Saturday, February 7, 2009

AWANA Grand Prix

Every year our AWANA club puts on a Grand Prix race (think Pine Wood Derby race like the Boy Scouts do but with a bit more leeway to it). My boys look forward to it all year long. It was today.

I didn't get to see much of the racing this year. The woman I volunteer with (the other secretary) was very sick & couldn't come to do her usual job. That was to help get all the awards ready. So I was in a back office writing up the ribbons that are given out to everyone who participates plus figuring out who would win for design (adding up the judges scores). I did have some time at the start though to mingle & talk - once check-in was done.

This is my super adorable nephew. Yup, that's me holding him. My MIL forgot her camera so I gave mine to my SIL. All these photos were courtesy of her. Thanks, Dawn!

J is ready to go!
J's truck is the blue one in the back. Daddy cut it out for him & B did the rest of the work. J didn't mind but we'll try to get him to do a tad bit more of it next year.

I am always simply amazed at the designs that people come up with & execute so wonderfully! For example....

Yes - all made with just wood and some clay thrown in there. That sandwich still blows me away. The "bun" is made from the wood & the fixings are all made from clay. The piano one? That's her daughter's entry. Oh, and the penguin - her sister. Those are some creative genes!!!!

This year only J came home with a trophy. I really like how they do it here & I'm not sure if all AWANA clubs do it the same way. We have five categories: Cubbies (ages 3-4), Sparks, (grades K-2), T&T (grades 3-6), Leaders (anyone who volunteers to help at AWANA each week) & "At Large" (anyone from our church at all - child or adult - races in this one).

There are four tracks on the raceway & each is a different color. Each racer is assigned a colored track & gets a chance to race their car on each one so everyone has four chances. Now everyone will race against everyone else but awards are determined by the categories. So while a Cubbie, Spark, Leader, and T&T'er may race in the same race - only Cubbies are judged against each other.

At the very beginning of the race all the cars are lined up in the "Pit." Hubby works in the "Pit Crew." All cars have to be no more than five ounces & a certain height & length in order to fit on the track & under the electronic timing device at the end of the track. The Pit Crew ensures all the rules for the cars are met. They then hand out the cars for each race. They are kept pretty busy.

We have "design" judges as well. To ensure fairness we only use folks from church who do not have anyone racing. That sometimes is difficult to do but we had three judges this year. Once they are finished judging on design, the races for speed begin.

My job this year was to add up the scores & figure out who won for design. This was fun actually. Because we had so many racing (over 60) we went to four places (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) in both Speed & Design. The only exception were the Cubbies. We only had four little ones total racing so we did two for speed & two for design.

That was what I found out this time by working behind the scenes & I think it's great. Speed trophies come first. If you win at speed, your car cannot win at design - it gets bumped to the next person. This ensures that there are eight people in each group winning a trophy & spreads it out a bit.

So that's a look at the AWANA Grand Prix for 2009. I know my boys had a great time, but there was some disappointment by some over not winning a trophy. That won't stop them though. I'm sure they are already looking forward to next year.


  1. That is really cool! I love those cars, such creativity! Hunter's Pine wood derby is the 24th, so I will be posting more about that soon. :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Way to go J! That is a cool trophy!

    I am amazed at the penquin and subway sandwhich. WOW.

  3. very fun and some excellent designs! My guys Pinewood derby is next month, it was supposed to be a few weeks ago but was snowed out. It's one of their favorite things ever and they are looking forward to derby day!


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