Why does everyone have to win?

@RULizzie (101)
United States
January 3, 2011 7:57pm CST
My son's cub scout pack is getting ready for their pinewood derby, and already some of the parents are complaining about how some of the cars are prepared for the race and how much work the scout or the parent does on the car. Generally the parents are not happy with the idea that their child may not win. I think this is a bit much, because it is kids racing. In our pack every child gets a trophy, and no one advances any further than first place in the pack. Last year, my son came in second place in his den. I was proud of him, because he designed the car himself. He enjoyed racing and was happy as well, but wants to try harder this year to win. I think that not winning can help create a desire to try harder, and that there should not be so many events for children it which everyone wins. Disappoint is a part of life and it is important to figure out how to cope with it. This may seem cold, but my son is very good at understanding the feelings of others and being a good sport.
1 response
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
4 Jan 11
I hate the Pinewood Derby, and I am a den leader. It's really also about which dad can make the best car, and then the kids get disappointed when "their" car doesn't win. In our pack, only half the kids get a medal (3 categories, 3 places each, for each rank). So someone is always crying, some parent is always screaming, and someone is always complaining about cheating. If it were up to me, I would get rid of it altogether and have a competition to design or plan something to help the environment. Having said that, I think it is important that not every kid wins. In most of our den/pack activities, there are no winners or losers, it is all "do your best"--and rightfully so. However, the main purpose behind the derby is to teach healthy competition in a nurturing and supportive group setting, and so I think there needs to be clear winners to make the point. It teaches sportsmanship, and how to win--and to lose--graciously.
@RULizzie (101)
• United States
4 Jan 11
In our den, I think that part of the problem with the tears is the scheduling. Our derby is on Friday night, after the cubs have had a full week of school and does not start until 7 pm, so the cubs are already tired. I also like the "do you best" motto and agree that the parent tend to take it personally. Everyone seems to think that the winners had an edge. winning with grace is an important lesson.
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
4 Jan 11
We do ours on a Saturday afternoon. Most of our Pack meetings are on Friday evenings, but not this one!!! Anytime we really need better behavior, we hold the meeting on a weekend day--something to think about for your pack, maybe. We actually have parents who build a model test track in their own backyards to make sure their kids' cars will win. . .