Impact of Tiger Woods sex scandal: Shocked advertisers will be on the prowl for ‘Boy Scout’

Uproar over the Tiger Woods scandal is expected to usher in a new era for multimillion-dollar sports endorsement deals, experts say. Advertisers watching Tiger's stunning brand collapse aren't eager to sink their claws into another superstar athlete and likely will turn to scandal-safe sponsorships and smaller deals with more players to spread the risk, experts said. And when the next Tiger-caliber superstar comes along, upfront scrutiny of his or her personal life will be much more intense. "It appears that Tiger was lying to himself and his sponsors for a long time. This wasn't just one woman. He has a problem," one New York-based advertising exec said. "I wouldn't be surprised if advertisers say there has to be a notarized statement about [sexual habits] as part of future deals," the exec said. "There might be private investigators. These companies have the resources to do it." Tiger earns an estimated $110 million in annual endorsements from companies including Nike, Gillette and AT&T. Two major sponsors already have pulled back. Consulting and accounting firm Accenture banished Tiger from its den this weekend, and PepsiCo scratched his name off a Gatorade drink and the company's Web site. "I don't think there's any question, at least in the short term, that advertisers will be more careful" about sports stars, said Irving Rein, a marketing professor at Northwestern University and author of brand bible "High Visibility." "There will be some restraint. These companies are risk-averse like everybody else. It's rational," he said. "I think for the Accentures of the world, sure they'll be more leery," said digital marketing expert Kathy Sharpe of Sharpe Partners. "They could sponsor the PGA tour or several golfers, but as long as you're involved with human beings, you have to CSI them." Either way, experts agree, Tiger will not be the last billion-dollar sports brand. "Some young person is going to come along who captures the Continue Reading

Hundreds of Boy Scouts protest sale of William H. Pouch Scout Camp

Hundreds of enraged scouts descended on Staten Island Saturday to protest the sale of a beloved nature camp.More than 500 current and former scouts turned out to demonstrate against a plan by the cash-strapped Greater New York City Council of the Boy Scouts of America to sell the William H. Pouch Scout Camp in Sea View. "We need so badly to save this place," said scout Mike Loconte, 17, of Annadale. "I've learned so much about myself here. Camp Pouch is part of who I am. Without it, scouting won't be the same." The mass protest was sparked by the Boy Scouts council's announcement last month that it needed to sell the 120-acre park due to severe financial problems. William Kelly, a council spokesman, said it was still looking for ways to avoid releasing the property. "We're doing everything we can," Kelly said. "We don't want to sell the property. We want to keep Pouch open." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Possible sale of Boy Scouts’ William H. Pouch Scout Camp causes outcry

Staten Island Boy Scouts are battling a move by the group's cash-strapped headquarters to sell off a beloved scout camp. Citing financial trouble, the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America approved a plan last month to market the 120-acre William H. Pouch Scout Camp for possible sale to a developer. The move sparked an outcry from scouts, parents and nearby residents. "I can't believe they would think of destroying it," said Chiarina Affronti, 39, of Richmond Town, whose two sons go to day camp and weekend sleepouts at Pouch. "We live in the city so there's no place else to go. The kids are going to be ones hurt the most." "We do archery, we fish, we go on boats on the lake, we go on hikes," added Affronti's son Rickey, 11. "It would be very upsetting [if it closed] because that's like the only camping spot on the island." Scouts officials say they don't want to sell the camp - and won't if they can get as much as $30 million from the state or city in return for keeping it as open space, an arrangement called a conservation easement that they've been pushing for since 2005. "We want to see this property preserved, not only for the scouts but as green space and open space for the city," said spokesman Bill Kelly. "If an easement is something that can't be worked out . . . other options certainly do include a full or partial sale." He said donations are down $5 million over the past 18 months, and the scouts are running a projected $2 million deficit for the third straight year. The group already has slashed staff by 40% and cut its annual budget from $15 million to $10 million, he said. The group still maintains pricey digs in the Empire State Building - but Kelly said they cut their space there by 60% and insisted the rent was "competitive." The 60-year-old Staten Island camp is the only one in the city and draws Scout troops from all five boroughs. "It's frightening," Dominick DeRubbio, 24, an Eagle Scout. "I've Continue Reading

Boy Scouts training helped College Point boy save his father’s life

Daniel Foulds had been preparing for the morning of Nov. 10, 2007, since he was 5 years old. That's when Danny, who will turn 18 in September, joined the Boy Scouts of America. He managed to stick with the group even through his junior and high school years, when scouting wasn't considered a cool thing. And because he stayed with it, and followed the Scouts' legendary motto, "Be Prepared," Danny, an Eagle Scout, was one of only 124 Scouts nationally to receive the cherished Medal of Merit award, bestowed by the Scouts' National Council of Honor last year. Only 5,562 such medals were awarded between 1946 and 2006. Danny also received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens), a City Council citation from Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), and several other awards. More importantly, Danny got to save his dad's life. Things might have have turned out differently if Danny hadn't gone on the hunting trip, as he originally planned, or didn't have the lifesaving knowledge the scouts gave him. "Most of the skills I used I learned in the Scouts," Danny said of his heroics. "A lot of it I did by instinct, but I fell back on my training." Danny has lived in College Point, Queens, all his life. He went to PS 129, IS 194 in Whitestone, and just graduated from St. Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows. This fall, he'll head to Queensborough Community College for at least year before transferring to John Jay College, where he plans to major in criminal justice, a step toward a possible career as a police officer. Danny also will take emergency medical technician training classes this fall so he can become a licensed emergency medical technician. "I've been like that since I was a kid," Danny said. "I always want to help people." Danny got involved with College Point Troop 18 ("Pride of the Point") at his mother's urging. He moved steadily through the ranks over the years, becoming an Eagle Scout this year. Continue Reading

