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

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WOW This topic discussion went on for three years, and where are we now as the BSA continues to sadly flounder at an even greater pace, councils being merged at an even faster pace, membership continu

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 Executiv

We're not getting any "deals" in cost for our uniforms that are made in china, anyone and everyone who has bought a scouting uniform knows this, we're paying for made in America prices, we're the BSA,


Welcome to the forum. Your argument however is irrelevant to the question at hand. Further the BSA is an American created organization borrowing from BP's program, it is not a British program, but uniquely American.

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BadenP, thanks for the welcome...I guess, as I've never been blown off quite like that before. I aways thought that in an open forum, no persons' input is "irrelevant." I did not state that BSA was a British program. "Uniquely American?" say wa? What about the Baden-Powell award? Do A Good Turn Daily? The World Crest? And the "World" Conservation award? If we are so "special" and "unique" why bother having a World Jamboree? Granted the government of the PRC is screwed up, but I think that maybe us Americans should give back the trillions of dollars/yuan that we have gladly spent on our VISA's/Mastercards, and other debt before we try to put the genie of globalization back in the bottle; it just seems hypocritical to say.."No, we don't want your products, and we don't care for the way you treat your populace, but please keep buying our bonds and other debt."...All in all, I was making a tounge in cheek comment....

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Last year, I bought my son 2 pair of the cub switchbacks and 2 of the blue scout shirts. I foolishly assumed that being BSA, they would be fairly durable.


After the first washing, the thread used in the pants began to disintegrate. I was furious. I make my living as a tailor, so I am fortunate that I am able to make necessary repairs to our clothes. But what about the majority of mums who dont sew? I had to reinforce every seam in the pants because the Chinese thread literally was falling apart! The fabric is nice, but what good is durable fabric when you sew it up with cheap, useless thread? I expected more from BSA uniforms. The fabric, although a good weight, fades terribly! Surely you have all been noticing the color variations between pants and shirts? It is from cheap dye, and rushing the dying process. But I guess thats China for ya! I did, however find a new cap for my son on ebay this last week. It is an old, vintage, blue cap with the yellow seams. (Its adorable on my little guy!) Anyhow, this cap has to be a good 40 years old if its a day. Its made of very high quality, soft fabric. It is even fully lined with a BSA stamp inside that guarantees it is indestructable! And guess what- It was, of course, made in America, and still the TRUE cub scout blue! No fading after all these years. Too bad we dont get this quality anymore.

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P.S. I would happily pay more for BSA products made in America with better quality standards. Personally, (and I know everyone doesnt feel this way) I would rather pay much more if it meant keeping manufacturing in the States and adding American jobs.


But thats just my own personal view.

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Sorry, didn't mean to blow you off, bad day yesterday I got both you and OGE ticked at me, mea culpa. What I was trying to say is that the BSA program is not a direct copy of BP's program, but a design that borrows from his program certain key elements just like we use certain elements of British government, two legislative houses, president vs prime minister etc. but each is unique to its own country in its methodology, organization etc. and the same is true for scouting, American scouting borrowed from and is a composite of not only from BP but from Dan Beard's and Ernest Seton's already exsisting youth programs as well. Even though scoutings origins are in Britian the BSA adaptation is indeed uniquely American.



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  • 2 months later...

For the price of "official" Boy Scout merchandise, it could be made in America. I expect to pay a little more for products that are made in the United States. I get peeved when I pay the same amount, or more, for products that were formerly made in America, but are now made overseas and are of inferior quality. Dockers are a good example of this. I had a Dockers brand leather belt, which was made in the U.S. It lasted for years. I went to replace it and paid more money for a far less quality belt. It didn't last out the year. All I was now paying for was that little Dockers emblem. Is this now the same with the BSA emblem? It used to mean that it was inspected, tested and approved.


