Pinewood Derby is More Than Victory

The Pinewood Derby gives many young men their first taste of public recognition for personal achievement.

The Pinewood Derby gives many young men their first taste of public recognition for personal achievement. It’s not just a race, however; as each Scout designs, builds, paints, and races their own car, there are dozens of opportunities for each contestant to distinguish themselves. Many former Scouts we know, despite having outgrown their little blue uniform decades past, still make room on their award shelf for those first boyhood pinewood derby trophies and awards. Consider this, from the BSA leadership training module on hosting a Pinewood Derby competition:

A key element of Cub Scouting is recognition of personal achievement rather than simple victory. We do this by providing a way of recognizing the achievement of each boy rather than simply celebrating the car that was fastest down the track.

You can recognize craftsmanship, paint jobs, funny cars (cars built to look like bedsteads or forest animals), stock car racers, Indy cars, or even give the Cub Scouts a ballot and have them pick a Cub’s choice. When you consider first-, second-, and third-place winners in each category, you can see that it is easy to spread recognition as wide as you wish it to be. There are no limits to your creativity in creating recognition for the Cub Scout.

Achievement is more that coming in first, second, or third. It is a matter of distinguishing yourself by way of personal effort and ambition, in any category.

Jonathan Paget Wins Badminton Trophy

Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials have been won by Jonathan Paget, who managed to secure the trophy by a difference of .3 points

Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials have been won by Jonathan Paget, who managed to secure the badminton trophy by a difference of 0.3 points, right ahead of Michael Jung, an Olympian, World and European champion. Jayne Bennett talks all about Jonathan Paget, his story, and how he won the Badminton horse trials.


Acknowledge Talent with Awards

The world of work has changed in recent years. Gone are the days when an individual would work at the same job or with the same company for years and years, retiring after decades of faithful service.

The world of work has changed in recent years. Gone are the days when an individual would work at the same job or with the same company for years and years, retiring after decades of faithful service. With a great deal of companies, both large and small going out of business, merging with others or otherwise changing in some form, that type of behavior is not as likely to be seen in these more modern times.

Technology’s Role

Even though the global economy seems to still be struggling, start up companies abound. Plenty of people have innovative ideas that are designed to harness the energy and advances of the technological era. These types of businesses continue to pop up in spite of all the economic changes. Businesses of this type also seem to attract the best and brightest of the talent that is in the workforce today.

Young Workers and the Changing Landscape of Employment

A great deal of this change is driven by the recent graduates who grew up comfortable with technology. They have the background needed to take  these start ups from zero to success in a record amount of time. The knowledge and energy of this fresh talent is what propels many of these startups to the front of the line in their respective industries.

Keeping the Talent

There is no doubt that there is a lot to be said about the importance of keeping happy the energetic talent that successfully starts up a business. Many companies find that once they start to become successful, other businesses try to woo their employees away. While non disclosure agreements can help protect a company’s secrets from being shared, they do not protect a company against losing the staff that spawned those great ideas to begin with to a competitor.

Loyalty Within the Company

Motivating such employees to stay loyal to a company these days can involve a variety of different options. Some ways to reward workers include paid days off, house cleaning, car detailing, meals out, catered meals in, and the like. Other methods include a focus on the simpler things in life.

Tooting an Employee’s Horn

There are few people who don’t like to be acknowledged for a job well done. When it comes being praised, most employees enjoy being thanked by their boss or called out on the crucial role they played on getting the big project completed in a satisfactory manner. Having a set schedule for handing out awards and trophies allows employees to engage in both teamwork and a little friendly competition.

Implement an Award Wall

By implementing an award wall along one area of a hallway or other centrally located space, top employees can enjoy having their custom corporate awards displayed there for all to see. Of course, this does not mean that the employee cannot have a copy of the award as well. After all, most employees will want a copy of that certificate for their own personal records. In addition, the individual might want to display it in a particular place within their home.

Niches in Extreme Mountain Biking

So you’ve been wanting to learn more about extreme mountain biking. You’ve watched some videos and seen some of the bikes involved and you think you might want to try this sport out.

So you’ve been wanting to learn more about extreme mountain biking. You’ve watched some videos and seen some of the bikes involved and you think you might want to try this sport out. After all, it’s the perfect choice if you love to ride bikes at high rates of speed along treacherous landscapes. There is more to the sport than that, though.

According to the Extreme Mountain Biking website, there are a number of different niches you can choose to ride in. Of course, choosing one niche doesn’t make the other niches off limits to you. In fact, there is a great deal of crossover in the field of extreme mountain biking.

