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I hate popcorn

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  • I hate popcorn

    Even as a kid I never liked popcorn.
    I never eat the stuff and don't like the smell of it.
    The stuff that our Council pushes is Trails End.
    Seems way over priced, even for a fund raising pack.
    Why popcorn?
    Why not something else?
    Anything but this evil smelling yucky chicken feed!
    Just thought I'd mention it.
    Ea.

  • #2
    I enjoy popcorn.

    Now selling an $18 box of popcorn is too much. The BSA has spent too much time in the wrong neighborhoods doing market research. 10 bucks for a $1 bag of carmel corn.

    We have always threatened not to sell popcorn.....Next year just might be that year.

    Comment


    • #3
      I too am not a fan of popcorn, but why would you not want to make the most of a fundraising idea, whatever it is for the boys? Is the money from nasty popcorn worse than money raised from a car wash, wreaths, placing flags on lawns or any other idea we have discussed here? I know in my council, if you want a campership from hte district, the scout HAS to have sold popcorn and participated in our hike-a-thon. Why would you take that from the boys. Also, every manager I have ever had gave me the same advice when complaining aboout something: find the solution that will create the same income for the same or less work and sell it to the powers that be. Complaining solves nothing, replacing popcorn with a program that is more "accepatble and reasonable" is not the job of the councils, they are happy on cruise control, you find the solution and present it and you will never have to sell popcorn again.

      Comment


      • #4
        PC. More info regarding hike a thon. How is it structured? Sounds like something we could work with.......I assume it benefits the troop.

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        • #5
          I hate, hate, hate popcorn. I am embarrassed by it's high cost. It is not a unique product and I do not like my son's doing so. I know this (vs Girlscout Cookies) is a well traveled road on this forum. At the price of product is seems a bit like begging.

          It was a good fundraiser for my old Pack less so for the Troop.

          We have other fund raisers so in our Troop the boys keep the "profit" for scout accounts.

          A few boys are great salesman. Most of the good sellers are actually kids of attorney's, etc who buy a big bunch and give them out as gifts.

          My sons have had to work really really hard for whatever they sold. They finally figured out this year that they make more per hour mowing lawns, etc.

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          • #6
            I'll give up on the popcorn sale when people quit buying....

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            • #7
              I actually like popcorn, and the popcorn products sold by BSA are pretty good quality, but they are not a bargain. In general, when it comes to buying a food product from a non profit as a fund raiser I expect to pay a premium.

              No pack or troop with which I have been affiliated participates in the popcorn sales. The troop with which I am currently affiliated does two car washes per year and gets a much better return on its effort. The car wash tickets are priced very competitively. We see no reason to climb on the popcorn bandwagon.

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              • #8
                I'm a popcorn convert.

                First year as a Tiger parent, son sold a bunch to the neighborhood. Cute kid, embarrassing the neighbors out of their money...

                Second year we were ashamed to go back to the neighbors because the quality had been so bad the year before. But the quality of the second year product was actually okay.

                Finally, they changed the packaging so that it says in large letters "70% of sales price goes to support Scouting". Okay. Still a little overpriced, but it's a fund-raiser!

                Our pack has close to 10 grand in the bank account at the start of this year. We are not a for profit organization, so we've started spending the money on outside programs (Snakes Alive!, S.O.A.R.) and subsidizing trips (Pack pays for the bus)to remote locations that otherwise we would never do without the popcorn money. We've got good camping gear, a trailer, a PWD track; everything a pack needs to operate smoothly. Because of popcorn money.

                And nobody we know has died because of the low-fat microwave popcorn. (Thank goodness the local hospital has a good resuscitation average!)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I hate popcorn. It sticks between my teeth and the kernal husks get stuck at the back of my throat right about where my gag reflex is.


                  But when it comes to selling stuff, I know it isn't what I like that matters, but what the customer likes.

                  But it's hard to sellwhen the customer points out that a handfull of Trail's End popcorn goes for $10.00 dollars while a 5 gallon can of a 3 variety popcorn goes for $4.00 at Walmart or Taget.

                  Yes, some people will support scouting just because of what it is. But more give you an ugly look before turning away.

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                  • #10
                    Back when my son was a Cub Scout I sold popcorn.
                    I managed to talk a few of my beer distributer pals to hand it out to their customers as a thank you gift.
                    So I was selling it by the case load.
                    One year the Council had a drawing (Isn't that a form of gambling for kids who sold over some set amount for a mountain bike. He won the bike.
                    They also gave the top seller from each District a $100 voucher that could be used for camp. He didn't need the buck so we donated to the Council Campership fund. He kept the bike!
                    Ea.
                    (I still hate the stuff!)

