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BSA merchandise should be "Made in America" not China - Online Petition

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BSA merchandise should be "Made in America" not China

 

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/bsa139/

 

We believe in this strongly, and have created this petition to be sent to the Chief Scout Executive. Hopefully we can get enough signatures to get something done.

 

So please forward this link to as many people as possible.

 

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This is a complete copy of the petition:

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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 philosophicalor 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 sons 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. Im 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 AhTic Lodge. Ive 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.

 

AhTic 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. Lets 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.

 

Sincerely,

 

The Undersigned

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I like buying good stuff cheap.

 

It would be a shame to force the BSA to purchase more expensive products due to the location of factory in which they are made. It could raise costs for scouts. Not good in these economic times.

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A noble but lost cause. In the last ten years, America has lost its manufacturing capability to China. There just isn't any economical way to produce mass quantities of the range of BSA products domestically. Not anymore at least.

 

Remember when Sam Walton was still alive, back in the early 90s I think? He directed Walmart to buy American. It was the slogan all over the store. It was his effort to support American suppliers. After he died, they went after the cheapest supplier. Nothing sold at Walmart is made here now. That was the final nail in the coffin of our great manufacturing history.

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Yah, I reckon first yeh need to identify alternative manufacturers, eh? I'd love to see your list of American manufacturers who are capable of and interested in takin' that business.

 

Then yeh need to tell us how much the price is goin' to go up for all the lads and families who are doin' scouting.

 

Your petition ain't worth anything unless an alternative exists, and it ain't worth much unless we're not hurtin' the kids we're trying to serve.

 

B

 

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Hey buddy talk to your politicians they are the ones that have dumped on the american worker and companies. I too live in Pa and I work for a company that makes steel pipe. We are losing business and customers not to american companies but to steel pipe made in China. Until something happens and we get some Patriotic leaders in D.C. you and I will just have to settle for foreign made products.

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If you get BSA to agree to buy their clothing from someone in the US for a guaranteed number of years (with quality guarantees, for example), they will find the necessary equipment and people to make it so. People are hungry to build businesses.

 

If you get me a contract, I can get the capital to start the business, and you probably could too.

 

-Melgamatic

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Postal worker, police, EMT, and military uniforms are still made in US.

 

Here are some manufacturers that I am aware

Aspen Mills

Patriot Uniforms

SEKRI (Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries)

Elbeco

Augusta Mills?

Melgamatic - I like a scout can do attitude

 

I would be interested in what US manufacturers did the BSA look at? Did any US manufacturers (with US plants) bid? What happened with the US manufacturer(s) for our last US made uniform?

 

No excuse for embroidered patches or American flags being made offshore.

 

I still wear my old made in USA scout uniform. No Jamboree for me.

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Americans will never accept $3/day wages to compete with Asian factories.

 

Yah, sure we will, figuratively speakin'. As soon as we finish up devaluing the dollar :p

 

B

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1) The BSA needs to stop being greedy trying to make 80% profit margins off of us. We don't have a choice where we buy this stuff do we? (I would love to own a business with no compitition)

2) There are tons of companies that would love to provide for the BSA but with US wages higher than china, the BSA will need to settle for less profit. Say 50% Maybe $3 a day wage in china is true (not) but what does $3 buy that person in China? It's relative.

3) We want our stuff made in the USA, writing letters wont help. We have to hit National where it hurts, their pocket.

4) Instead of letters saying were not happy. Maybe a letter explaining that your chartered Organization will not support the FOS until we see, say 50% of the stuff in the scout shop labled "Made in America"

5) Maybe we could resort to giving money to kids instead of patches, might be cheaper! Kids could use it to buy more Playstation games! (it's a joke)

 

 

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Would love to buy new, American made BSA products.

 

But our national manufacturing infrastructure is a fraction of what it used to be. Sad to say, we are largely a service based nation these days.

 

What manufacturing remains, labor costs can't compete with overseas.

 

So when I need something, I hit ebay.

 

I think your cause is valiant, but at BSA HQ, my impression is the die is cast. Honestly, I'm still a little surprised we went overseas with BSA manufacturing, given the historically close ties between unions and the BSA.

 

 

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This kinda confuses me, in a thread in this section there is much consternation about uniform prices going up and then we have this thread that says that BSA merchandise should be Made in America. Now, I am steeped in a culture that says if you want lower prices on clothes, you go off shore. It is possible my attitude is wrong so if it is, please let me know. But if the BSA required the uniform to be American made (a great super hero from the Tick BTW)I can't imagine the squawking about the price.

 

Now, that assumes and I hear you Ed, that the American clothing industry can't compete with off shore, does anyone know anything about this?

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I was dismayed the first time (about 10 years ago) when I bought a patch (camporee patch, or maybe an OA flap) and it had a little gold sticker on the back "Made in China". Kinda like rubbing salt in the wound. At least if I were selling them, I would have specified "no stickers" or removed them before I put them out for sale.

 

I was almost ready to stimulate the economy by replacing my wife's car...a 2001 Lincoln LS that is starting to nickel and dime me ($300 to replace sparkplugs!). I really like the new 2010 Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan. Until I found out they are made 100% in Mexico! I was ready to support FoMoCo because they are doing the honorable thing and not taking taxpayer dollars to rebuild their business (so far, at least). So, my dilemma is...do I "buy American" even though made in Mexico, or do I "buy Japanese" because they are made in Ohio? I can't win. I'm ready to just follow Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism and just do what's best for me and the heck with it.

 

I don't think we can afford a scout shirt made by an American Union member making $25 an hour plus benefits. Another dilemma. We Americans have increased our standard of liivng to the point where society can't afford us any more. The "American Dream" has bankrupted the country.

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While at Camp School at Camp Resolute, Knox Trail Council this past weekend the National Supply wing of the BSA was there. I picked up a 60" Camp Cooking Tripod from Lodge for Mountain Man reenacting. Lodge is a familiar name in Dutch Ovens and all things Cast iron. As I was carrying the item in my Nissan Frontier (assembled in Smyrna, Tennesse) I noticed a tag that said "Made in China". Would these items be incldued in the petition as well? Should the Scout Stores only sell made in America merchandise? How much will be left?

 

I want to buy American as much as I can, but I also have to compare prices, at what point can I afford to be an Economic Patriot and pay more for an item because its American Made?

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