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  • Boys popcorn credit

    I Need to know who I contact to ask about my sons popcorn sales.the pack we were in has given the boys 34%of the sales credited to their accounts.we have recently changed packs and were told they will not forward all of his money and now will give him 18%. I am so disappointed and wish to contact as high up as I can go with this.please advise!!

  • #2
    I am sorry that the financial side of the Pack was never explained to you.

    When you changed Packs, your original Pack was under absolutely no obligation to send ANY of the money in his Scout account over to your new Pack.

    That they are willing to give his new Pack 18% is extremely nice of them.

    In BSA the local council issued a charter to local organizations giving them the right to use the BSA program. These Charter Organizations own their BSA units (Pack, Troop, Team, Crew, Ship).

    All funds raised in the name of Scouting, and and in the name of a BSA Scouting unit (Pack, Troop, Team, Crew, Ship), belong to that unit, and are the responsibility of the Charter Organization that owns the unit.

    Bottom line, your former Pack's popcorn sale was not a for-profit business for your son.

    The Pack Scout accounts are PACK funds which the PACK ALLOWS it's members to use for certain Scout related costs within the PACK.

    Once you left, and were no longer a member of that Pack, they were under no obligation to share PACK FUNDS, with another Pack.

    Also, because of the nature of not-for-profits, and the IRS, giving any Pack money to your son directly could void their not-for-profit status, and incur for your son taxes due to the IRS on what would be considered income to your son.

    Take the 18%, and say thank you to BOTH your old, and new Pack for being so accommodating.


    • #3
      Also, your pack is an operating entity of its chartering organization, not BSA. BSA acts like a franchiser and consulting group that charters with other businesses to host scout units using their official program. So, complaining up to BSA or the council is pointless, the pack belongs to the chartering org.

      If you want to escalate over the heads of the pack leadership, go to their chartering org.

      I agree with ScoutNut, you are owed no money. You changed units, and the money you raised was for BSA and that unit's use. Them creating scout accounts is just nice of them. They don't have to do that, and you don't have a right to the money.


      • #4
        Yah, hmmm...

        Seems yeh have posted a couple of times, Dszczepa. I responded to your other one without lookin' at your post count to realize yeh were new. First, welcome to the forums.

        Second, ScoutNut and BSA24 are correct.

        When your son sold popcorn, he was conducting a fundraiser for the Pack. All of the money belongs to the Pack. None of it is yours or your son's. If it were yours or your son's, then they would have to withhold social security and other taxes, comply with labor laws, etc. What your son was doin' was a service project, and yeh don't expect anything back from giving service.

        Now, some scout units allocate a portion of fundraised dollars to "scout accounts", sort of a pretend bank account in order to teach boys the value of working hard and saving. That's an educational exercise only, and yeh should never think of it like it's a real bank account. Even so, da way some units do it is a bit fast and loose and generally not OK in terms of the laws for fundraising and not-for-profits, which prohibit funds to go to individual members in any way.

        So what it comes down to is it would not be legal for them to give any of the money to you or your son. If they choose to transfer any of it to the new pack your son has joined, that's entirely up to them. Best to ask 'em very nicely rather than makin' a scene, because the proper answer for what your son is entitled to is "Zero."

        And I reckon that old saw about catching more flies with an ounce of honey than a gallon of vinegar makes a good point, eh?



        • #5
          ""the pack we were in has given the boys 34%of the sales credited to their accounts""

          This raised a question in my mind. In our council, approximately 34% of the sale price goes to the Unit, 33% to the Council, and about 33% to Trails End. I think the 18% figure is the Cub's share, out of the Pack's 34%, for his "account" . So the figures are correct, the parent misunderstood the percentages, and the old Pack is, indeed, being very charitable toward the new Pack.
          And, as has been said, the Cub and his parents ultimately have no say about how that money is spent.

          "A Cub Scout helps the Pack Go..."


          • #6
            Most packs that do Scout accounts keep a portion of the popcorn profits to fund pack activities.

            And the pack and council provide substantial services to sponsor and manage the popcorn sale ---it's unreasonable to expect you will get 100% of what the pack earns and the pack will get 0%


            • #7
              I thought that 34 percent figure sounded familiar. It has been a long time (about 10 years) since I have been involved with a Trail's End popcorn sale, but that 34 percent did ring a bell as the maximum the unit got to keep -- and (this may be different from council to council) that was only if the unit had jumped through the maximum number of hoops set by the council, i.e. you sent your "popcorn kernel" to the kickoff meeting, you bought a certain amount for a show-and-sell, maybe you had to send a volunteer to help unload the Trail's End truck at the central distribution site, stuff like that. For each hoop you missed, a small percentage was deducted from the unit's "cut." So 34 percent for "Scout accounts" definitely did not sound right. (We did not have Scout accounts in that pack; there were prizes from Trail's End for certain levels of sales, we decided that was good enough. My current troop does have what are, in effect, "Scout accounts" under a different name for our product fundraisers (not popcorn), but the Scout's "cut" is zero for the first $150 in sales, and about 15 percent after that, plus about 5 percent extra above a certain level (which most Scouts never reach.)

