In the unlikeliest example of a schoolboy fantasy coming true since Britney's girl-on-girl action at the 2003 VMAs, Cub Scouts in Denver were treated to an afternoon of recreational fun with their local Hooters waitresses.
Official materials for the Cub Scout Day Camp, held in late June, promised "safe fun and adventure in the outdoors" for a $65 fee. Photos posted on the Facebook page of the Denver Area Council showed boys enjoying clean, wholesome fun in the sun, with activities including arts and crafts and archery.
But Denver ABC reports that parents picking their children up from the camp were outraged to learn that the camp had been sponsored by a local Hooters franchise. Denver mom Michelle Kettleborough described her disbelief when she picked her seven-year-old son up from the camp and saw the helpful Hooters girls: "I step back for a second and I take a look and I'm like, 'Are they wearing Hooters visors? Wait a minute.'"
Pictures on the Hooters Colorado Facebook page show beaming employees posing with a woman who appears to be a den mother. In other photos, the Hooters girls sit cross-legged on the floor, helping the boys to assemble what looks like a birdhouse, before posing proudly with the finished product. Because no child actually wants to spend their weekend assembling birdhouses, the folks at Hooters Colorado turned up with what was presumably the highlight of the entire camp: a Hooters-branded race car.
While much of the outrage around the Hooters employees' involvement in the camp centred on their appearance, online photos suggest the girls were dressed appropriately. Rather than wearing the typical Hooters attire of skimpy tanks and orange briefs, the volunteers wore simple branded T-shirts, visors, and denim cut-offs.
But Denver parents were still fearful of the malign influence of an afternoon spent birdhouse making with helpful neighborhood waitresses on their precious offspring. "It's just the philosophies of the two organizations are polar opposites," Marsha Corn told Denver ABC, "I just don't think they should be together."
According to an unnamed district executive speaking to the Daily Mail, Hooters helped with the costs of running the camp, while the employees volunteered their own time. Hooters Colorado expressed their frustration with the criticism in a statement posted on Facebook: "We are disappointed a good deed was portrayed in a poor light. This is our attempt to right the situation. We enjoyed volunteering our time and look forward to future events!"
Not all of the feedback, however, has been negative. Comments left on the Hooters Facebook page welcome the girls' unpaid contributions. "As an active volunteer and a parent of two Scouts, I would like to thank Hooters and the volunteers who took the time to give back to their community," Colorado resident Yvonne Dreiling-Johnson wrote. "As for their attire, it was no different that the female counselors that are employed there. Other than a visor! Great Job [sic] ladies and Hooters. We will have to stop in to show our support!"
In a statement supplied to Broadly, a spokesperson for the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America apologized for what they are now describing as a "mistake."
"A restaurant was one of a few sponsors that extended support to help make a local Cub Scout Day Camp possible and provided volunteers for the camp. One group of trained volunteers mistakenly wore the wrong attire and it was addressed by our Council leadership. The Boy Scouts of America relies on millions of dedicated volunteers and we are very appreciative of their commitment. We extend our apologies for this mistake and look forward to continuing our mission of serving youth in the Denver area."