Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Custom Boy Scout Trailer on a Budget

As a Scoutmaster, I often get questions regarding our trailer when we go to Scouting events - so here is a rundown of our trailer in case anyone else is interested.

Troop 192 bought the Featherlite Model 1610 aluminum trailer used from Craigslist a few years back. Our former Scoutmaster researched quite awhile to find this one with a concession door. I think we paid about $2500 for it at the time. I’ve seen the MSRP list for about $13K, with sale prices new about $9K. We sold our old trailer for about $1,000 to offset the costs. Our troop has an annual pop can drive that helped pay for the balance.This unit has dome lights, 12v light, etc.

We modified the concession door to make it a pantry and added a pullout cork board for duty rosters and camp info.

 Weight according to a flyer found online is 1,850, but that doesn’t include the shelving inside (metal and wood). With all of our gear, I’m guessing it weighs around 6-7,000 lb. This unit has dome lights, 12v light, etc.

 I took the photos. We wanted to show our boys in action, but without the faces, so it would be a promotion of Boy Scout in general and now just our troop. We happened to have some parents in our troop that worked in the sign industry at SignGraphix - they helped with the design and really made this a reality. Graphics Communications in Shelby Township installed the vinyl. Cost for the printing and installation was about $2,200.

I consulted with the Marketing Communications Director from the Great Lakes Field Service Council and the National office regarding high-resolution graphics. Council was able to secure a higher res .eps file for one of the logos.
The only thing that National requested was that we include "" on both sides of the trailer. You can find some of the logos here:

The pantry really sets this trailer apart and makes an ideal setup by our dining fly. It really helps in kitchen prep and provides easy access to a lot of key items for food prep and essential cooking items.

A big thanks to our troop and committee members for supporting this long-term vision for promoting our troop in the Southeastern Michigan area.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Snow Blower or Paper Shredder?

Clearing the driveway - only 5 or 6 inches - with my vintage Ariens 832 snow blower. The impeller kit is working great and works like a charm on this classic Made in USA beast from the 1970s.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chrysler Virtual Auto Factory Tour Web Site

The SapientNitro Creative team helped launch the new 2015 Chrysler 200 Factory Tour web site. A Factory Manufacturing page created by our team supported the program as well.

Chrysler CMO Olivier Francois, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and Chrysler brand CEO Al Gardner wanted to show consumers the overhauled state-of-the-art manufacturing processes that highlight the Chrysler 200's quality, excellence and sophistication. This program ties in to the "Born Makers" TV ads which also highlights the Sterling Heights manufacturing plant.

This immersive tour uses the Google program to tap into existing content on the internet including 360-degree interactive films and photography. Various aspects of the assembly process were highlighted to focus on many of the innovative processes that help separate the new Chrysler 200 apart from the competition.
Not everyone can visit the Chrysler plant, so Oliver Francois did the next best thing, "Since we can't bring people to the plant, we've openly brought the plant to the people." In the immersive site, the consumer is part of the discovery process as they see the in the pride, expertise and excellence built into every new 2015 Chrysler 200.

The story was picked up and lauded by Forbes, Automobile, Motor Trend, Road & Track among others.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Apple iPad X-ray view of "The Fighting Heart of the Jeep"

John Howard predicted the future of the Apple iPad and its massive impact on medicine way back in 1944.

Today iPads are leading the way in an information revolution. You're going to see more kiosks with permanently attached touchscreens in hospitals so patients can look up information. Apps are leading the way in this growing industry. Patients charts are streamlined and work flow is improving thanks to iPads in Hospitals.

This practical and elegant solution is also influencing the next generation of doctors in medical education. iPads are now becoming the primary source of medical teaching at many institutions. They are an ideal means of teaching in small environments.

As in the Jeep / heart image - one of the top apps out called the Airstrip Cardiology, that allows health care professionals to review a patient's ECG history and can forward key information to the client with the swipe of a button.

Kudos to John Howard in his amazing insight into seeing the future of medicine by looking deeply in the heart of a Jeep 4x4.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Brand Stewardship in Action

If you've been tracking the success of A&E's Duck Dynasty show - you've seen it has had a rapid rise in popularity. The recent snafu with Phil Robertson and his short-term "suspension" has only propelled the show into new dialogues of the social sphere. In the end, A&E was swayed by a viewer boycott and rapid loss of viewership after indefinitely benching the elder Robertson. It just so happens Duck Dynasty is A&E's top-rated show after carelessly shooting themselves in the foot they quickly patched things up and "un-suspended" the conservatively minded patriarch.

