Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

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Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby biglou » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:46 pm

I am sorry about posting this but this has bothered me. The OA Lodge Adviser is starting a petition to get the BSA to start using uniforms made in the USA. I am going to cut and paste his e-mail for everyone to read. I do not disagree that the BSA should use uniforms made in the USA. However, I disagree with him on the method he is using. An online petition is not what I would call a proper forum. I will post the e-mail for everyone to enjoy and I take no credit for the content. To be quite honest, I have a seperate e-mail account for his e-mails because they usually have nothing that I would consider important towards Scouting in general. One OA Lodge member threatened him with a charge of harrassment by communication! I don't blame him because I have recieved 7 or 8 useless e-mails instead of the 1-2 that I get daily. LOL! Here it is for your enjoyment:



March 23, 2009




Dear Chief Scout Executive Mazzuca:



I am writing this letter to formally request a change in policy within the Boy Scouts of America regarding the purchase of official BSA uniforms, equipment, and other materials that are made outside of the United States of America. I believe my request is timely, given the current economic crisis faced by this nation, but I also believe it is the “right thing to do” for several reasons.



The first reason is economic. I will not belabor the point that our country is on the brink of economic chaos; we all know that by now. Across this great nation, companies are closing their doors at an escalating pace and people in increasing numbers are finding themselves out of work. Here in Elk County, Pennsylvania our unemployment rate has nearly doubled in the past year. We know that many of the jobs that used to be here have now gone overseas. Understandably, there is growing resentment over the increasing number of products that are labeled “made in Taiwan,” “made in China,” “made in Indonesia” or made anywhere but in the U.S.A.



I dislike seeing that resentment directed toward the Boy Scouts of America or the young people we exist to serve because those labels appear on just about everything considered “official” BSA products. And we must remember that those same companies, and those same employees, are the ones on whom we depend to support our programs financially at the local unit, Council, and National levels. Quite frankly, a Boy Scout or leader wearing a shirt that sports a “Made in China” label is simply bad marketing, and very likely to have negative impact on the support we need for the program. So from an economic point of view, a change in policy would both help support American jobs and help preserve our needed financial support.



I believe the second reason for a change in this policy is philosophical…or perhaps I should say “patriotic.” The countries where BSA uniforms and products are now being made are typically totalitarian or communist regimes. They limit human freedoms and often support child labor under extreme and adverse conditions. In short, such countries represent values that are diametrically opposed to the “character, citizenship, and fitness” that we seek to instill in the young men and women enrolled in BSA programs. It seems to me that we have lost our credibility by supporting such nations by allowing anything with “Boy Scouts of America” on it to be made there.



The third reason in support of a change in policy is that buying outside of the USA has created an internal contradiction within our program. I can best illustrate this point with an example. A Scouter who serves as a counselor for the American Labor merit badge shared this story. As part of the activities of this merit badge, he was able to ask the boys to look at the tag on their uniform shirt and they would note that it was “Made in the USA.” Imagine his dismay when Scouts began to point out that the tags in their uniform shirts now indicated that it was made in China! It truly is a blatant contradiction in what we say on the one hand, and what we as the BSA are doing on the other.



It appears that the decision to have uniforms made outside of this country is relatively recent. I was informed by another Scouter that he recently purchased a shirt for his son and was surprised to find that it was made in China. He checked his son’s two-year-old shirt and his own five-year-old shirt and discovered that they had been made in the USA. If it is in fact a recent policy, I suspect it can be readily changed, and I encourage you to do so.



But I am also encouraging you to change the purchasing policy for all BSA products. Many of us who are long tenured Scouters have been unhappy with BSA products made outside of the USA, and we have often opted to purchase alternatives. Let me share a few examples with you.



I have been registered as a Scout or Scouter for 49 years. I’m an Eagle Scout (class of ’64) and a Vigil Honor OA member (class of ’65). I have been awarded the Silver Beaver, Wood Badge and the Bucktail Council Founders Award. I have been a Senior Patrol Leader, a Scoutmaster, a Troop Committee Chairman, and the Advisor of Ah’Tic Lodge. I’ve been a member of our Executive Board and served as the Council Camping Chairman. As you might imagine, I am invited to a fair number of Eagle Scout Courts of Honor – about 10 each year.



Twenty years ago, I began purchasing an Eagle Scout Knife to give as a gift to new Eagle Scouts. I stopped buying them a few years ago when they began being made in China. Unfortunately, there is not one Eagle Scout item on stock at our Council Service Center that is made in the USA. Consequently, I now purchase Eagle Scout gifts elsewhere.



Ah’Tic Lodge has been a National Quality Lodge for the past four years but will not buy the pins because they are made in China.



This is by far not a unique, local issue. I am hearing from Scouting friends across the country of the growing dissatisfaction with the BSA purchasing policy and practices. And as the economy worsens, I suspect this negative sentiment will continue to grow.



Fortunately, such policies are not irrevocable, and I sincerely request that you and the National Council give serious consideration to a change in policy. Let’s return to a policy of “buy in America” for the Boy Scouts of America.



Thank you for reading this letter, and I trust you will give my request serious consideration.



