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HELP! Ever heard of "dividing" your city for Popcorn sales?

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I have a zealous District Popcorn Chair this year, that apparently heard a complaint from one of the three Scout units (2 troops, 1 pack) in our SMALL rural town (population 2,000 *or less*), regarding last year's popcorn sales. The complaint was from either the Pack or Troop A - something to the effect that "Troop B was "EVERYWHERE" and "cut-in" on our territory."


This was probably the excuse they gave for poor sales program management, and not having enough Popcorn sales last year - blame the other local unit! But I digress....


Now the D-Popcorn Chair insists that we need to "share" the city, and she wants to assign areas (specific residential subdivisions) for each unit to sell in this year, and rotate the areas around for years to come.


I went to our Council's Popcorn training last night, as I am Troop B's Unit Popcorn Kernal. The Council Fundraising Chair was EXPRESSLY AGAINST dividing any town into Territorial sales areas, and actually encouraged cross-sales of the units. Council felt it was in fact better, to have more than one unit visit a home, knock on a door, approach consumers - basically Council felt that the more exposure a community had to Scouts selling popcorn, the more sales opportunity there would be.


In retrospect I have NEVER had any "stepping on toes" kinds of issues with neighboring units regarding popcorn sales, wherever I have lived. With the way we all have different networks, friends, churches, schools, sports teams, etc. that our children are into - there should be cross-sales across the country!!! So this complaining from one (or both possibly) of the other 2 small units in our town, seems kind of silly. With a town of 2,000 people, some businesses, a bunch of churches, 3 gas station/convenience stores etc. - why can't they sell any popcorn? Why blame another unit for their lack of sales?


At first I agreed to the D-Popcorn Chair's proposal this year to split up the town areas. I didn't want any "bad-blood" between the units. But it bothered me some to agree to this. For one thing, our Troop wasn't "EVERYWHERE" last year - we handled 4 specific subdivisions (without anyone from District telling us to) for Take Order Sales, and they were the subdivisions our own Scouts happen to live in!! We did do Show & Sell/Deliver, one day - every week - at ONE of the most popular gas station/convenience stores in town (we have 3 gas station/convenience stores). Again, we arranged this without District assistance or interference.


We never ONCE saw ANY Scouts from the Pack or Troop A out selling popcorn, ANYWHERE last year. In fact, my Realtor lives in a subdivision that we didn't touch for Take Order (because we didn't have any Scouts living in it and already had enough on our plate), and she complained that she never even SAW a Scout at all last year.


So I have to know - is it really OUR fault that either the Pack or Troop A didn't make the sales they had hoped for last year?? We were out there busting our butts to sell popcorn and earn money for our unit. But that's what we were SUPPOSED to be doing!!!! That's the whole reason we DO the Popcorn sale, am I right?


And now - some advice please on how to kindly retract my initial offer to cooperate with the D-Popcorn Chair on being assigned subdivisions/gas stations for Take Order and Show & Sell?


Should I just not entertain any more discussion/proposals with the subject of popcorn sales territory division or what?

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My reconciliation question is - Would it be possible for you to keep track of individual sales (which Scout from which troop/pack sold what) and then cooperatively blanket the town with the entire Scouting community. Then having sold the town out - take each units percentages out of the whole of sales. You might cooperatively be able to then hit the rural towns (if any) around you that don't have native Scout units also.


This rather than fighting about the division and rotation of subdivisions, which will most likely get more picky and rancorous as the least slight is found. Which will get in the way the rest of the year, smaller towns being what they are.


In our much larger town with numerous pack dens and >10 Troops the solution I propose just won't fly(too much competition [and they are out there selling around us] for the "few" perceived, "good sales" areas) but maybe it could work for you?

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I don't see your District person's solution as viable. It will cause more bad blood than it alleviates, when people are told that they can't sell in the sub they live in, or where grandma lives, or whatever. And it raises possibilities for all sorts of rule mongering in the worst sense. Is there gonna be a popcorn police squad out monitoring which boys are in which areas? Oh wait, I know, I'll just buy some extra unit #s and swap them out for the ones I'm "supposed" to have in order to sell in my neighborhood this year. Sheesh. This is micromanagement on the district person's part and it ain't gonna work.


