Boy Scouts Come Home Wearing Hooters Swag After Someone Let The ‘Breastaurant’ Sponsor a Kids’ Camp

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(Via Giphy)

It’s great when restaurants want to support the kids in their community, but sometimes brands just don’t mesh, and someone probably should have thought of that before a bunch of Boy Scouts came home from camp laden with Hooters swag.

As much as people might like Hooters “for the wings,” it is a “breastaurant,” or a breast-themed restaurant. The logo is an owl with boobs for eyes, which makes him look pretty surprised, but not half as surprised as some Colorado parents were this week when their kids came back from Cub Scout camp wearing Hooters hats and other restaurant-advertising paraphernalia, according to ABC News.

“I step back for a second, and I take a look and I’m like, ‘Are they wearing Hooters visors? Wait a minute,'” said Michelle Kettleborough, who was stunned to see her 7-year-old son wearing a Hooters hat.

I mean, really. The owl has breasts for eyes. The name of the restaurant is slang for women’s breasts. It is not appropriate to put this on a 7-year-old.

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According to ABC News, a Denver-area Hooters sponsored the camp and sent three waitresses each day to be volunteers at the three-day Cub Scout camp. The waitresses were trained volunteers going out of their way to help out at the camp, and they should be thanked for that. The women who volunteered don’t deserve any of the blowback over this. All they did was help out at a camp, and that’s great. The volunteers were also wearing Hooters-branded hats and jackets, not the signature tank tops and orange hot pants worn at the restaurants, but parents were still pretty disturbed by the juxtaposition of the Cub Scouts and the Hooters brand and logo, especially when pictures of some of their kids were posted on the local Hooters’ Facebook page. The pictures have since been removed after parents complained, but some parents were still pretty upset to learn about the sponsorship.

It should be specified that the waitresses did absolutely nothing wrong, and it was very kind and generous of them to volunteer at a camp for children. The waitresses are great, and it sucks that their generosity has been upstaged by controversy, but authorities on either side of the sponsorship agreement could have prevented this drama, either by deciding the sponsorship was a terrible idea, or even by telling the parents in advance so they didn’t find out when their 7-year-olds came home from camp advertising a breast-themed chain restaurant. It’s the Hooters restaurant brand and the Boy Scouts leadership that created the problem by deciding that “breast-themed chain restaurant” and “wholesome outdoor activities for seven-year-olds” made good synergy.

One mother said she emailed the local Boy Scouts chapter to complain about the sponsorship, because she felt that the philosophies of the Boy Scouts and Hooters restaurants were in opposition and the partnership was inappropriate, but they dismissed her complaint in a pretty glib manner.

“The restaurant assisted with the costs of putting on the camp, and through their community volunteering several of their waitresses donated their time to help staff the camp. Glad to hear your son had such a good time,” a Boy Scouts representative told her via email.

It’s great that restaurants want to help out with the community and sponsor events like a camp for kids, but none of this stuff is done purely out of altruism. Distributing Hooters swag to 7-year-olds reads like a particularly smarmy attempt at getting them while they’re young. “Here’s a hat, kids! In a few years, you’ll be big enough to come ogle the nice ladies who are teaching you to tie knots today.” 

If the restaurant wanted to donate its time and money for the kids without putting the restaurant’s name in front of them, that might be a different story. Somehow it seems unlikely that they’d be up for that, though. Most of the time, companies looking to support kids are also looking to advertise to them, but it’s not appropriate to put the Hooters’ name and branding on 7-year-olds without their parents’ knowledge.