Downhill racing, for example, is noted for its start times that are staggered in order to reduce collisions among bicyclists. Many downhill races, though, take place on bike trails which offer all the obstacles and unstable surfaces that give the sport its extreme edge. The Extreme Mountain Biking website separates the two styles of extreme mountain biking into different types though there is plenty of overlap between the two.

Cross country biking is another arena of extreme mountain biking that often uses bikes trails of some sort to both guide bicyclists and do add additional obstacles. Use this article to give you a broad overview so you can narrow down your areas of interest.

Kev Hedges shares a video taken from the head cam fastened firmly to the helmet of a Peruvian bicyclist named Alejandro Paz. This video included by Kev shows just how close this extreme bicyclist is to the edge as he zooms along this narrow trail.  You can experience the thrills of this extreme sport from the safety of your couch and decide if you want to pursue the sport yourself.


This article, from the Extreme Mountain Biking website, gives you an extensive breakdown of the various kinds of extreme mountain biking that are available. If you have found that your interest in this extreme sport has been pique, you should explore further and find which aspect you like the best. For all you know, you could find several that really capture your interests.

Making a Case for Glass Awards

Awards and trophies are a pretty well established routine in many companies. Employers of all shapes and sizes from industries of all sorts have learned that rewarding their employees with tokens of their appreciation has many positive results.

Awards and trophies are a pretty well established routine in many companies. Employers of all shapes and sizes from industries of all sorts have learned that rewarding their employees with tokens of their appreciation has many positive results. Such acknowledgements often result in more of the desired behavior as well as boosting the morale of the employees. In addition, these types of rewards can often foster a bit of friendly competition among employees as they try to top one another’s achievements.

Choosing Glass Awards

CRY003M.smallThere are a number of different types of trophies and awards that can be chosen. Plaques can be hung up on a wall. Pens have a useful purpose as well. But crystal and glass awards bring a bit of a classy look to an event. Due to the vibrancy of crystal, it can provide a welcome addition to any room of the employee’s home. Since glass tends to capture the light in the room where it is located, such an award often draws the attention of the people in the room. This built in conversation piece allows the employee to share in their recognition with family and friends outside of their place of employment and with those people who are not members of their immediate family.

This article, from Lincoln Davis at, the online self improvement community, points out the many reasons why an employee might want to receive glass achievement awards instead of some other types of awards. One of the top reasons is that these types of awards can give the employee a tangible reminder of the appreciation that is felt by their employer.

Bike to Win

Biking has gotten bigger in the past few years as more people are getting into the sport and becoming more aware about health and fitness.

Biking has gotten bigger in the past few years as more people are getting into the sport and becoming more aware about health and fitness. Many do it as a form of keeping their body fit, as a hobby by upgrading their exercise routines and professionally by getting into tournaments and other competitions. May is National Bike Month so thousands of bikers from all over the United States and the world flock to many famous biking spots to commemorate famous rides with family and friends. There are several activities and events planned which will surely deliver fun, prizes and excitement for everyone. But no matter your intent, you can bike to win.

About National Bike Month

Washington D.C. as well as nearby Alexandria and Arlington are full of bikers during National Bike Month. These places are known for their challenging and beautiful trails for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders. Regardless of your current level, you will find these areas very conducive to having fun and exercising. Even people who are learning how to ride a bike or do not own one can still enjoy National Bike Month through the Capital Bikeshare program. Two hundred stations are set up all over Washington D.C., Alexandria and Arlington where people can borrow and share bicycles. Through Capital Bikeshare, individuals can borrow from a list of almost 2,000 bicycles any time of the day.

After registering for the program, participants will get a Bikeshare key in their mail to activate. The closest bike station can be accessed through a smartphone application or online map. There are several membership types available depending on the kind of bike you want and the trail and location you prefer.

The Activities

National Bike Month introduces commuter convoys that will make your trips more interesting and fun. There are 20 convoys with expert bicycle commuters leading the team. Look for the schedules which meet your needs.  You can join the envoy teams from the starting point or en route.

1. Bike to School Day

The second annual National Bike to School Day commences on May 8th, with the support of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. Every Wednesday up until May 8th, there will be a winner from registered schools who will receive a Saris Stadium Rack. The activity will be included in Global Youth Traffic Safety Month. The date also falls during National Bike Month. The people who came up with the concept shared that the program aims to empower and encourage young people from different parts of the world to create and improve youth peer to peer projects on education.  It also supports and promotes the creation and enforcement of traffic laws so that kids and young adults will stay safe on roads.

2. Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day is celebrated on May 17th. The activity is arranged by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association together with Commuter Connections. The event is free for those who wish to join and features 70 pit stops located in D.C., Virginia and Maryland. Winners will also enjoy raffles, prizes, food, refreshments and trophies.

