Re: Pinewood Derby S & W Crafts
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Fri, 10 Nov 1995 01:50:17 -0500
I can appreciate your enthusiasm to spread the word about your commercial
enterprise, but question your method of advertising. This list is
devoted to discussions of items of interest to those involved in youth
organizations and not as a forum for advertisers. For the hundreds of
folks that download the list in digest form, I have to question how many
enjoyed paying for the time to download your advertisement.
Your advertisement is also misleading as applied to Cub Scouting. You
represent that you are selling the "'Original' Pinewood Derby Car."
BSA's official pinewood derby car is advertised by BSA as being the
original pinewood derby car in the Scouts 1995 Official Catalog. BSA's
claim precedes your claim by two years. BSA started selling
official pinewood derby cars in 1955 - 40 years ago. The facts suggest
that your representation is not correct.
Cub Scout Leaders should be aware that the Kits sold by S&W Crafts may
not be acceptable for BSA Pinewood Derby Competition. In every Council
that I've been associated with and thats a few, the Pinewood Derby rules
specify that all entries must be made by the Cub Scout from an Official
kit with nails fitted into the axle groove to hold the wheel. This rule
prevents a Cub from getting an unfair advantage by using a different
configuration by focusing attention on the actual construction of the car
by the Cub Scout. Similarly, in most Councils the use of a pre-cut car
shape is banned in competition. The idea is that the Cub needs to learn
skills and have the joy of having made the car himself.
There is nothing worse than having to disqualify a Cub from a derby
because his car does not meet the entry requirements. Frequently this
causes the Cub to lose heart and quit. This is not good for Scouting.
Too often I've seen a parent go buy one of these kits and have it
rejected either at the Pack, District or Council competition.
These kits may be excellent for a boy or girl that wants to make a car
for their own amusement or pleasure, but could present a problem if the
intended use is for a Pinewood Derby. As a consequence I would suggest
to you Ray that if you want to promote your product that you reconsider
your claim to "Original" status and indicate that it can be fun for kids
to build, but that people need to check their local rules before using it
in an official BSA Pinewood Derby. I don't want to diminish the value of
your product, but I would appreciate more responsibility in your
advertising and choice of methods.
Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City