It turns out the dedicated followers of the Duck Dynasty show are socially savvy. They put their collective power to use and quickly quelled any notions of canning the lucrative show - as it could not have gone on without the elder Robertson. In the end the nearly 12 million viewers got what they wanted and were "happy, happy, happy."

Swing your semi-auto gaze to another field filled with passionate duck lovers. In our world of high-tech tracking and gadgets that follow our every move - even ducks and geese are not immune to the eagle eyes of hunters, biologists and wildlife refuge officers. has slick Waterfowl Migration tracker - sponsored by Ducks Unlimited and Remington that gives reports on the status and movement of the quacking sort.
Looking up a report in my neck of the woods near Toledo, Ohio shows a report by Gerry Mazur, Avery Pro Staff. His report gives a glimpse to the trials and tribulations of being a duck and goose in the wild when temps are sub-zero.

Hunting: Has been too dangerous to be out.

Species/Numbers: Ducks and geese are working the rivers for open water and near salt piles to stay alive.

Weather: Starting a slow thaw from the dangerous could the last 4 days. wind chills were in the -40 below category and some spots close to a foot of snow.

Let me first say - this is why I prefer a coat with down vs. synthetic. No other material in the world has the insulating properties of down. Human skin is rather lacking. A bit better with beards like the Robertson's, but still lacking. The National Weather Service reports that exposed skin can get frostbite in as little as 10 minutes with wind chill reaching -40 to -60 degrees Fahrenheit. Yikes.
Equally impressive is the fact that Gerry Mazur was out and about checking on the status of ducks and geese in this frigid weather. This kind of dedication is commendable. A real die-hard for ducks.

So what is this "Avery Pro-Staff" designation alongside Gerry's name? Turns out it is a special program for outdoor-minded individuals (aka hunters) that use Avery Outdoors equipment and want to become more than a consumer, but a team member (brand steward). They have very strict criteria for their staff and expect a certain level of dedication to the cause. An application process is posted on their message board, where they stress, "being part of this special team is hard work and will require a commitment of time and energy that many cannot make." They stress being a team player and the seriousness of the calling. has a Pro-Staff page that includes biographies of each Staff Member on their site and it appears to be a big part of their marketing program. This empowerment of the masses to be brand stewards and promote the good of duck hunting as well as their own brand is noteworthy.
Proud duck dog from North Texas.
My hope, as a writer and brand steward of the Jeep brand, is that as Gerry is trekking through the tundra tracking ducks along the migratory waterways of Michigan and Ohio -- he would be doing it in a Jeep 4x4. I applaud Avery Outdoors for their nurturing of brand stewards that actively monitor their pro-staff flyways and represent their brand. Well-done and happy spotting!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pete Rose - soft heart for Jeep 4x4s

Came across this 1978 article from Jeep News about Pete Rose and his gifting of 10 Jeep CJ's to his friends on the Cincinnati Reds. It was a "thank-you" for supporting him in his 44 consecutive game hitting streak.

I'm reprinting the article here for easier reading:
"Pete Rose Gets 44 Hits and 10 Jeep CJ's"

   "It is no coincidence that Pete Rose and Jeep vehicles are two of Ohio's most famous products. They both have world-wide reputations for being tough, reliable performers in the field no matter where they happen to be playing, they both have rugged good looks, and they both seem to draw a crowd of admirers wherever they go. Nevertheless, this Jeep News reporter (Russel Sehnert), was quite surprised to learn that his boyhood hero, now an old timer at 37 in the baseball world, bought ten Jeep CJ's to present to certain people in appreciation for what they did for him during his outstanding career with the Cincinnati Reds.
   Rose's love affair really began in 1975 after he won the Most Valuable Player Award in the World Series that year. 'They gave me a choice of products from American Motors,' Rose said. 'And I was just drawn to the Jeep CJ. I liked driving it around with the top off, and it was great for taking on fishing trips with some of the other players and coaches.'
   'The big reason I decided to give Jeep CJ's to my friends on the Cincinnati Reds was that I wanted to give them something instead of cash. They all could use a Jeep, as most of them fish or hunt, and several live on farms, and drive in snow in the winter. I even got two tops for the guys who live in the north...I asked them if they'd like one, and everyone said, 'yes!' "

He was an amazing player. I still remember traveling across country in our Ford LTD listening in as Pete extended his hitting streak day after day. Quite an amazing run.