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JasonG172

Fun with a Purpose OPPS

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So how far back can one document B.S.A. using "Fun with a purpose"? I recall it from my youth. Off to Google.

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OK, found this pretty quickly:

 

Whether you are fifteen or fifty, Philmont Scout Ranch spells fun for you - fun with a purpose.

 

Scouting 1956

 

 

 

`Fun With A Purpose' October 12, 1998|By Ted Kleine. Special to the [Chicago] Tribune.

 

1998

 

 

 

Related is Bill's statement in the 1936 Handbook for Scoutmasters:

 

. . . to the boys Scouting is a game - to you, a gamwe with a purpose.

 

Found many references to BP saying "fun with a purpose" or "game with a purpose," just can't find an actual document where he actually said either, althugh you can find the substance in what he did say.

 

 

 

 

 

(I accidently refound this from BP's Lessons From the Varsity of Life. Well worth remembering given some of the discussions here about changing or adding to Scouting methods:

 

Let us, therefore, in training our Scouts, keep the higher aims in the forefront, not let ourselves get too absorbed in the steps. Don't let the technical outweigh the moral. Field efficiency, backwoodsmanship, camping, hiking, good turns, jamboree comradeship are all means, not the end. The end is character with a purpose. And that purpose, that the next generation may be sane in an insane world, and develop the higher realization of service, active service of love, and duty to God and neighbor.
)

 

 

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So it is a trademark issue. I don't think it matters at this point who used the phrase first. Highlights registerd the phrase and BSA did not challenge it during the opposistion proceedings. It looks like highlights magazine started in 1946 but I have no idea when they started to ue the phrase or requested the trademark.

 

A few years ago the "Johnny Football" trademark was an interesting one. It obviously represented Johnny Manziel, but he did not give himself the nickname. So he was not the first to use it. I think mutiple people organization tried to get th copyright (individuals who wanted to market it, Texas A&M as well as the Manziel family (NCAA rules prohibited Manizel himself from getting it)). With the multi filings there were multi opposistions, I hink the Manizel LLC ended up with the rights.

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Except for trivial infringements, if a trademark holder fails to defend its mark against unauthorized use, its property right in the mark, if any, is voidable. Perhaps B.S.A. is simply not looking for additional fights now.

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Perhaps B.S.A. is simply not looking for additional fights now.

 

I think that's it. Personally I don't think a phrase like that would stand up as a trademark if there was litigation, but this is a fight the BSA doesn't need. Besides, people in Scouting will continue to use "fun with a purpose," but now the BSA National is covered (more or less) because it instructed its units and volunteers to stop using it, and Highlights can say that it enforced its trademark, so it isn't vulnerable to someone who starts the "Fun With a Purpose" magazine for 5-10 year olds and claims there is no valid trademark because Highlights didn't do anything about the BSA's use of it.

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What Tahawk posted above, and the Google search I just did, suggests that "fun with a purpose" as used in Scouting comes from a misquoting of Bill Hillcourt's "game with a purpose" and that B-P probably did not actually say either one. Which does not change the fact that right now, even as we speak, my council's web site includes a page that says, "As Lord Baden-Powell said, 'Scouting is fun with a purpose.'" Oh well, it's probably not the only incorrect statement on that web site, though it may be the only one that is incorrect two different ways.

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Many BSA sites have attributed a quote about the "patrol method" to BP, who never used that term. The world is full of incorrectly attributed or total imaginary quotes. BP certainly would have agreed with the sentiment, both of the "patrol method" quote and "fun with a purpose" quote. Big woop.

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The whining immature smarty-pants comments on Scouting Mag's FB and blog comments are a real goldmine. I don't see why anyone is so from-my-cold-dead-hands passionate about this phrase when it was never said by BP, and is not the line from Hillcourt, and can easily be replaced by the actual quote without changing the meaning or screwing with Highlights. Just a bunch of ignorant babies.

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As far as I've been able to determine, B-P never said that "scouting was a game with a purpose". What he did say is "SCOUTING IS A GAME for boys, under the leadership of boys, in which elder brothers can give their younger brothers healthy environment and encourage them to healthy activities such as will help them to develop CITIZENSHIP". (I don't know where the quote that ends with "under the direction of a man" comes from ... that might be apocryphal too.) And of course his comments weren't limited to cubbing.

 

I suppose it's possible that he said it to someone and it's been repeated as part of an oral tradition.

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