Saturday, April 26, 2008


We are huge supporters of Scouting programs around here. You'll notice I said programs. Not merchandise. It seems like the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is always charging a whole heck of a lot more than it costs to make the items they sell - but what do I know? With that in mind, I had to laugh out loud when browsing through the newest "Official Scout Merchandise" catalog we received in the mail yesterday. Here was my favorite item available for purchase:

In case you can't read the item description, it says:

BSA Activity Helmet. Protective impact-dispersing, ABS plastic shell helmet is cushioned with thick, shock-absorbing, EPS foam. Adjustable chin strap and air vents add more comfort. ASTM-1492 certified with all U.S. CPSC standards. Does not meet BSA climbing safety standards.

If it doesn't meet BSA's standards, why are they selling it, and with the official-looking Boy Scouts of America logo across the front?

I love it.


Cami said...

You should send this in to Jay Leno. He does "Headlines" every Monday night. It's just filled with stuff like this.

My best guess: it fits regulations for biking (and anything else Scouts need a helmut walking), but not for rock climbing. Who knows?!?

cari said...

Sounds about right for the BSA. Some of the things they sell in that catalog are ridiculous.

ablackman said...

Just so you know, BSA exists only to "save boys' lives". Economically speaking, here is how it is done:

1) Sell BSA merchanise at maximum profitability with inferior products sold at outrageously high prices. Especially markup required items, such as uniforms, handbooks, and awards.

2) Apply the maximum profitability model explained in #1 to summer scout camps by overcharging admission, hiring unskilled staff and paying them accordingly, and lowering the standard of merit badge requirements so as to exponentially increase merit & rank badge sales.

3) Seek the endorsement of Chartered Organizations such as churches and charities, that can sponsor local units and provide meeting facilities and finance operating expenses.

4) Outsource the management and execution of scouting unit programs to the Chartered Organizations who recruit and train volunteers to be scout leaders with little or no expense to the BSA.

5) Require an annual registration fee from every boy scout and volunteer leader to maintain the honor of official BSA affiliation.

6) Solicit from your volunteer scouters an annual contribution or endowment and get them to pry a similar contribution from the families of the scouts, the members of their chartered organization, and all of their neighbors.

7) Hire the world's best executives, administrators, and lawyers to keep the whole thing afloat and ensure their compensation is more than sufficient to keep them from being lured away by other business opportunities.

Gerb said...

BTW, I really only post on my blog to get responses from my husband, ablackman. Isn't he witty? (and right?)