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Popcorn started years ago and was offered as a supplemental help to a unit's fundraising efforts. Prior to popcorn, units did all their fundraising by themselves. If your unit belonged to a chartered organization that supported the unit, there was no need for the unit to require help. But there were units associated with sponsoring institutions that could not financially support their unit. So the BSA stepped in and offered popcorn as a solution.


But the popcorn thing morphed as the BSA professional corps realized that there was money that could be made and many units now believe that they "have to" sell popcorn.


Really, you don't.


My troop has been sponsored by a very supportive church for over 65 years. Our troop has an annual pancake breakfast which supports our troop with enough funds for the entire year. The whole event takes 7 hours from start to finish. We have never had a need to sell popcorn.


And the monies your unit raises belong to the sponsoring institution who actually owns the unit. Should a unit ever fold, the remaining funds in the unit treasury belong to the sponsoring institution.


If you can raise your own funds - more power to you.(This message has been edited by abel magwitch)

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In my council private fundraisers you don't have to cut the district in. (Sometimes councils have different rules. But never heard of this.)


The popcorn does benifit your unit, and supports your council.. Normally you should support your council.. But, with some poster here, we have heard their councils are not worth supporting.. Given what type of Council you have that is up to you.


With our council though, without a scout working with popcorn & hike-a-thon (Need to participate in Both).. They would not be eligable for camperships.

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What they said. ;)


My younger son just recently moved from a pack whose only fundraiser was selling popcorn (and we sold a lot of it, over 10K retail in recent years) to a troop who doesn't sell popcorn at all, but sells wreaths during the holiday season. And having recently taken over the treasurer responsibility, I am now also going to be in charge of organizing our fund raising.


In the new troop, all the boys have to sell a certain number of wreaths where the troop takes all the profit (that number is currently 12), to support the cost of running the troop. Any wreath sales above that minimum, and the boy splits the profits with the troop and gets his part as "scout bucks" to be used for dues, for camp, or even for equipment. So (this is to moosetracker) you need not depend on council to give out camperships to your top sellers, you can provide them yourself if your fundraiser is successful enough.


If you feel that supporting your district/council with fundraising is something your unit should do, you can always make a donation, to be set by your committee, either as a percentage of your profit, or a flat amount that they feel the unit can afford to give. But you are under no obligation to do so.

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  • 2 months later...

My current council tells us we have to sell popcorn and frowns on outside fundraising. None of our small troop like or are willing to sell popcorn. We sell Christmas wreaths, wrap presents at the PX for donations, do other fund raising activities and tell Council to go pound sand. The popcorn doesn't taste very good and is way too expensive! We want the money to go to our troop.

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Namu, every council has different rules in regards to popcorn. Some use a baseball bat (YOU WILL SELL POPCORN OR ELSE), others use a carrot. My council is one of the carrot approach ones.


Here, you don't have to sell popcorn. You can sell any approved fundraiser on your own that you want to raise funds for your unit--look in Scouting Magazine for some ideas--if they advertise in there, usually, they're approved at the National Level. You can also hold local fundraisers like dinners, bottle drives, car washes, etc. You don't have to share any of the resulting funds with Council.


By the way, at least here, Districts are not allowed to have their own financial accounts.


That carrot I mentioned? In this Council, your unit gets free rank advancements for a year if you sell X amount of popcorn and raise Y amount in Friends of Scouting (based on your unit size). For many of our Cub Packs, this is a no brainer compared to what they'd otherwise spend on advancement in a year. Ditto for some of the more active scout troops. Have you seen the cost of an Eagle Presentation kit lately?


No, it's not the greatest product out there. I've had better...I've had worse. Yes, it's expensive. Locally, it's a three way split: 33% is the actual cost of the popcorn, 33% goes to Council and the rest to the unit.


Yes, we don't all have well run councils, but without that structure you don't have an office to track your advancement, answer questions, no scout camp property (if they haven't closed/sold yours off yet), etc.


Personally, they should re-access this and see if some of the other fundraiser companies are willing to offer a similar deal. For example that Virginia nut company.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

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