3. Bike to Work Week

This event starts from May 27 and ends on June 2.  The date and location will vary depending on the country or city in which it is being held. The idea is to encourage people to take their bikes to work as a great form of exercise and an alternative to regular commuting. During this period, companies and bosses encourage their employees to bicycle to work. They may combine it with other related objectives or even side quests depending on the house rules. Winners can receive ribbons or  trophies. Employees who finish particularly strong can receive bigger prizes.

4. Tour de Madison

The 26th Tour de Madison will be held in Syria, Virginia on May 18, which boasts spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley. Participants can choose from three different routes, specifically chosen for their current skill and experience. Advanced bikers can go for the Metric Century which features a lot of hills. Intermediate riders can try the 41-mile distance while beginners can go for the Family Ride which includes a lot of flat trails. Meals and drinks will also be sold at various points.

Challenging Family and Friends

In addition to the activities during National Bike Month, you can challenge family, friends and colleagues to a fun and challenging bike ride anytime. Think of a great activity that involves getting them to ride their bikes to school, the office or other special locations. Come up with specific objectives and challenges. Provide rewards, tokens or ribbons for minor accomplishments then prepare a special trophy for the first place finisher or those who finish with the best time.

1. Biking to school or around the neighborhood.

Children and teenagers should be accompanied by adults when biking to school. Create a pack with the leaders at the front and back to keep them safe. Begin by stating the rules and how to observe traffic laws to avoid accidents. Include fun challenges such as asking them to wear costumes while riding their bikes, putting decorations and other attractive items on their bikes or going for a night ride around the neighborhood. Give ribbons to the rider with the best costume. Award the first place finisher with a huge trophy. Make sure that there are pit stops at different points on the route, where riders can get snacks and drinks.

2. Biking to work.

Bosses and supervisors can go for a challenging bike ride with their employees. They can give ribbons and other small gifts to any individuals who finish faster than them. Another great idea would be to ask them to wear shirts of the same color or get neon or glow-in-the-dark face paint and clothes that will immediately grab attention during night rides. Provide special challenges with corresponding rewards such as asking them to find a unique flower in the park, giving a free cup of coffee to the first person who reaches a café pit stop or asking them to perform specific tasks upon reaching certain points. Give a trophy to the first place finisher.

The Advantages of Biking

Many people are getting hooked on biking because of the many benefits that it provides. Some people start with a borrowed or cheap bike then upgrade over time as they get fitter.

1. Biking is good for the muscles.

Many sports and exercises do involve the lower body to the extent that biking does. Riding for 30 to 60 minutes each day will work out the biggest muscles in your body – your legs. The cycling motion will train your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abs and hips. People can have a very balanced and symmetrical appearance by biking regularly. Building and toning your muscles will further aid in burning fat effectively even when you’re at rest.

2. Biking is good for the heart.

As a cardiovascular exercise, biking will circulate blood effectively throughout the body. All vital organs and extremities will receive blood and get oxygenated, thereby improving function and getting rid of harmful toxins and cholesterol. The heart pumps blood as you bicycle, which will also benefit the liver, lungs, kidneys and brain. You will find that biking improves brain function and concentration and prevents cardiovascular problems, lung and respiratory problems, liver toxicity and stroke.

3. Biking is good for the mind.

Exercising is an excellent way to relieve stress. When you ride a bicycle for several minutes a few times each week, you will find time to think, reflect and recover from daily stresses and challenges. People who ride their bikes regularly find themselves more mentally active, have better memory function and focus on tasks more easily. Riding to work actually improves performance by as much as 100% according to many studies.

4. Biking is good for the environment.

National Biking Month is a great opportunity for cities and countries to have lower emissions coming from motorized vehicles. A bicycle is environmentally friendly because it does not use gasoline or fuel and does not emit harmful gases or smoke. Taking your bike to work or school is a good alternative to driving. The air is fresher and heat is significantly reduced. There is also less traffic congestion when people ride their bikes.

5. Biking for more friends.

There are so many clubs, associations and groups revolved around biking. You can opt for groups that prefer mountain and off-road trails, teams that also try other sports like swimming and running or groups that like to ride in packs on concrete highways. There are organizations that support different types of bikers. These are also organizations to approach if you wish to gain new friends who share the same passion. Start looking for nearby clubs online.

Biking for Life

Biking is an activity that you can enjoy for the long term. You will find bikers of different ages. There are even those who join tours and competitions at the age of 75 years old and above. Bicycling regularly will keep you fit and healthy, adding more years to your life and keeping you free from disease.