              I do agree with what others have said about this situation. These "accounts" are on shaky ground to begin with, and you are lucky to get anything when you leave a unit. And your son was most likely never getting credit for anywhere near 34 percent of the gross sales in the first place.

              I was almost prompted to tell my story about the time our pack had a popcorn show-and-sell, planned months in advance, that happened to occur on Saturday, September 15, 2001. (Think about it.) And this was approximately 40 miles from the World Trade Center site, where the smoke was literally still clearing and relief and recovery efforts in full swing. I'll save the whole story for another time, but the point here is that we ended up donating some large portion (maybe a third, maybe half) of our profit from the show-and-sell to the 9-11 relief efforts, along with any "extra donations" that were given to the boys with no specification of whether the money was for the pack or 9-11 (which was really all anybody was thinking about at the time.) I hope it was legal for us to donate the money. Maybe we should have had the CO's permission for that? But I think they would have said yes...


              • #8
                The pack my son used to be in split the 30% popcorn profit so that the pack received 15% and the scout earned 15% in their account. When the scout crossed over to the troop, their scout account transferred with them. The pack had a policy to transfer any scout account funds to a new unit.

                The troop, since they have other forms of revenue, give the whole 30% profit to the scout's account. If the scout moves and joins another troop, our policy is that their scout account will transfer to their new troop.

                Our feelings is that the boy's did earn the right to the scout money they worked hard for. The prizes they earned from their sale level was a bonus.

                If they were unsure if and when they will find a new troop, we just tell them to purchase camp gear, hiking boots, uniforms, etc. before they move from the troop to use up the funds in their account.


                • #9
                  OK to have them purchase BSA uniforms and handbooks etc.. You are putting your units (and your CO's) non-profit status in jeapordy to allow htem to buy camping gear & hiking boots..

                  They may be things they could use in BSA, but they are things they can use just as well out of BSA.. Therefore you are giving profit to an individual..

                  Most likely you wont get caught, the government has better things to do then track down the nickle & dime operations.. But, slipping under the radar is not really honest or trustworthy.


                  • #10
                    Our home Troop lets the Cub Pack sell the popcorn.
                    Troop sells Holiday/Christmas decorations, wreaths and such. Troop Scout earns a percentage for his yearly dues/fees, then when that is satisfied, he earns a set portion into his Scout account. This "account" is used for activity fees, camp fees, etc. not personal expenses like boots and sleeping bags. Pays for Philmont and camporees.
                    "A Scout is thrifty. He pays his own way".
                    One boy in the not too distant past, saved up all his Scout account and bought the Troop trailer before he aged out.


                    • #11
                      Moosetracker - your entire post regarding being honest and trustworthy incorrectly assumed that our CO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, which they are not.

                      Please don't make unwarranted assumptions and accusations about someone's posts by reading more into the post than what the person has written.

                      Our unit's status follows our CO's status.

                      Taken from

                      The BSA National Council grants a charter to religious organizations, service clubs, businesses,and others who want to sponsor a Scout unit. A unit is actually owned by its chartered organization. Chartered organizations vary widely in tax status, but the tax status of your unit is the same as that of your chartering partner."


                      • #12
                        Yah, Roadkill Patrol, except that I'll bet your council is a 501(c)(3) not for profit, eh? And da popcorn fundraiser revenue is also goin' to and through the council. So yeh can affect them, eh?

                        Tax law for NFPs is also only one issue. There are also state laws on fundraising fraud that are more serious, and would definitely apply to your charterin' entity. Other issues as well.

                        I'd humbly suggest that your CO have a sit-down with its attorney and a consultation with da counsel for the local council to look through your practices and set things up properly.



                        • #13
                          After taking over as treasurer of my sons troop I jumped head first into finding out if scouts could receive a protion of what they sold. ****It is not and is call personnel inurement*****
                          Inurement/Private Benefit - Charitable Organizations

                          A section 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator's family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.
                          It is plain and simple it goes to all. As for my own opinion when people/troops do this and know it is wrong then they are not true scouts.


                          • #14
                            Did not see RoadKills upset over my comment.. Sorry Roadkill, the comment was not for you, or really for anyone doing anything because they are unaware of the rules.

                            If you do have something that does exempt you.. Well then you can't be dishonest or untrustworthy.. Because you are just fine in your practice.

                            If what Beavah states makes your case more complex then you thought, and you are indeed not doing things right.. Well you still are not dishonest or untrustworthy, because you thought you were just fine..

                            It only becomes dishonest & untrustworthy if you have been told, (and since yours is more complex an issue, then told may need some other verification..) You find out you are not doing things correctly.. And you do them anyway.

                            For most of us with non-profit orgs as our CO's the rule is pretty cut and dried.. So after being told, proceed as your conscious dictates.