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!

Unhappy Campers

I’ve been reading these stories in the Times Union about the Boy Scouts. It’s an exhaustively researched series of articles that are running in the Hearst papers nationwide that allege the organization’s involved in improper land sales, logging deals, and lavish executive compensation. Naturally, they had a field day quoting Boy Scout precepts like the Outdoor Code to make their point. It just so happens that I spent the weekend at a Boy Scout camp in the southern Adirondacks  —and as a reminder of the scathing newspaper stories, a logging truck rumbled through the camp as we waited to get into our cabin Friday night.

Anyway, this is not about that, this is about this: do you guys from Troop (redacted) in (redacted) think you could use the outhouse behind your cabin next time instead of the one next to ours? Thank you very much.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I took out the identity of that other troop. Sorry… that was completely unnecessary.

Yes, that's snow.