National Biking Month should encourage more people to take on a healthy lifestyle. Start with small challenges and fun biking activities for your family or people in your workplace, then increase your involvement and expand your group of bikers later. Joining competitions and tournaments can also result in beautiful trophies and medals that you can display proudly at home and in the office.

Employee Appreciation Award Program

Nearly every business knows they need to reward positive behaviors in their employees.

Nearly every business knows they need to reward positive behaviors in their employees. But if you don’t have an employee appreciation program, how do you start one? One of the first steps, is to narrow down the behaviors that management wants to see rewarded. The second step is to determine which types of appreciation trophies and awards will be handed out and in what sort of time frame to do so. See more at


In this Forbes article by Kevin Kruse, you can learn a variety of ways to show appreciation to those employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. Not only does this type of proactive behavior help your business out, these appreciation trophies and awards can also serve as a motivator for other employees as well.


appreciation awardIn this article, Susan M. Heathfield writes about achievement awards and trophies. Using them to acknowledge the efforts employees are making can do a great deal to encourage loyalty and goodwill. As she points out in her article, these awards don’t have to be elaborate or expensive either.


The ‘No-Sugar Coach’ first tells you the difference between intrinsic motivation  and extrinsic motivation. Then, he gives you lots of different ideas on things, such as stickers, days off, trophies and awards, and more, that you can use to show your appreciation for your employees.

Employers might wonder if appreciation trophies and awards are really worth the time, effort and expense to hand out to employees. In this article on the Vanadium Mining website, a worthy case is made in favor of not only starting up some type of program recognizing employees but making sure that it doesn’t fizzle out after just a few months.

New Ideas for Old Trophies

On this Disney discussion board, someone put the question out there on what to do with their old trophies and awards.

What can you do with old trophies and awards? For many people, acquiring trophies and awards of all sorts is a rite of childhood. From school awards for perfect attendance and reaching reading goals to trophies marking play time in the pee wee soccer league or being noticed as the Most Improved Player, it isn’t unusual to reach adulthood and realize you’ve amassed quite the collection. What can be a bit challenging and stressful is deciding what to do with all those glittering decorative items.

To Keep or Not to Keep, That is the Question

At the website, the focus is on helping people unclutter their lives. So it seems that this would be the perfect place to turn to if you want ideas on how to repurpose your old trophies or recycle those outdated school awards. And it is. However, it does this with a twist.

In this article, the first order of business is to decide which, if any, of your old trophies and awards you want to keep. By answering two simple questions, you can easily pare down your collection. If you want to display the item or if it inspires you, it’s a keeper. Otherwise, find another place for it to live.

Landfill Alternatives

Instead of tossing them all in the trash, however, this article has a couple of suggestions. You could call your local government recycling program or your local recycling center.  You can also call the business that made the trophy, award or medal and ask if they participate in a program that allows for recycling.

Josh Peterson, from The Learning Channel, outlines a few different places where you might be able to donate those old trophies and awards that have been piling up in your attic or basement. If you are the environmentally conscious sort, you won’t want to miss his informative post that details how to keep these mementos out of your local landfill.


Are you looking for a truly unique way to recycle all those old sports trophies and awards? Kate Pruitt shows you how to do it on the DesignSponge website. In this DIY article, the figurines that make up the vast majority of sports trophies are used as a unique way to hang up jackets, coats and hats.


On this Disney discussion board, someone put the question out there on what to do with their old trophies and awards. The wide range of different, and unique, answers will likely spark an idea or two of your own so you can enjoy a more simplified existence and a more streamlined display.

There are many things that can be done with old trophies and awards besides sending them to the landfill. Just a little creative thought can find a home for them!

Participation Trophies and Awards

One of the ongoing discussions in youth sports involves the matter of trophies and awards for participation.

One of the ongoing discussions in youth sports involves the matter of participation trophies and awards – trophies awarded for participation in a sport or event. There are valid arguments for each side of the issue as this blog post from Sports Signup reveals. Which side of the debate do you find yourself on? Perhaps you will read something that will sway your feelings one way or another.

Many coaches and parents feel that children should not receive awards at the end of the season simply for showing up to the games and practices. Those sorts of rewards should be reserved for those kids who make extraordinary contributions to the team. In their eyes, handing out awards for participation cheapens the contributions of those kids who go above and beyond.

Trophies and Awards Aren’t Harmful

On the other side of the debate are the parents and coaches who feel that such participation awards and trophies are not harmful in any way. Their argument is that they encourage young players to feel like they are part of a team. This can be just the push that a reluctant child needs to try a new sport or to show up for practices each day. Other types of trophies and awards can be handed out to those players who made a big contribution to the team as well.