I know for a fact that everything, and I mean everything, that bears the emblem of the American Legion is required to be manufactured in the United States of America. If the American Legion can demand that, why can't the Boy Scouts of America?


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I believe we should have the option of buying an American made BSA uniform and a foreign made uniform - that look the same with possibly different pricing.


My thoughts - if someone can make a uniform 3000 miles away from the USA and have it shipped here and still make it for less then my hat's off to them. Same for autos, beer, refrigerators, etc.


True, all countries don't have the same pollution, OSHA, child labor and other laws but why should China have the same laws we do? I didn't hear too many complaints when the USA imported Chinese labor to build our railroads.

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I echo what Johnkc said


Fast, Good or Cheap Pick Two of the three, most Americans voted for cheap and then go after Good or Fast. We're all guilty of it.


The rant on just the BSA about the Chinese goods is not correct. Who will make them? Our manufacturing infrastructure is not what it used to be.


The rant needs to be directed towards the folks in DC and each State Legislature. They need to reverse the pattern.


This does make me sad.


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acco and egh

Both of you have missed the point here, we do have the infrastructure presently to produce all the BSA uniforms for what to amounts to about $5 more than China. We are not getting the same quality of material or workmanship from China. This Mazzuca brainstorm of Chinese crap was for nothing more than putting more money in National Supplys aka National pockets. And in case you haven't noticed the price of uniforms has gone up. It is time for all of us to demand quality and not let National put this sham over on us, it is your wallet.

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BSA uniforms made in the US were cheaper than the new Centennial uniform so of course it's possible for them to go back to having decent affordable uniforms made in the US. They might have to give up the new baggy unkempt stuff but I don't see that as any great loss. In fact, today's economic environment will probably make it even easier to line up US suppliers and workers to fill a steady-work contract at a lower piece-price.


We've suffered losses in our manufacturing base but it's not completely gone and can in fact still be revived.

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There is no reason why BSA can't make clothes, for a reasonable price, here in the United States.


Brooks Brothers still makes their Oxford Cloth Button Down shirts in North Carolina, like they have for years, and during Brooks annual sales, you can get them for $46 a piece....and I'm sure their profit margin is a lot larger than BSA's.


I have a few BB shirts, that have lasted more than 15 years, and still hold up well....so it's totally feasible.


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  • 3 weeks later...

My letter to Mr. Mazzuca sent July 2009. Mr. Mazzuca has not had the courtesy to reply.


Dear Mr. Mazzuca,


My Troop is located in one of the poorest cities in the United States. Its tough for the parents of my Troop to afford the high cost of the Scout uniform.


One father relayed to me his experience at the Scout shop several years ago. He asked the store manager what was the reason for the high prices of the uniforms. The manager replied that the uniforms were quality made in the USA and thus the reason for the high prices.


The Scout uniform has in recent years been pricey. But knowing that it was made in America justified the price for many. American quality a uniform made in our free country for an organization that exemplifies duty to country.


Now the uniforms are made in China. But instead of a decrease in price, the price has increased as compared to the price of the former American made uniform.


I recently had the opportunity to speak with a gentleman at national supply about why the BSA was doing business with China. His response was that the BSA was doing business with China because Scouting was a worldwide movement and that the BSA was just competing in a worldwide market.


I asked him if he realized that there was no Scouting in China. He responded that I was wrong and that Scouting did in fact exist in China citing Taiwan. Our uniforms and other Scout products are not marked Made in Taiwan, they are marked Made in China and China forbids Scouting.


I asked the gentleman if there was some recent change I was not aware of as the World Organization of the Scout movement has China listed as a country that does not allow Scouting. He then admitted that he had never even looked at the WOSM website. I then received silence on the other end of the phone. Our conversation was apparently over.


Not only are the uniforms made in China, but most everything else Scouting is made in China. Merit badges are now $2.29 a piece made in China. (An Eagle Scout would end up with $50.00 worth of little Chinese patches on his sash.)