I live in a small-ish (@40k people) town with about 10 packs and 3 troops. This year EVERYONE is selling popcorn. Sigh. We do not divide up neighborhoods and never have. But in the past we HAVE coordinated with other units to avoid overlapping or directly competing show & sells at local stores. That makes sense but it doesn't require a district mandate to do it.


Tell your district person no. But then also do what you can to work out a reasonable solution or at least have an adult conversation with the leaders of the other units who are apparently complaining. Maybe even offer to share with them the "secret" of your successes in the past! Perhaps they just don't have anyone in a position to organize and promote their own sale, and could use a few pointers.

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Gunny, I am not sure exactly how the D-Popcorn Chair is considering tracking sales information for each unit, where they go, when they sell, etc. Her "master plan" has yet to be revealed to our Unit. And here it is, 4 days before Show & Sell orders are due at Trails End. Frankly I don't have time to wait for her to figure out what she's doing, if truth be known. Our Troop has a sales goal, and we want to meet it! That is what I know is certain! And I need to start gathering volunteers and setting up schedules with the who, what, when why and hows of selling popcorn.


I, personally, do not have the ability to track the other two units' sales per Scout or anything like that. I assume (and I hate to use this word) that the D-Popcorn Chair believes she will be able to track this type of information. She happens to also be our Unit Commissioner, but I honestly have no idea how she plans to go about it. We're two weeks out from Popcorn kick-off and she hasn't even brought her plan of town division of sales territory to us, except to say it's what she WANTS to do, about 2-3 weeks ago.


I drafted an email to the D-Popcorn chair just this week, and requested our Troop preference to handle sales at 3 specific subdivisions - yes ONLY 3 (there's probably a good 30 sub-d's in our local area, PLUS downtown). I also told her if there were no problems with my request, I would begin scheduling my Troop to sell ASAP. Her response was, "I'll take your preferences into consideration and do my utmost to grant your wish!"


But that was it! No further elaboration on her plan, nor how she deems it to work.


I just don't know... I feel like maybe I jumped the gun agreeing to this blatant micro-management of our unit's annual fundraiser. Our unit's interest is to beat feet and sell popcorn so we can earn money for a new Troop equipment trailer. We honestly can't afford to wait around for the D-Popcorn chair to make up her mind on what she's doing or how she thinks WE should proceed. Does that make sense?


I don't want to ruffle her feathers, but I really have an aversion to this plan. Mainly because - A) we have deadlines to meet, and she hasn't produced anything solid for us to go on to plan with, and B) because the Council is expressly against what she's proposing in the first place!


I also don't want to go up to Council and "tattle" on her either. I want to handle it quietly/diplomatically, and get on with the business at hand - Getting our Popcorn SOLD!

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Then I might suggest giving her (D-Popcorn chair) a timetable of when you will start doing what and if she hasn't given you the required feedback about "sales zones" and tracking information by your deadlines then just go ahead and do it.


My cooperative suggestion was really for between you and the other troop and pack anyway. You do track which Scout in your unit sells what product don't you? It would then just be a matter of whether or not you can work together with two other Scout Leaders who want the best for Scouting in your town. None of you win if this becomes a public Scout fight.

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:) evmori!!

You know they (Council) has already "got you" once you've turned in that "Committment Card" for selling ;) Which I did about 3 days before this whole "sales area division" plan!


Yes, Gunny!!! I can and DO track sales from my own Troop, and yes I keep a record of what each individual Scout is doing as well. I don't think I understand your question though. Maybe that's why the answer I gave sounded ambiguous.


I can TRY to coordinate what we're doing so as not to step on toes of other units. And I will. I just got the impression that the D-Popcorn Chair/Unit Commissioner intended to micro-manage that part as well.


