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Popcorn oops of the year... HELP!

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  • Popcorn oops of the year... HELP!

    So barely into the popcorn season I've made the largest mistake I've made in the six years I've been popcorn kernal for our group. I thought show and sell dates started today, Friday 9/28 and had one group set up for a local hardware store. I got a call about 30 mins into their sale from an upset parent. There was a scoutmaster there from another group YELLING at the cubs bc sales didn't start until tomorrow 9/29 and he wasn't leaving until they packed it up. Thankfully I don't live far away and headed straight over. I contacted our cubmaster and sorted thru papers and our council website and we couldn't find anything that had a darn date on it! Common sense said we always started on Friday night. Well I got there, and told the kids that since I couldn't get anything confirmed on the fly to pack it up and go home in case I was wrong, it seemed like the honest thing to do right? The guy had gone inside with his wife to complain to the hardware store and I ran into them. And they proceeded to chew me out, and about that same time the cubmaster called back and confirmed that it was in fact tomorrow we begin. MY BAD!!! I admit, I totally screwed up. My kids sold 35 mins of popcorn early and didn't make that much and if I could track down every person and give back their money I would. Here's the part I need help with. They (the guy and his wife) said that they would be back tomorrow morning to edge us out (despite that we have been on their calendar for a month) and that they'd make sure we didnt set up a table there at all this season bc we were liars and cheaters. I have show and sells set up there tomorrow and Sunday and tons of kids set to filter through. I have my kid and my nephew set up as the first people tomorrow, thank goodness and plan to get there early but what do I do if they show up? I don't want to fight, again, I admit that I made a mistake but do they have the right to toss us out? I can't find a number for someone at the local council that isn't a business number so I have no way of contacting anyone. How should I proceed? What should I tell these people if they show up tomorrow? I don't want to make the store mad bc they have been loyal to us for years and I wouldn't want to cause a problem for their business, they are doing us a favor by letting us be there. Advice? Feel free to chastise me for my mistake, I feel dreadful about it, but mostly I am upset that popcorn has gotten so competative that grown people in charge of leading our boys would stand and yell at other boys and make them cry! For heaven's sake we are all part of the same program and these kids work so darn hard!

  • #2
    Speak to the owner of the business. He's they guy you have to please.
    And he's the guy who decides who sets up outside.
    I'd not prostrat myself for an honest mistake.
    Apologize, which you have, and move on.

    I find the behavior you describe remarkable.

    Does he act like this all the time? What a bad example for scout leaders. His COR and CC might like to know about that.

    Comment


    • #3
      Honest mistake......I don't think so.....That was more than a little what is the word I am looking for.

      Popcorn is incredibly competitive....The purchasing pool of folks is very finite....A single day advantage in a small town is huge....

      the SM was an A hole and acting out......Needs to switch to decaf......he was out of line.

      So what is going to happen tomorrow.....I would go and set up your table as planned.....Have someone with a video camera in da bushes if he shows up.....Then record the interaction......Be sure to get his troop number and from that you can figure out his Charter organization..... If he acts like an idiot....I would speak with the Institutional head at his CO, show him or her the video tape. Without the video tape it is your word against his.....

      Beyond all of the Adult scouting BULLPUCKY...

      What is going to happen is the owner of the store will change his opinion of scouting from positive to negative. He will no longer donate to Scouting and not allow them to sell anything in front of the store from now on.......

      A no win because of both of you.....Just not the jerk SM




      Comment


      • #4
        Explain to the store owner the issue at hand. You could make the case that to make up for your error, your boys made sure they weren't selling between midnight and 12:35am!

        But regarding the SM I'll tell you a quick story.

        My daughter was excited for her first GS cookie sell, she had her form and we were on our way to take older brother to troop meeting. So I encouraged her to go around to adults taking orders. It was a couple days before sale start date, but what did I know? Anyway we got flack for it. Nobody was mean, just a phone call to my wife. But my daughter was mortified that we broke a rule, and asked why they gave us a form if we couldn't fill it out. (Like homework, start it as soon as you get it, right?) That was the end of her short lived GSUsa career.

        So if the SM shows up tomorrow, ask him to introduce himself to the boys. Because, if they decide to quit scouting because of an adult's unseemly behavior, they'll be able to refer to him by name.

        You could also make amends by inviting him and the Mrs. to your Blue & Gold. Dinner covers a multitude of sins in my book!

        Comment


        • #5
          This is the reason why store owners stop allowing scouts to sell in front of their establishments.
          The owner doesn't want some Scout leaders arguing in front of his store causing a scene! It's easier for the owner to just not allow sales at all.
          Mr. SM has a major problem, he should have maybe said something to you privately but to yell at you and then go in to the store and complain to the manager was way out of line.

          My troop was doing sales in front of a store on our scheduled date and time a several years ago when a Cub Pack pulled up ready to sell. A discussion between the two parties began and apparently a store employee had given the Cubs a verbal OK for the same time slot we had been promised by the owner. My leader called me and asked what to do. I told them to pack up and call it a day, let the Cubs take it, and be pleasant about it.
          Later when the leader asked why I would just give up our appointed time slot I said that we recruit from that pack and we need to maintain a good relation with them. A few hours of popcorn sales was not worth pissing off the CM and WDL. Maybe your yelling SM might want to consider that.

          What's the big deal about selling a day early anyway?