Trump’s Boy Scout speech may have set kids on the right path

Much of the media was shocked and horrified by President Trump’s Boy Scout Jamboree speech on Monday. Many commentators are talking as if Trump’s raucous, free-wheeling spiel exposed underage children to political pornography. Instead of railing against Hillary Clinton and boasting of his victory in last year’s election, Trump supposedly should have delivered the usual “our wonderful political system” speech.Some people will never forgive Trump for telling Scouts thatWashington is a “sewer.” Actually, that message could be an antidote to much of what Scouts hear. Trump’s speech, insofar as it spurs doubts about political authority, could be far more salutary than prior presidential Jamboree speeches.When I attended the 1969 Scout Jamboree in Idaho, President Richard Nixon sent us a message praising our idealism. But the type of idealism that Nixon and the Scouts often glorified was more likely to produce servility than liberty. Before being accepted into the Jamboree troop, I was interviewed by adult Scout leaders in a nearby town. The most memorable question was: “What do you think of the Vietnam situation?” Even 12-year-olds had to be screened for dissident tendencies.The Idaho Jamboree occurred one month before the Woodstock music festival. Instead of tens of thousands of people chanting antiwar slogans, the Jamboree exalted the military in all its forms. Instead of acres of half-naked hippies, the Scouts were protected by “uniform police” who assured that every boy wore a proper neckerchief at all times. Instead of Joan Baez belting out “We Shall Overcome,” the Scouts listened to “Up with People,” a 125-member singing group created as an antidote to “student unrest and complaining about America.”The motto for the 1969 Jamboree was “Building to Serve.” But I later wondered: Building to Serve whom? The Jamboree put one government official Continue Reading

Boy Scouts of America president ponders lifting hiring ban for gay adults

The president of the Boy Scouts of America said Thursday the organization should consider lifting its ban on openly gay adult leaders — before the courts make them do it. “We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be,” Robert Gates said at the Scouts’ National Annual Meeting. “The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained.” RELATED: LEADERS ASK BOY SCOUTS TO END BAN ON GAY ADULTS Noting that the New York and Denver chapters have already defied the BSA’s ban, Gates warned “we can expect more councils to openly challenge the current policy.” “Moreover dozens of states — from New York to Utah — are passing laws that protect employment rights on the basis of sexual orientation,” he said. This, said Gates, “makes us vulnerable to the possibility the courts simply will order us at some point to change our membership policy.” “The one thing we cannot do is put our heads in the sand and pretend this challenge will go away,” he said. Gates, the former Secretary of Defense under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, stopped short of asking the BSA’s board to lift the ban. Gates’ words were received with stony silence in the main room where most of the BSA big shots were sitting, but there was cheering in the overflow room where the other participants watched the speech on video feed. “It was one of the few things that the room actually applauded,” Michael Schuenemeyer, a United Church of Christ liaison to BSA, said of Gates’ remarks about the gay leaders. “They were sitting on their hands until that moment.” Any move by the BSA to lift the ban is likely to face stiff opposition from the conservative religious groups that sponsor many Scout troops. Continue Reading

New York branch of Boy Scouts of America hires gay adult employee — defying national leadership

The New York chapter of the Boy Scouts of America has made history by hiring an openly gay adult — and telling bigotry to take a hike. They have hired a gutsy 18-year-old Eagle Scout named Pascal Tessier to work as a camp counselor this summer at the Ten Mile River Scout Camp in upstate New York. And nobody is prouder than his mom. “I am,” said Tracie Felker, who lives in Hagerstown, Md., when asked about her boundary-breaking boy. “It’s not a brave thing he is doing,” she added. “It’s something necessary, something that needs to be done.” Legal eagle David Boies, best known for leading the fight against California’s anti-gay marriage law, said Tessier “embodies the best qualities of an Eagle Scout, and of America.” “Permitting him to continue his service to scouts and to scouting is the right decision for the Boy Scouts, and for our community,” said Boies, who is also a former scout. “In the past, barring boys and adults from being scouts and scout leaders solely based on their sexual orientation hurt them, hurt scouting, and hurt our communities. Ending that discrimination is an important step in putting an ugly chapter of American history behind us.” Zach Wahls of Scouts for Equality called the hiring of Tessier a "watershed moment." "For the first time in the history of the Boy Scouts, an openly gay adult will join their ranks as a camp counselor," he said. “Pascal Tessier was the first out gay scout, and now it appears that he will also be the first out gay leader.” New Yorkers interviewed said Tessier deserves a special merit badge. “It’s like the civil rights movement all over again,” said Kimathi McKay, a 20-year-old St. John’s University student and a former scout from Framingham, Mass. “I’m really happy the New York chapter is standing up against the national Continue Reading