In Service to Scouting,

Big Old Blowhard in Kersey, PA


I had to add the add the last part. He had it in his e-mail to a significant amount of leaders in my council. You got to love your hard working PA tax dollars at work! LOL! I can forward that e-mail if you would like.

Just wondering what others opinions are about this. I apologize for bringing this subject but was compelled to do so.
Big Lou

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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:42 am

Does he only trade USA made Patches? :lol:
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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby kwildman » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:55 am

LOL you gotta love people like this. :roll:

His email would have been more effective if he left it after the first or second paragraph. Nobody wants to read a long diatribe. Closing with all of his "accomplishments" doesn't make his argument any more credible.
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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby ThunderingWind » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:13 am

To some degree, I agree with the intent of the letter - move the BSA back to "Made in the USA."

My Crew worked for 3 months on language for their by-laws to have a section requiring 100% Made In the USA stuff. The went so far as to include the language reagardin the fule used to deliver the products, the source of the raw materials used to make the machines that produced the products, the citizenship status of the employees, the source fo light blubs used at the factory, the corporate HQ investment program and many others.

They even discussed "legal action" against the BSA for failing to support the Crew in thier efforts. The idea behind this was that anyone who does not fully support the Crew is against the Crew.

All was reduced to "We buy Made In The USA when we can and if given a choice. We hope the BSA National Supply Division will provide such items. We will only buy official BSA itms that are not made in the USA if required by policy or rule."
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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby FrankJ » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:55 am

Maybe we should also petition BSA to resign from the World Scouting Federation as well. :twisted:
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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby Billiken » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:57 am

FrankJ wrote:Maybe we should also petition BSA to resign from the World Scouting Federation as well.


Didn't they....sometime last year, if only for a short period?????
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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby biglou » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:12 am

I don't know if he trades patches or not. Nor do I really care. I would not trade or take a patch from him.

I have about 12 pages of e-mails on my one account and 90% of them are from him. I am not going to give him my home account because I don't want to waste my time trying to sort out his e-mails. Like I said, your PA Tax dollars hard at work!

I am posting the link to the petition site they created. http://www.petitiononline.com/bsa139/ Anybody can post to it. You can post a fake name on there and leave comments. I just think that is the wrong forum to do that type of thing. I think he should have expressed his displeasure with the uniforms and worked his way up the chain of command so to speak instead of going straight to the top. The thing that really bothers me is that when I was 18 and a Lodge Chief, he had the audacity to call me a "slob" for not wearing the uniform correctly. I have not forgotten that and I want to go up and give him the money to buy a uniform when he is not wearing his correctly. He only wears the shirt and either blue jeans or dress pants. I guess he is the slob now!

I am also going to post his response to the gentleman that did not want anything sent to him. It bothered me that he sent that. Actually I am starting to think he needs to be removed from the program, "49 years of service or not". I feel he is not doing any good by being allowed to remain in the Scouting program in any capacity. I changed the names to kind of keep things anonymous. Here is the Lodge Adviser's response:

Hey Folks,

I guess I did not get the word out to everyone. Scouter is a Scouter and Lodge member who has choosen to not be involved in petitions or emails regarding any Lodge or Scouting issue. I have taken his email off my directory and out of the Lodge listing too. I would appreciate if all of you would do the same.

To Scouter,

As a long time Scouter and a Vigil Honor Member of Ah'Tic lodge I am going to assume you are not feeling well. Threats to my lodge of suits are taken by this Lodge Adviser as threats to me. And you know me well enough Scouter to know I dont take kindly to this kind of conduct. I have done what I can to get you off the list of emails. BUT dont talk to my friends in Scouting this way or I will be forced to drive to Philipsburg and talk to you man to man. Thanks Scouter.
Big Lou

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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby FrankJ » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:12 pm

You could always create a rule that deletes email from him. Or just delete them as they come in. Bits are cheap.
Frank J.
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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby kwildman » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:33 pm

Or as a last resort complain to the state. Most states have strict rules about using state email for personal business. The "tax dollars hard at work" comment is part of the reason the other being that the states do not want any emails coming back to them being misconstrued that an individuals ideas or beliefs are endorsed by the state.
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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:14 pm

I would not get to excited about this gentleman. I'm sure Mr. Mazzuca receives letter with individual complaints/issues everyday. He probably has a canned response on uniforms.

I use a term "consider the source". Most of the folks on his shotgunned emails probably already know his methods and delete his email without even opening it.

The only law I know requiring uniforms to be made in the USA is for military uniforms.
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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby biglou » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:08 pm

The last post I got a kick out of! I thought it was good. Thanks. After looking at the new uniform shirt, I will admit that I have 3 problems with it. The Boy Scouts of America is glues versus being embroidered, the US flag looks cheap, and that the shirt is made in China. It bothers me but will I probably buy one. Yes.

I was at the council office today to do some Jamboree work. The District Director, DE, and I were talking about this topic. I showed them the online petition and where it was at. Well, the DD's response was that he would not sign that. I don't blame him. This petition could put him in a jam with his employment. There was also the comment about the CSE's name. I believe those folks need to proofread it. They said it was spelled wrong! :lol:
Big Lou

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Re: Well, it has to relate to the new uniforms!

Postby biglou » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:12 pm

Ok, I proofread the e-mail and they did spell the CSE's name correctly. Sorry about that.
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