Story by Hugo Mendez
Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs from throughout Montana traveled to Missoula and met at the Mountain View Elementary gym on Sunday morning, January 26, for the 24th Annual Montana Conference Pinewood Derby. Arriving as early as 8am to register, weigh, and fine-tune their race cars, they were blessed by the devotional and prayer offered by Dusty Clark Von Riese from the Kalispell church. At 10am, the lights were turned down and the races began.
The Pinewood Derby, which is sponsored by the Montana Conference, has become one of the largest events of the year for Montana’s youth. Now in its 24th year, this year’s event was attended by over 130 people who watched the 60 young racers compete in two age categories: ages 10 to 16 in the “Pathfinder” division and ages 0 to 9 in the “Adventurers” division. Each contestant participated in 14 rounds of racing against three other racers and earned points according to the order of finish for each round. The final results saw Abigail Lefebvre win 1st place in the “Adventurer” division and Jim Hanson take 1st place in the “Pathfinder” division. Awards were also presented in each division for outstanding Craftsmanship, Paint Finish, Originality, and Paint Design. Ashley Crider won the Judge's Choice award in the "Pathfinder" division and Julie Crider won the Outstanding Paint Finish in the "Adventurer" division.
The event would not have been possible without the dedicated help of many volunteers. Some volunteers have served at every Derby since the first competition, 24 years ago: Larry Williams, Race Steward, of Missoula, Janice Hanson, Grand Marshall, and her husband, Greg Hanson, Scorer, of Plains, Roy Steingas, Starter, and Mark Crider, A-V Engineer, of Missoula. Tony Lloyd and KaDene Evans served as announcers, keeping the spectators informed and the participants organized. Many more volunteers helped with various other duties and registration including 5 students from Mt Ellis Academy in Bozeman. The pit crew worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure every car ran smoothly throughout the day.
When asked about the requirements to enter the derby, Larry Williams replied “Any kid who walks in with a car and a smiling face can enter the race”. There are no registration fees.
A fun time was had by all participants and race fans and they are eagerly looking forward to and racing in the 25th annual Pinewood Derby, tentatively scheduled for Jan 31st, 2021.
The students at MVE had the opportunity to include rock climbing as a physical activity this school year. Proper movement techniques and agility are more important than strength and brawn when it comes to climbing. Proper equipment, guidance, and safety checks are equally important. Climbing walls can be set up for any number of experience levels making this sport great for novices, beginners, and anyone who's ever wanted to challenge their physical abilities! Everyone enjoyed the scaling the wall.
What Montana school physical curriculum would be complete without winter activities? Ice skating is made possible by the indoor ice rink in Missoula no matter the winter weather. Gliding across ice can be a calm, serene experience or make your heart pound with excitement in a swift race or just before attempting a hockey goal! Skating on ice is made possible because of the unique properties of water. The skater's blade exerts pressure on the ice, thus melting it into an ultra thin film of water. Additionally, frictional heating from the interaction of the blade and ice encourages the water film to form. Further more, the outermost layer of ice still behaves a lot like water just below freezing temperatures. The thin film of water then acts as a lubricant and allows the skater to gracefully glide across the surface of the ice. Snow has been described to "feel like sand" at temperatures below –30°C (-22°F) and ice skating becomes increasingly more difficult. When it comes to temperature that low, warming your toes by a fire with a hot cup of cocoa seems like a much better alternative than ice skating! Who knew ice skating was so complex? What a wonderfully interesting world God has created for us!