But you're absolutely right - she SHOULDN'T BE! That would be my job. Thanks for reminding me, actually. Maybe the perfect answer was as clear as the nose on my face, and I just didn't want to see it - circumvent the micro-management! :)

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This is my first year as district popcorn kernel, but it is my third as pack popcorn kernel. Every year during popcorn sale training we have been told by our council that there are no such things as sales territories. In fact, the research shows that the majority of people who have already purchased popcorn will buy again if asked. I have even heard about units that cooperate together so that after one unit covers an area, the other can go in and hit the area again!


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You don't need any big excuse, or any plan to make things equitable. Just call the District Popcorn Chair and tell him/her you've thought about it and have decided not to participate in this hare-brained scheme and that your Troop will continue to sell anywhere it likes. If this person starts to give you any lip about it, tell this person the decision is final and your next call is to the District Chairman to make it clear to him/her that you will not put up with any interference from the District Volunteers in your unit's fundraising.


Then go out and sell popcorn - and hit the subdivision where your real estate agent live since no one knocked on that door last year. The best motivation for the other units to go out and sell is to see you in the proper role as competitors (because you are - although on the cooperative level, a portion of the proceeds of the popcorn sales goes to the Council, a portion also goes to your unit - and thats the portion you're competing for). Let the other unit(s) whine and complain all they want - it won't get them anywhere unless your unit lets it get them somewhere, and by capitulating to this scheme, you're letting that unit(s) whining win out.


Good luck with your sales this year!




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One thing I have found that councils dont like to hear is you are being stopped form selling popcorn in anyway.


I would contact my DE and whoever is in charge of Popcorn in your council and tell them youre being told you cant sell popcorn anywhere you want.

Im pretty sure youll see this districting stopped.


I have also found that if you sell a lot of popcorn the people at council listen.

Every year our council recognizes the top popcorn selling Scouts and units

Last year I saw that the Ship sold the most of all the Venturing Crew.

The top selling Troops and Packs were recognized the Ship was not.

Nor was the highest selling Venturer (a young lady in the Ship).


In this years popcorn paperwork it said that the council would again be recognizing the top Cub and Boy Scout sellers

When I turned in the ships consignment order I asked how come the top sellers for Venturing Crews werent being recognized.

I told them I felt that our Ship members were being slighted when they went out and sold popcorn (a lot of popcorn) but nothing was said about them.

It only took one look at the amount we ordered (it is more than both troops we were in combined with 1/6th the number of Scouts) to say that perhaps they would reconsider excluding the Crews.


I know that if the ship sells everything were have taken and I dont see Ship members recognized for it, we will be looking for another fundraiser next year.




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In my town we let the scouts sell popcorn to the people they know and the neighborhoods they live in. Parents are encouraged to take order forms to work to sell to coworkers and our unit encourages scouts to take the forms to school to sell to teachers.


One possible idea (if your district were to actually divide the town) would be to simply table this fundraiser and conduct a different one. It sounds that your unit may raise a good amount from its sales and, in most councils, Boy Scout Councils and or Districts receive a portion. Your decision to not conduct the sale may encourage your district not to divide the neighborhoods.

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Very much agreed to CP and Ev,


I discussed this with the CC and another committee member, and we''ve all agreed to just go about our scheduling and sell popcorn and forget about the rest. If I catch any flak from the D-Popcorn Chair, I will just tell her how I reflected on the whole idea and decided it was unrealistic. If she pushes it, I will probably take my issue above her, to Council or wherever it needs to go. In the interim, I am not going to let it bother me.


Personally, I don''t think she EVER really HAD any plan, and was just trying to stroke the egos of the unit and/or units around ours who complained. Not my problem though! Our Troop has a goal to meet, schedules to make and popcorn to sell! Que Sera Sera!


Interestingly enough, I am friends (through Girl Scouts) with the other town Troop''s Popcorn Kernel, and she and I talked about it - she said splitting anything up would be silly since we don''t do that for Girl Scout cookies and there are 5 times as many Girl Scout Troops in this town as there are Boy Scouts! She''s right! And we agreed - to each their own on the Popcorn issue.


Ehh, we''re just moving along and forgetting about it! If the D-Popcorn Chair has any sense, she will too! :)


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