Splinter Group

Cub Scout Pinewood Derby has figured large in my life. Between my two sons, I have built many advised on the construction of many Pinewood Derby cars, worked on numerous Pinewood events, and spent countless hours at the races. That’s why this Subaru commercial sort of moved me. Mostly.


As you can see, the young lad who takes first place built his own car —unlike his rival whose car was obviously made by dad. It’s unfortunate when these events become a contest between the fathers instead of one between the boys —but what’s more unfortunate is that the scouts in this commercial are wearing Brownie vests.

Yes, Brownie vests. If you are unfamiliar with what Brownie vests look like, please click this link. Then look at the commercial again. And look at the link again. I rest my case. Brownie vests.

Is this someone’s idea of a joke, portraying the industrious boys in this commercial wearing girl uniforms? An underhand shot at the Boy Scouts of America, maybe? Call me a nut, but the truth is that scouting has been under assault for years.

Sure, I understand that maybe you couldn’t get permission to use a Cub Scout uniform —but it doesn’t take much imagination to come up with a knock-off. Putting the boys in Brownie vests? With all due respect to the Brownies, that’s just wrong.

UPDATE: Watch South Park’s take on Pinewood. It’s spot on!

5 thoughts on “Splinter Group

  1. Did you see last night’s South Park?

    I think it would be pretty sweet if the Brownies were invited. But the wrong uniforms, that ain’t right.

  2. And to think just the other day I made a passing reference to you as a fellow scout. I remember well Pack 305 and troop 305 too. I remember one day in the rain, one boy got his kite to fly when no one else could. There was extra pride in the accomplishment because he built it himself. What a shame it is that some dads deny their kids that sense of self sccomplishment. And scouting is getting a very bad rap indeed these days.

  3. Karl: In our Pack there was once a car disqualified because it was cut from a block of solid aluminum. I’m not sure if the kid did that on his own…

    And on the bad rap, lots of private non-profit organizations have beliefs that not everyone agrees with —but the traditional values of the Boy Scouts make them a ripe target.

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