          Comment


          • #6
            Interesting, in our council, as soon as the Scouts get their Take Order forms they can start selling. Also, as soon as they pick up their Show/Sell corn they can can begin selling.

            You must have gone right from popcorn pick-up to Booth Sale.

            I would be a bit suprised that no one at pick-up mentioned that the sale started the following day (today).

            None the less, the SM's actions were over and above what even a misanthrope would consider rude. Hopefully someone mentioned to this idiot the Scout Law that he is supposed to be a role model for, and the very negative impression he made on Scouts who will now not likely even consider crossing to his Troop.

            I would agree that you should arive early, and have a quiet talk to the owner of the store, before setting up.

            Hopefully all will go well today.

            Comment


            • #7
              Make sure you send a nice thank you letter to the owner. Having the boys make a big card at the next pack meeting from a folded poster board would also be a nice gesture. All you can do is apologize and move forward.

              Comment


              • #8
                I hate selling overpriced popcorn.

                Much like Scoutnut, we can start selling popcorn as soon as we pick it up. The popcorn kernal for our Troop sets up locations to sell at, nearly a year in advance. He loves this stuff.

                From the OP's description, unless the SM has already made arrangements to sell at the hardware store, on Saturday, I don't understand how he can disrupt the popcorn sale for the Cubs.
                That's just dirty pool.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Seriously? There is a Council out there that has made a rule about when you can start selling popcorn? I'd be laughing in the face of the DE, telling him/her to cram it, stop selling popcorn, and tell them not to bother coming by for a Friends of Scouting program until they got their heads out of their hind ends.

                  I would not have packed up last night as you had permission from the hardware store owner to be there, unless the hardware store owner told you to leave and I would have told Mr. SM to go pound sand somewhere else.

                  Any organization that raises fund by selling stuff like popcorn or cookies is just plain stupid if they hand out order forms or product and say "don't start selling until Saturday". Why would anyone not want to make their fundraising product available as long as possible?

                  The Scout units in my area have been doing show and sells for the past three weeks already - I've already boutgh 5 tins of caramel corn from different units.

                  (This message has been edited by calicopenn)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    K1986,
                    Seems to me you made an honest mistake. You apologized and felt terrible about it, yet this SM acted in what I feel is a totally obnoxious and repugnant manner--in front of your Cubs no less--concerning a matter that's NONE OF HIS DAMN BUSINESS!!!!

                    A call to his Troop's Chartered Organization Representative and/or Institutional Head is definitely in order here. PLEASE don't let this "slide". I hope things went well for you yesterday, please take a moment to update!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So... What happened this morning?
                      Inquiring minds want to know!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Seriously? There is a Council out there that has made a rule about when you can start selling popcorn?

                        Well, as Basementdweller says, it's competitive and a one-day advantage can make a big difference.

                        Our council does have a date, and it's a Saturday. They want to get all the forms out ahead of time, but they don't want to create some type of situation where some packs or troops have an advantage over others. Everyone around here just accepts that this is the fair way to proceed. I haven't heard anyone complain about it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          From the cubscout at the popcorn show & sell: Mr Scoutmaster, I am not going to crossover to your Troop.

                          SM: Why?
                          Scout: You yelled at me years ago when I was selling popcorn.
                          SM:What?
                          Scout: Yes, years ago apparently we were selling popcorn a day ahead of time and it was an HONEST mistake.
                          SM: I am sorry about that, but that was the rules.
                          Scout: yes, but a Scout is Kind and you were not, so I think that if you do that in public, I do not want to be in your Troop. My buddies and I are going to another Troop because of it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            From the business owner who lent the use of his business for selling popcorn:

                            Business Owner: I'm sorry, but despite our earlier agreement your Troop is not welcome to sell popcorn here?


                            SM: Why is that?

                            Business Owner: You made a scene in front of my business with the Cub Scouts. The Cub Scouts had my permission to be where they were, and it was rude of you to make a scene.


                            SM: But they weren't supposed to be selling at that time!


                            Business Owner: Supposing that is true, picking a fight with the Cub Scouts in front of my business was the wrong way to deal with it.

                            You'll have to get packed up and leave, because I see the Cub Scouts arriving to sell pop corn today!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Fundraising is serious business.

                              However, anybody that tries to diminish the work of a boy because of a mistake his adult leader has made is NOT ok in my book.

                              Due to the level of anger the SM reached I have trouble believing the SM was completely unprovoked. The parents or leaders at the sale had to have helped trigger him, because a rational person would not poison the well by complaining to the store owner, who nobody in their right mind would expect to know when the Popcorn Sale starts.

                              Nobody with half a brain would do what that SM did without some sort of aggravation beyond the initial response to the situation.

                              My guess as to what happened:

                              Cub Scout: Would you like to support Cub Scouts and buy some popcorn?

                              Scoutmaster: (to parent) You guys know the sale doesn't start until tomorrow, right? That's the Council's rules.

                              Parent: (laughing) Guess we're getting a head start then.

                              Scoutmaster: No you're not! You need to close up! You really can't sell now.

                              Parent: Well we signed up for today here to sell. Let me ask my Popcorn person.


                              This is when the SM who is used to having his knowledge of the rules go unquestioned goes berserk because he is now being put *on hold* essentially. He then makes the poor decision to not wait for the answer by phone and just go inside to explain to the store owner that the sale doesn't start until tomorrow and ask him to come out and tell the Cub Scouts (who he thinks are either incompetent or cheating) to leave.

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