Police arrest father of Minnesota boy, 10, found in river by Boy Scout troop

CRYSTAL, Minn. — Police on Monday arrested the father of a 10-year-old boy who had been missing for nearly a month before his body was found in the Mississippi River over the weekend. Pierre Collins was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in the death of Barway Collins, Crystal Police Chief Stephanie K. Revering said in a news release. The Hennepin County Jail online inmate roster listed Pierre Collins, 33, in custody Monday afternoon. The Hennepin County Attorney's office received the case from police on Monday, said Chuck Laszewski, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office. Charges could be filed as soon as Tuesday afternoon, he said. Pierre Collins has said he is innocent. A message left by The Associated Press on his home telephone Monday for comment was not immediately returned. Volunteers had helped search for the missing fourth-grader in recent weeks. His body was found Saturday by searchers from a Boy Scout troop, who then notified authorities. Officials said the body was discovered about 10 feet from the river's edge in Brooklyn Center. Revering said authorities have electronic evidence that shows Pierre Collins was in that area of the river at the time the boy disappeared. Barway was last seen after school on March 18. Video surveillance from his apartment complex shows he was about to go inside, but then turned around as if he was called over to the parking lot by someone he knew, and he walked away, police said last month. Video from a school van shows that right before he was dropped off, he had said that he saw his dad and a man who he referred to as his "uncle" nearby. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has said the cause and manner of Barway's death are still being investigated. Barway Collins' school, Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School in Brooklyn Center, sent a letter to students' parents and guardians about Barway's death and brought in social workers Continue Reading

Scouting values: Leaders call on Boy Scouts of America to end ban on openly gay adults

Were all the merit badges for naught? For Brian Peffly, a life teaching eager Boy Scouts to tie knots, start fires and build their character ended with a phone call. The vague communique told him that the Boy Scouts of America didn’t want a gay man in their midst. “I didn’t learn that discrimination was a scouting value when I was growing up,” said Peffly, 35, who has been both scout and scout leader for the better part of 20 years. “Being told I can’t be a part of my family is very devastating,” Peffly said of Troop 192, the Westerville, Ohio, group with which he has been active for much of his life. Two years after the storied organization amended its standards to prevent the expulsion of any youth member on the basis of his sexual orientation, openly gay adult members and volunteers are still in a bind. The organization made an explicit distinction between youth and adults, and leaders from the Boy Scouts of America have said there were no plans to subject the membership standards to further review. That doesn’t stop Peffly and others from praying that the topic comes up for discussion this week when more than 1,000 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America National Council converge on Atlanta for their annual meeting. “We’re really hoping that’s the case — we’re thinking and hoping and crossing our fingers that’s what they’re doing with their silence,” said attorney Josh Schiller, whose openly gay client Pascal Tessier, 18, has been hired by the Boy Scouts’ Greater New York Councils to be a camp counselor this summer. The Boy Scouts provide only a broad outline of their agenda for the private council meeting, which begins on Wednesday, and none of the proceedings will be public, but recent scrutiny of the organization’s practices has renewed activists’ expectations that the topic will be broached. I didn't Continue Reading

Boy Scout leader dies on Father’s Day hike with 2 sons, troop through New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. — A Boy Scout leader from Maryland died of an apparent heart attack while on a Father's Day hike in New Hampshire's White Mountains with his troop, which included his two sons, authorities said. Vernon "Rick" Rippeon of Westminster, Maryland, was one of four adults leading the 13-member group on the first day of a planned five-day hike in the presidential mountain range, said Lt. Wayne Saunders of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The boys ranged in age from about 11 to 17. Saunders said a call regarding a medical emergency came in at about 11:45 a.m. Sunday from the Crawford Path on Mount Pierce, known as the oldest continuously maintained footpath in the United States. He said Rippeon suffered a heart attack about 1½ miles up the trail. CPR was started almost immediately, but efforts to revive Rippeon were not successful, and he died on the trail. "It starts to gain elevation quite quickly," Saunders said of the trail, but the group hadn't been hiking that long. "It's one of those odd things. There wasn't any rhyme or reason to it, and it was fairly quickly," Saunders said. "He just sat down on a rock and collapsed." Gunnar Burdt, scoutmaster of Troop 735 of Gamber, just outside of Baltimore, said the nearly three-mile hike to an Appalachian Mountain Club hut was planned by Rippeon, a "high-adventure" outdoors trip in scouting, where "you go do something that's going to push your limits and tests your will," Burdt said. "He was our map guy, our GPS man," Burdt said. "We relied on him heavily for planning these adventures." The group has canoed 100 miles in update New York and backpacked in the Colorado Rockies. They chose the White Mountains this year; Rippeon, an avid hiker and scoutmaster before Burdt, had visited the area before with his older son, 17-year-old Ryan, about six years ago. "He was familiar with the area and the Appalachian Trail," Burdt said. "Our plan was to go hut to hut for four Continue Reading