitive, and instead focus on cooperation and learning together. (Does anyone else remember this?) So, I guess the Pinewood Derby by definition runs counter to this. Hmmm.

    Lastly, and most importantly, the issue was pretty much moot because our ward has only 8 boys in Cub Scouts and we’re probably going to combine programs with the other two wards in our building.
    It looks like I’ll be out of a job 😉

    I was glad that I got all of my gender equality issues off my chest, including the amount of resources and time devoted to girls vs boys programs.
    When the Bishop explained that the girls have so many other commitments (piano, tumbling, soccer, etc) I said that perhaps in our middle-class ward that is true, but other wards children may only have access to the church programs and that we should make them more equitable.

    In the end, it was a good conversation, both listened and tried to understand each other. I can only hope that the changes to the scouting program come sooner than later.

  29. diana s says:

    My granddaughter is in a homeschooling group and is making a pinewood derby car in a class. The class is taught by a dad who is a former wood shop teacher. It has taken many classes to make the car. When the opportunity to race in a homeschool derby was offered all of the other girls wanted to compete except my gd. I think she is learning important skills from the experience such as planning, proper tools, etc just as if it were a sewing, craft , cooking, etc. project. So many of the boys and girls might not choose to be in a derby given the choice or any other project. So I guess it comes down to the opportunity to choose. Just a thought

  30. allison says:

    wondering how it went. im thinking of having a derby on a ward activity level and looking for ideas when i came across your page. my brothers ward does it were they invite everyone, but especially the sisters in activity days love to make cars. i was a former female shop teacher so i love the idea of girls learning to make things use tools etc. i found lots of people who say they do it and it was a great activity but i need to convince our scout committee. in the activities and wards i have seen it as a way to support the cub program with them being the stars of the night, they get their times recorded officially for the district event. the rest of the entries including scouts, youth, girls, dads whoever go after and more do it to show off silly cars. one site said it was a great way to get the dads to focus on their car and not do the car for the cub. if a dad and cub are doing one, then if theres a sister she could do it, even the mom! i have two girls so maybe my shop experience and not having a son makes me eager to want to have an annual ward activity like this.
    thanks for sharing your experience!

  1. March 9, 2009

    […] don’t like my calling, so that’s easy, ask to be released. (My husband wishes I had more inner conflict about that, […]

  2. May 3, 2010

    […] months ago, Jessawhy wrote about her experience as the Cub Scout Leader in her ward. Jessawhy was in charge of planning the Pinewood Derby, an […]

  3. June 11, 2014

    […] has seriously caused trouble.  Our Jessawhy wrote about the flack she received when she tried to implement it when she was an Activity Day leader. People were not merely in disagreement but seemed offended […]

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