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Its that time of year again ..... POPCORN sales question !

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OK - so its time for the salesman in all scouts to be "born again"...


I have a question resulting from an issue last year in our Pack. Like many packs, we do a "show-and-sell" weekend to kick off the popcorn sales.


This is done at storefronts (with store owner permission - of course) and we file local tour permits for each location (pack sponsored event / etc...)


Now - last year after the initial show-n-sell a couple of cubs got together and did their OWN selling in front of a local supermarket. They HAD approval from the store manager. However, some on our committee got bent out of shape because: 1) They didn't file a tour permit and 2) They didn't have a registered adult leader with them (only their parents which are not registered w/ the pack).


My thought on this is: SO WHAT ?!?


A scout doesn't have to have a REGISTERED adult leader with them if they sell door-to-door and certainly is not required to file a tour permit for door-to-door sales, so how is this different?


Two scouts working together is NOT a Pack sponsored event and they DID get permission from the store.


Good for them - they made more sales - they were imaginative in their marketing - and they used teamwork to accomplish a task.


Am I missing something here? As the new CM, I have been asked to make it known that this is NOT approved by the pack. My response is, "Why would I want to hinder a scout selling popcorn ?" Is there some other "rule" out there that I am unaware of, or is this a beef on behalf of a couple committee members that weren't "consulted" for approval before the kids went and sold like this?


Just to remove any doubt, no my son was not involved in this. And no, while both of these scouts had solid sales, neither was the top seller for the pack.


Any insight would be appreciated.





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In cub scouts there is no such thing a a personal fundraiser or a den fundraiser. All fundraising activity is done at the pack level. The Scouts were in uniform, collecting funds, representing the BSA and the pack's chartered organization. The pack has every right to expect to be informed and consulted about ANY activity in which the youth are representing their pack.


As cubmaster you should want to know about this activity in advance and you should have made sure that the committee was informed and approved of it.


Using the door to door sales as an example of the same thing is erroneous since the committee was aware of the door to door sales prior to it taking place but was not informed about these two scouts selling outside the store.



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My council does not require a tour permit for any popcorn sales, including site sales.


As Popcorn Kernal, I don't require a registered leader to be at every site sale, all day long. It is a waste of the leaders time and a sure way to get them to dread the popcorn sale. Plus, if we did that we would have to cancel most of our site sales. We have about 55 unregistered adults in our Pack. I think they are all more than responsible enough to be left in charge of shifts at a Popcorn Booth Sale.


As for the 2 self-motivated Cubs, good for them! The only problem I can see is if lots of boys started doing the same thing, it might irritate the store owners. It has to be an inconvenience for them to field calls from 1 person in each unit, and to keep track of who is selling when. If they start getting calls from multiple boys in the same unit, they might get a bit overwhelmed and stop allowing any sales at all.


Our Pack has never had that particular "problem", because I have enough Booth Sales scheduled that everyone has a chance to work as many shifts as they want. However, personally, I would let the families know that generally, Booth/Site sales are better handled at the unit level. Door-to-door Show & Deliver works better for the individual Scout and his parent.





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Love the initiative! And yeah they should let the Pack know what they were doing. I'm sure these Cubs were trying to be the top sellers in the Pack!


In cub scouts there is no such thing a a personal fundraiser or a den fundraiser. All fundraising activity is done at the pack level.


Where did anyone state this was anything other than a Pack fundraiser?


Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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**big sigh**


1) No tour permit is needed to go to a local store. Check mileage requirement in TP instructions.

2) Cubs selling P/C should always be accompanied by parents and/or adult leaders with parent permission. Door to door or to uncles or to friendly nieghborhood car garages.

3) I believe adults are encouraged to HELP sell p/c too, notably to business associates, office mates, grandmoms in Montana, church members, etc.

4) It would have been good manners and ettiquette to tell the p/c CC about your plans. Such an idea might even inspire others to go to other stores and thereby spread the gospel of p/c good nutrition.

5) I seem to remember reading about the champion CS p/c seller as being a Cub who went to a corporate CEO and persuaded him to buy umpteen thousand dollars of p/c for his company's use. This is bad?

6) I have seen local restaurants and other businesses with BS p/c "in stock" on the shelf behind the cash register. I should tell'em to put it UNDER the counter?

7) Shall we discuss the acceptance of unsolicited donations (" Hey, I loved being a Scout. I don't really want any overpriced pocorn, but here's $20. for your Cub Pack.") here or elsewhere?


There's a lot of unsold p/c out there.



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Since this is a council sponsored popcorn sale, neither a Money Earning application or Tour Permit is required. AS long as the scout(s) inform the pack kernel of what they are doing outside of the pack popcorn sale, I don't see what the big deal is. Just make sure the scout turns in all of the money when the time is up, so it matches the amount of popcorn is sold.

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We had this happen a couple of times when I was a cub leader. Initiative is great and no you don't want to quash that. There are some good reasons to make sure the pack leadership knows what the pack members are doing in its name though.


1) Basic courtesy.

2) If there are complaints, who should they be addressed to? Kids behaving poorly, parents mis-informing people, problem with the products, etc. If I'm a store manager and customers have concerns about the group of kids in front of my store, I want to know who to take those concerns back to. If all I know is "some scouts" were to blame, then in the future I'll likely ban all scouts just to be safe.

3) You want some control over how your unit's image is presented to the public. I know of a case where some folks CLAIMED to be representing a unit and were selling product outside of local stores. The unit knew nothing about it until after the fact and got a nasty surprise when it turned out that these folks were not turning over all the money collected in the troop's name. They were marking up prices and soliciting outright donations, and pocketing the profit. When word got out about this, it really hurt that troop's image and the BSA more generally (not to mention resulting in some problems for the folks in question!).

4) convenience of scheduling, for unit leaders and for stores - especially in an area with a lot of units, having every parent do this on his/her own means it becomes much more difficult for multiple units to all have a reasonable shot at doing some fundraising, and may result in tensions between units. Further, if stores are inundated with requests from a zillion parents, as opposed to a handful of unit leaders, the stores may simply say no to all such requests in the future.



So I can understand why some pack leaders wouldn't be excited about this sort of thing. What you might suggest in return, though, is that the pack needs to find more ways to allow eager boys to participate in MORE sales. For example, we set our show&sell dates up by den rather than for the whole pack. We also told kids in other dens that there were (X number of) extra spots open during most of the dens' times, and they could go with other dens if they wanted to get more sales time. Since we split show&sell sales among all boys who were in attendance at that sale event, this meant the more often you showed up, the more you would probably make. It worked for us.




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