Today I’m thankful for the Space Derby.
Tonight was one of the most fun Cub Scout nights of the year, the Space Derby. If you haven’t seen it before the scouts make balsa wood rockets with rubber band powered propellors. They then shoot them down a fishing line with other rockets.
Here’s a pic of the smiling participants:
Both rockets worked great and the boys had an excellent time. There was a ton of giggling and laughing by all the scouts and a lot of great sportsmanship.
Throughout the process of making and then racing the rocket I learned (or re-learned) several things:
- Work smarter, not harder. My dad always told me that one day I wouldn’t be able to just muscle things around, I’d have to think about how to do it. I’m pretty sure that is one of the sources of the “Old Man Strength” my brother and I have witnessed. In the last space derby we sanded the blocks of wood for HOURS to get it to a round shape. Thinking there had to be a better way I made a mandrel using a long bolt and some washers and then loaded it into my drill press. Next thing you know only 10 minutes have gone by and the rocket had taken shape. It was also pretty cool because Dominic was able to do all of his rocket from start to finish this year.
- So many glues, so little time… While Gavin and I used Gorilla wood glue to hold his fins together, Dominic had other plans. When I wasn’t around he found a bottle of regular Gorilla glue and proceeded to heavily cover his fins with it. He then propped his rocket up onto of two small paint jars on top of our kitchen table with nothing underneath… Imagine his surprise when his rocket was a foamy covered mess and my surprise when Becky found a pile of Gorilla glue stuck to the table.
- Do you really understand just how much paint is in a little jar of paint? It’s kind of like a gallon of milk… Unless you’ve seen it first hand you have no idea the surface area it can really cover. Gavin learned just how much of our dining room floor could be covered by the sky blue paint of one of the little jars. Becky and I learned just how much scrubbing is needed to remove said paint from said floor.
- Baking soda is awesome. Of course paint and glue weren’t the only things tormenting the wood products of our kitchen. Becky fortunately remembered that baking soda and water will take Sharpie ink off of tables… Gavin learned to always put something on the table before coloring his fins with markers.
- What’s done is done, getting pissed won’t help. Somehow, pretty sure by an act of God, Becky and I both stayed calm throughout both events. We talked about it afterwards and helped figure out how to not have it happen again.
Most importantly there was one huge lesson that overshadowed all the rest, and it is the reasons I am thankful for the space derby today. All the work is worth it in the end when after the first race your son comes up to you with a huge smile and says thank you for helping him build the rocket. It melts your heart and makes you forget the frustration, hard work, and lessons learned along the way to get there.