It can take a lot of work to put together a race. Here's some information and resources that can help.
- Documents - Here's a collection of Word, Excel and Visio documents that we use for our Grand Prix planning and preparations. These documents cover planning, budgeting, advertising, workshops, registration, staff duties and procedures, rules, and more. Many of these were edited from documents originally created by William Wright, and are posted with his permission.
- Graphics - Here's a collection of Awana Grand Prix graphics that you can use to dress up your documents.
- Race Notebook - Create a notebook to organize your preparations, with sections on planning, rules, race day forms, etc. Also include a section documenting the lessons learned from past races, so the next race coordinator doesn't make the same mistakes and uses what worked well before.
- Gospel Message - An important reason for conducting a faith based race, is to reach those that do not know Christ as their savior. You should select a person that can deliver a short (10-15 minute) and clear presentation of the Gospel. This message should actually be geared more to the adults in attendance than to the children. The reason for this is that the children hear the Gospel message while participating in faith based programs, but their parents and other adult spectators may not have heard the Gospel or were not yet ready to accept it earlier.
- Construction Workshops - You will want to hold some workshops to help those that don't have the tools or the knowledge on how to build a car. Here are some key things you should consider:
- Have a minimum of 3 workshops. This has worked well for us, with the first 2 concentrating on cutting, and sanding, and the last one on painting, wheel and axle preparation and addition of weight.
- Allow a wide margin of time. Kids are busy with other things like Soccer, Baseball, etc., and their parents are as well, so ensure that the window of time is large enough to accommodate those that need to come late or leave early. I found that holding the workshops from 10 am - 4 pm works well (if they stay through lunch time, make sure they bring a sack lunch).
- Require the parents (or other adult of the child's choosing) to attend the workshops. One of the purposes of the Grand Prix is to promote the interaction between the child and the adult that they care for (a memory building experience). The job of your construction workshop coordinator should be to act as a consultant on how to build a car, not as a babysitter.
- Don't forget about the Gospel! This is a great opportunity to talk to the adults about the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Ensure that the kids do as much of the work as they are able to. Refer to the previous section for some specific ideas.
- Make the official weigh scale available, so weight can be adjusted before race day.
- Either purchase some weights or make some with large washers, lead fishing weights or other heavy objects. You can also get some lead, melt it with a propane torch in an old pan and then poor the lead into molds. However, due to the hazards of lead, I do not recommend that you let the kids handle it and ensure that it gets fully encased in the car. Also, you do not want to breathe the fumes if melting the lead.
- Having the right tools will make the work go faster and be safer. Using a scroll saw or band saw is much safer and faster than using a jig saw, They also cut straighter and leave less gouges to sand out. A power sander (belt/disc combo) really cuts the sanding time tremendously.
Tool Tips: Tips on using various tools can be found at Maximum Velocity (the non-commercial version of their site).