Cup Trophy

In this blog post on the Outside the Lines website, opposing views on the hotly debated topic of automatic sports trophies and awards that are received

by a child simply for participating are presented. Where do you stand on the topic? Do you see validity in both sides of the argument?


This article debates a question that often plagues coaches, particularly when it comes to games with younger children who might be experiencing team sports for the first time. Should all children receive trophies and awards is the question that sparks a great deal of debate. Read it and decide for yourself.


Personally, I think there is a place for Participation Awards – it’s not an All or Nothing argument. Youth athletes, particularly those just starting in a sport, should be encouraged and rewarded for going to practice and at least making an effort. And they should be encouraged to play and act like a team – Isn’t that what team sports are all about? And if the team wins or fails, they do so together, and giving them a pat on the back with a participation trophy for giving it their best is very appropriate.

As they get older, and they recognize that trophies are special and need to be earned by trying harder and being better, then participation trophies should give way to championship trophies and individual awards for MVP, most improved, etc. We should give kids some credit – they do know the difference. But even when they are older, participation trophies are very appropriate for division, regional, and state tournaments. Just making it to the “next level” is well worth recognizing.

How To Build An Indestructible Team

No matter how big or small your business is, you most likely want to make the best of it.

No matter how big or small your business is, you most likely want to make the best of it. If you want to make it grow as much as possible, then there are two categories of people you will simply not be able to live without: your employees and your customers. Keeping them happy and united is the key to success, regardless of the field of your activity. We will present a set of tips on how to build an indestructible team any business owner would dream of: One that loves working for you, one that puts in as much effort as they can, and one that knows that there is no first person singular in a group of people working together.

Team Building: Doing It Right Will Save The Day

Most companies organize team building activities on a regular basis. And they know why: creating good relationships between the employees helps to make work much better for them; thus, they will be more effective in working together for the sake of everyone’s happiness.

Team building exercises are of four types: communication exercises, trust exercises, planning exercises, and problem solving exercises. Keep these in mind whenever you want to organize team building activities and try to group them according to their type. Here you have two examples of activities for the first two categories mentioned above:

  • The circle of friends. Have everyone sit in a circle. Every person has a chair of their own, except one, who stands in the middle of the circle. This person starts by saying something he/she likes or dislikes. Those who agree with him/her stand up and try to grab another person’s chair. One will be left out. And then the game starts all over.
  • The Lie. Have everyone write one true story and one lie on a piece of paper. Every person will have to tell the true story as if it were a lie and the lie as if it were truth. The others will have to guess which story is true and which one is a lie.
  • The knot. Split everyone in small groups (5-8 people). Have them close their eyes and put their hands forward. While they have their eyes closed, unify each hand with another hand until it all looks like a knot. Tell them to open their eyes and remake the circle without letting go of their hands.
  • The Pharaoh. This one will require a lot of trust between the partners of the game, so try doing it only when the team has already been shaped. Again, group people in small circles of 5-8 and have one person sit in the middle with their hands crossed over their chest (just like a Pharaoh) and their eyes closed. Remember, for this exercise, the circle has to be very tight, so tell everyone to stand as near as possible to their left and right partners. Once the person in the middle has closed their eyes, tell one of the circle members to push him/her gently. The circle will always have to catch softly the person in the middle, as he/she is bouncing from one part of the group to the other.

Making Your Employees Feel Important

Show your workers how much they mean to you and how important they are to the entire business. Sometimes, a raise or a bonus is not an option, especially when on a very tight budget. Still, there are many ways to make them feel good about their work.

  • Training. Those who are passionate about their career will always appreciate some extra learning, especially when it is provided by the company and when they can get certificates for it.
  • Happy Friday. Once in awhile, organize hangouts: drinks, pizza, karaoke. This is also a great and fun way to break the ice between older employees and newer ones and to build a hardworking, loyal team.
  • Small gifts. Be careful with these, and only use this reward system if you know your employees very well. Candy, wine, plush bears- anything can work, really, but only if you know for a fact that they will love that gift.
  • Plaques and trophies. If you have an “employee of the month” section, then this is the perfect way of showing them that they are really important. This manner of rewarding is relatively inexpensive, but it will pay off when you see the pride and excitement on your worker’s face. “Hey, I got a plaque with my name and picture on it” will be on his/her lips for the rest of the month.

Whichever of these activities and ways of expressing your gratitude you might choose, always keep in mind that it is your staff that makes things move for your business. They are worth all your attention and all your devotion, the same as you are worth theirs. Treasure them and show them how great they are doing. Eventually, it will lead to the production of high quality products and services and your business will prosper like never before.