There are plenty of other countries in the world that manufacture textiles, patches, Eagle medals, etc. at reasonable prices where the BSA could have their goods manufactured; countries that allow and have Scouting. But the BSA chose China.


There are only six countries in this great big world of ours that do not allow Scouting, only six. It is sad to me that our BSA, which advertises timeless values and strong character, has chosen to do business with one of the six. But at what cost to the core values of the Scouting program? Has the Scout Oath been brushed aside for the sake of profit? What ever happened to on my honor I will do my duty to Country?


From the World Organization of the Scout Movement web site:






There are 6 countries where Scouting, to WOSM's knowledge, does not exist; in some it would not be allowed. These are:



People's Republic of China


Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Lao People's Democratic Republic



Times are tough for most folks in this current economy. Spending $100.00 for a complete uniform is beyond the means of most parents in my troop. Scouts from affluent suburban troops at summer camp wearing their complete uniforms look stunning standing next to our city troop where our Scouts may only have a shirt, possibly used. The uniform has become priced for the elite.


The uniform should be within reach for all Scouts, Scouts from all walks of life.


Being a long time Scouter, I opened one of my former handbooks and looked up uniform. My former handbook (autographed by Green Bar Bill at a jamboree) puts it like this:


"Your uniform is part of the thrill of being a Scout. Put on your uniform and you feel ready for hiking, camping, and other active Scout events."


"There is real significance to that khaki uniform. First of all, it shows that you belong."


"You are a member of the largest youth movement the free world has ever seen.

It stands for the spirit of true democracy."


"It puts rich and poor on an equal basis in the spirit of brotherhood."


True democracy and a free world. Words like these were written in many former editions of the Scout handbook. Our current handbook has many excerpts from former handbooks written throughout. But you will no longer read that the uniform stands for true democracy and a free world. The workers in China who make our uniforms cannot enjoy true democracy and freedom.


We are told that Scouting is a volunteer organization. Volunteer Scouters are not concerned with low bidders and profits. The volunteer receives no pay but chooses to do Scouting for the sake of the Scouts. No price can be placed on a volunteers rewards. To the volunteer, Scouting is a way of life. He dedicates his life for youth because he wants to. But those who have been overseeing the business end of Scouting have seemed to forgotten what Scouting stands for.


The mission of Scouting as defined by the World Organization of the Scout movement of which the BSA is a part of is to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society.


The workers who now manufacture our Scouting goods have not been allowed to participate in the Scouting movement which promotes individual self-fulfillment. There is no Scouting in China


How many Americans have lost their jobs when their American companies moved their manufacturing operations to China? Did any Americans recently lose their jobs because their company no longer makes the uniforms for the Boy Scouts of America?


I will encourage my Scouts to earn the American Labor merit badge. The badge will be a great introduction to our Scouts concerning this very issue of the BSA outsourcing their manufacturing to a country that does not allow Scouting.


Don't let it became a salaried organization: keep it a voluntary movement of patriotic service. Lord Robert Baden-Powell.


Whats patriotic about the Boy Scouts doing business with China a country not included in the free world; a country that does not allow Scouting?


The Boy Scouts of America will be celebrating 100 years next year, 100 years of voluntary patriotic service. And the Scouts will be wearing their Chinese made uniforms thanks to those who make the business decisions for the BSA.




Abel Magwitch

Eagle Scout


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Abel....first of all, welcome to the campfire. My first impression of your letter is that, while I agree with most of it, it's way too long. A CEO doesn't have time to read that much. Take three key messages and put them on a one page letter...three paragraphs max. That being said, I think you are tilting at windmills. THe only real power we have as volunteers is our wallets and our participation. If you feel that strongly, just don't buy the stuff. If enough of us do that, they will get the message. If your UC or DE want to know where your uniforms are, tell them "Beijing, and they're gonna stay there". And before Ed beats me to it, "Uniforms are not required".

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