Tonight was our annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. I am definitely re-evaluating whether we should do this annually.
I am cubmaster. I am in charge of this event. I delegate much of the duties out to my awesome committee, which usually works out better for all of us. Then each of us just have a few things to do and it gets done. I make lists. I check things off. I have people report back to me on their duties. Somehow, it all works out usually even though I fret and worry beforehand because everyone has ownership of their part and they all do a great job. Somehow it failed tonight. It was set up work out great at least.
I had delegated to Fred Flintstone to reserve the track of his friend Barney Rubble for our race. I confirmed with Barney on Saturday the time AND location of our event. We were set. Barney had a great method for running the track and keeping score so were were going to use his system for the race. Bam-bam, his son was actually going to run the race for us since Bareny was engaged elsewhere. Bam-bam would train us when he got there 30 minutes early for the race on how to use the system and score it and determine winners. He even was going to bring some contraptions for us to let the siblings race bananas down the track during down time. Barney told Bam-Bam “Take the track to the church building Fred Flintstone meets in.” I think Fred met in the building he took the track to 20 years ago, or at least Fred did meet in it at one point in his life I am sure. That building was not the one Fred currently meets in. Bam-Bam was sitting in the parking lot over there at that building wondering where we all were. He was trying to call us and find us, but to no avail. Meanwhile we are trying to call Bam-Bam from a totally different building. It turns out that there are no less than 5 LDS chapels on Bengal Blvd, a short 2 mile stretch of road, and Bam-bam was at a different one from us. No one is getting anywhere with the phone method because by golly none of us have the right phone numbers we need. Racers are arriving on time, early even (BLESS THEM FOR THEIR PUNCTUALITY!) and they are all noticing that weirdly enough, there is no track. They are wondering if they had the right place… Oh my.
In the end the story gets a little better. But it doesn’t feel like it gets much better. At least not right now as I still suffer through the aftermath of emotions that go with being the person in charge when a big problem arises.
The event is supposed to begin at 6:30. At 6:25 or so I retire into the kitchen with a bunch of den leaders so we can discuss what to do. We had no Plan B for what to do when the race track does not show up. That plan just was not in my PDK (Personal Disaster Kit as Alvin Ho would say). We called Wilma Flintsone even to see if she had contact info for Bam-Bam. CoulWe could not get a hold of her. Nor Fred. It was a mess I would say. I believe in God, this was an event for boys at our church in a church sponsored cub scout pack, all I could think to do was pray. I felt we certainly deserved an answer to a prayer right then of the question “what in the world do we do?” Should we find a long board and just use that? Go out in the parking lot and race the cars from the upper parking lot down to the lower and hope they all go straight enough to reach the finish line? We closed the door and I said this is the point where we NEED TO PRAY, but I was in tears and could not say it. Louise then offered up a wonderful simple prayer and within moments it all worked out. The cell phone of Bam-Bam was reached by Wilma, he knew where to go, and we had a track within five minutes of the prayer being offered. I will tell you right now, PRAYER works. Sometimes really fast too. My testimony of prayer has just been greatly strengthened. Why in the world did we not think to pray earlier?!!
There were plenty of people there to help bring in track parts and we put it together lightening fast, but alas and alack, the event did not run smoothly thereafter. The track owner did not have the luxury of time to tell us how he liked to run the event and train us so it could run smoothly. People were milling around, kids were getting bored, little siblings were running around like little imps creating mischief. Bored children cause much trouble, we had to hurry. We plodded forward with a broken mixture of what we did last year and what Bam-Bam wanted us to do. It was messy, it was slow, it was awkward. No one was happy with what we had going. Somehow the boys had fun. Though I am sure that parents will groan about this event for a very long time.
If I get asked to be released from this calling of Cubmaster sometime soon because so many parents complained, I will gladly bow out gracefully. Tonight was a night that will live in infamy. Oh my. It was bad. I really would like to crawl under a rock and never see the light of day again right now. At least I know that I will be able to laugh about this someday. At least I hope I will. Oh my. I surely hope I will.
Jenny Dahl April 27, 2012 at 2:16 p.m.
You are a rock star Ily. Rarely do things work out the way we had planned and its impossible to plan and prepare when others fail on their end. You and your committee work hard for these boys and we all know it-how is anyone going to complain about that!