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We don't do anything special. Here's what changed:


1- I quit undermining our Popcorn Kernel. As Cubmaster, I bit the bullet and pushed at pack meetings, and played along that Popcorn was a big deal. Grumblers were asked what else they were going to do if they did not want to sell popcorn... I researched College team pasta, Bar-B-Que Sauce, and a couple of others. They were all equally overpriced. The Trailsend promotional program works pretty good if you don't fight it.

2- We do a few 'Show and Sells' in front of local businesses. We break open the microwave popcorn packages and sell them individually for a lower buy-in. We keep a donation can on the table for folks that want to support scouting, but not drop $20. The 'Show and Sells' are great experience for the boys.

3 - We're asking each boy to try to sell $200. Some will be way short, but the others will make it up. We had one child (the Kernel's son) sell close to $3000. Jeez!

4- Once you are successful, the money makes it easier for you to try as hard the next year.


If you search my previous posts on this forum, you'll find where I pleaded for salvation from the wretched popcorn fundraiser. I got over it.

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I'm with you Eamonn. I hate popcorn too. I think we've both commented on this topic in the past. I think the stuff smells like urine, in theaters I'm wondering if everyone around me wet themselves in fear or laughter. It makes lousy cat litter and the only way to make it taste better is to soak it in butter and salt (aka Southern Allspice).

And once each year I hold my nose and fork over some coins to cover the obscenely-inflated prices when a cub scout stops by the house to sell it.

The cats, they seem tempted to go on the carpet but then relent and use the popcorn anyway, pitiful beasts.

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Yah, I confess I hate popcorn, too.


It's an almost embarrassingly overpriced and poor quality product. Da microwave stuff in particular doesn't hold up to comparable store brands. I buy from cub scouts, too much of the stuff, but every year I swear I'm just goin' to give 'em cash instead. Additionally, the whole popcorn thing tends to drive executives and council folks a bit whacky.


What IM_Kathy says is also da pattern in these parts, eh? People buy from cub scouts. People would probably buy goat turds from cub scouts. Older boy scouts, not so much.


I just think it's sorta embarrassing to have cub scouts sellin' goat turds. ;)




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On the other hand, I love popcorn. I eat it 2-3 times a week. I don't use Trail's End, however. If a boy, in full uniform, asks me to buy, I will, other wise, not. My last year as SM, I had a 13 year old take lead on the popcorn drive for the troop and through his efforts the troop had the most successful sales in troop history. If the boys are going to learn from the process, it's a great thing. If all they are going to do is collect money, it's a waste of time and energy.



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My oldest has aged out and my youngest will age out within a year, they are done with fundraising. Agree the popcorn is marginal in quality and over priced but what took the cake with trails end was the trail mix.


A few years ago they offered the standard trail mix with peanuts, mm's and raisins, $20 for a small can. It was over priced but in the realm of possibly normal. After that they went to a bag (Not even the perception of value the tin provided ) but the quantity (ounces) went down and the price went to $25.


Out Kernal showed me the bag they provided and told me how much, I about fell on the floor I was so amazed at the outrageous price. He laughed and said council told everyone to sell it as premium, no filler, no peanuts....I asked if gold nuggets had repalced the peanuts. We told our boys to NOT sell the trail mix as 1. We only deal in case lots and 2. We were going to send a message to council that this product was far outside the range of reasonable.


I beleive the Denver Council dropped the trail mix after that year.


Selling scouting is all well and good but the value vs the price gets out of hand at some point. Hard to sell a Yugo at a Cadillac price. I find it easier to donate a 20 dollar bill and get nothing in return than pay $25 and get a small bag of trail mix. In one of these case I feel good I have supported somehting worthwhile, in the other scenario the good feeling of supporting something good is overshadowed by the feeling of being totally ripped off.

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So, if a bunch of units abandon popcorn sales, how will your council get its "slice of the pie"? Add council dues to registration fees? Increase camp costs? Charge $5 for each tour plan you file?


Just saying, the fact that not all of the proceeds go to your unit is not a reason to complain about popcorn sales.


Who knew we were marketing the bio fuel of the future? Maybe there's a converter kit we could sell so costumers can supplement their gas tank!

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I don't necessarily have a problem with the local council sharing in the wealth. I do not know how any other counciloperates on the distribution of the profit from the popcorn sale, but my council doesn't take the 70% profit and split it 35%-35%. It is more like a 40%-30% split with the 40% going to the council. I would be more agreeable to get on board if this was reversed, with the 40% going to the unit. Afterall, the unit is doing the legwork. Yes, I know that the council provides support for the popcorn sale, but is that support really worth taking the extra 5% from the unit?

Now there is the issue of using a swipe card reader to accept credit cards. I can understand the concept of increased sales because of the convienience of using a CC, but again, the charge for each transaction comes out of the unit's profit. Again, I believe that since the unit is doing the actual selling of the product, that the transaction charge should come out of the council profit.

Sorry, but all of the cheerleading in the world is not going to change my mind about how I feel about the popcorn sale.

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While I agree 100% that Councils need cash.

I have a couple of axes to grind.

1/ The big one!

What does the Council really do for the kid in a unit?

Along them same lines. Where does the money go?

2/While I see the sense in selling something that is going to be consumed or used as cat litter.

I wonder how much time is spent by the office and professional staff dealing with pop corn?

Why pop-corn? Why not garbage bags or tickets to see movies?

Anything but this evil smelling stuff.

The annual pop corn sale has become a real pain.

Bad enough volunteers and families suffer the big guilt trip that is laid very squarely at their feet to do more for FOS.

Then there is this sale which when people say "Sorry not this year!" They are made to feel like they are not supporting the cause or worse still are bad people because they refuse to pester the living day lights out of their friends and relations. Th very same people who are being pestered to support the high school bands, clubs, boosters.

It's time we took a long hard look at what's going on with our professional staff.

Any professional who isn't bring in enough money to cover his salary plus a whole lot more isn't worth keeping.

Rather than counting boxes of pop corn these guys should be out and about in the community promoting Scouting, the Council they work for and raising funds.

I have no need of a professional to tell me about program, I never liked pros being involved in training.

If Scout and Scouting is all about Tour Permits?

It really is a sad state of affairs.

We might not like to hear it but when it comes to the pros. I say "Show me the money" -Not pester the bejebbers out of me for mine. I gave last week, last month and will keep giving to help the kids that need help.

Most of us are working full time and volunteering in what's left of our spare time.

If these guys can't raise enough cash to support the Council, the Council that pays them, provides them with a decent job and benefit package. Then they are of little or no use.



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