Tommie Tenderfoot as the Marlborough Man
Ed Henderson (biged@SCOUTER.COM)
Fri, 26 Dec 1997 23:25:32 -0600
Home for the holidays and checking up on my district & my old troop and had
one very interesting situation come up that could use a Scouts-L debate.
I have a scout in my troop who's parents do not have a lot of money. They
manage a small rural convenience store and one of the ways they get by is
to save all of the Marlborough Proof of Purchase labels. Without it I
doubt they would be able to provide their son with all of the gear he needs.
Unfortunately this scout (who I am sure does not smoke) now comes on
campouts decked out with a gear ensemble that would give supply division a
run for its money. Unfortunately the "Official Product of the BSA" Red
lettering has been replaced with the Marlborough logos on everything!
He mas a Marlborough Sleeping Bag, Marlborough Flashlight, Marlborough
Daypack, Marlborough Cooler, Marlborough Windbreaker, Marlborough
Who says the cigarette companies are not targeting youth with their
promotional campaigns. This kid is their dream poster child.
What do we as Scoutleaders do? Obviously we don't allow Cigarette or any
tobacco products, and I would not allow a T-Shirt with Joe Camel on it
either. I am less certain where I stand when faced with a scout & family
of limited means who have found a way to provide their son with proper
camping equipment including essentials like a flashlight.
I did check out some of the gear to see if I could pull off the logos (they
are printed on). None of the other scouts seems to mind but I dread the
mixed message this situation is presenting to the other scouts.
Should I put Tommie Tenderfoot on Joe Camel heading off in the sunset until
he stops off at Wal-Mart or BSA Supply Division and risk alienating both he
and his parents, should I ignore it, or should I try and get him to
camouflage the equipment by covering over whatever logos are not consistent
with our policy as a troop?
It is a real pity that Sunny Delight or one of the cereal companies can't
have a program like this. There is a part of me that would love to
highlight what they have done as an example of ingeniously coming up with a
no cost way to get good equipment (the stuff is of good quality).
Well guys, how would you tackle this one?????
Veteran Scoutmaster - Troop 12 Flint River Council
(Moved from Georgia to Kansas City this Summer)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City