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                    • #11
                      Hello Joe Bob,


                      What are the methods your pack uses to sell a LOT of popcorn?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have to say, contrary to some on here, that I love popcorn...my wife and I are junkies for it. However, with that said, I absolutely hate selling the Trails End, because it is entirely too expensive, and theres a relatively low ROI (return on investment). As the program is set now, the troop and the council each receive 30%, as opposed to an original fundraiser which yields 100% for the troop. Typically, from what I have seen, this isn't really an issue for packs...it's a lot easier to say no to a 17 year old than a 7 year old. Additionally, I hate how hard council pushes the popcorn issue...almost as if it were the Popcorn Scouts of America, which is another reason our troop has only done it twice in the past 16 years.

                        For another alternative, check out thegivingbean.com, which sells coffee and tea for scout fundraisers. This also works great for those who hate the kernels stuck in their teeth...

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                        • #13
                          I don't really eat much popcorn but the Trail's End is at least as good as any other I've had. But we're not rreally selling popcorn are we? We're selling Scouting.

                          As a fundraiser, it has been phenomally successful for each unit we've been involved with. We went, in one Pack, from barely scraping by to paying for registration, Boys Life subscriptions, leader registration, all uniform patches, handbooks, all activities and transportation, etc because of popcorn sales. Another Pack made enough money they provided all renewing membership costs for the Cubs and leaders AND uniforms. We've had a Troop pay for all Scout activities and transporation, another that paid for all annual high adventure trips, another that paid all registration costs with money raised from popcorn. All of these were in mixed rural and urban areas where the community is not exactly "high-end".

                          In fact, in our experiences - with our own Scout and with units - the people that buy the most (and most consistently) are the working class. When we tried targetting upper class neighborhoods, in multiple areas, sales were always low - too much going to the mortgage I guess.

                          We've seen popcorn sales liberate the unit from cost concerns and enable Scouting to reach families that might not otherwise be able to fully participate. More than half of the Scouts in units we've done popcorn sales with earned enough for the Trail's End scholarship. As a fundraiser, it has been very successful from what we've seen. Most of the adults I hear who don't support popcorn have never tried it as a fundraiser or are against on "principle" - council-run, interferes with the program, too corporate, etc.

                          Things I think could be better:
                          1. Timing, the sales start right after School Night for Scouting - Welcome to Scouts, now go sell stuff. Also too early, in many parts of the country, to sell the chocolate at Show and Sells.
                          2. Prizes, these have gotten pretty lame over the years.
                          3. Council incentives. Two of the councils we've been involved in were VERY reluctant to provide any real value incentives for top-selling (or most improved) units or individuals. Also would like to see more of the popcorn money raised go directly to help Scouting in poor areas of the councils or struggling units. This of course may vary with your local council.
                          4. Trail's End Scholarship. Great idea but poorly handled when it comes time to pay up. They are slow, non-communicative, and generally frustrating when it comes time to release the money. Every Scout I've dealt with has had issues with getting the scholarship money released. Not so much anyone trying not to pay - it's terribly inefficient.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "As the program is set now, the troop and the council each receive 30%, as opposed to an original fundraiser which yields 100% for the troop."

                            I have to agree with everyone that it is indeed overpriced. But this is exactly why we participate in the popcorn program. It is difficult for the council to support us and our efforts if we do not do our part to support the council in its fundraising efforts.

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                            • #15
                              popcorn does great around here for the packs... who can say no to that cute little cubscout that comes up to the door? but for troops, it's only the boys in their first couple years that do good... it gets pretty easy to say no to a teenager.

                              biggest issue around here is time of sales... we sell popcorn in the fall... our school does a fall fundraiser, the band does a fundraiser, and the football team does a fundraiser. So people really have to make a choice in who/what they support.

                              the other issue for the older scouts is time... fall is when my son is in debate which means everyday after school he either has research/practice or a meet to go to. His weekends are usually packed with other scout activities or school activities. So when is he suppose to find time to go around and ask people?

                              add in that our council changed companies a few years ago and prices went up and our best sellers are gone... and he doesn't bother. instead he supports the troop with participating in troop fundraisers and we support the council through friends of scouting.

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