T4W December
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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalon View Post
    Here, though, we do "take orders" for the popcorn, whereas the Girl Guides have switched things around so that each parent buys one or more cases of cookies and commits to selling that many cookies. Each troupe orders the number of cases that their parents feel they can probably sell.
    My understanding is that this is up to the troop though - at least it is in the US. If they want to camp out for a weekend in front of the supermarket and sell what they bought, then they can. If they don't, they can take orders.

    When I was a kid, this practice was pretty new for GSA and my mother was the troop leader and after doing the orders thing for a couple of years, she decided it would be easier to buy in advance. We bought SOOOOO many cookies and stored them all in the freezers in our barn. Then we sold for like a month off and on. Finally, we were finished, money was made, everyone was happy. Fast forward about a month and we run up to the barn to get something out of one of the freezers and find there's this HUGE number of boxes we lost track of. Lol. We didn't buy cookies practically all year. I still think of that as "the year of the Girl Scout cookies."
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  2. T4L In Forum Dec
  3. #12

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    This is our second year in Scouts selling popcorn. The cheapest item is $10, and this year there are two $10 cans. The unpopped microwave bags are $18 for a box of 18. Most of it is in the $18-30 range. Yes, it's pricy popcorn. Yes, it's a fundraiser that whiffs of public school overpriced-wrapping-paper-and-cookie-dough sales. Yes, I refuse to actually buy any myself. But we do participate, if a bit half-assedly (can I say that in here?). We do some sales though. We haven't done any door to door, but I posted the online sales link to my facebook for friends to buy. One actually did. My boys also go to two or three popcorn sales - this year we did one in front of Lowe's and one in front of a local grocery store - and their den leader rotates the sales count for each boy there, rather than assigning a specific kid. For example, this last one at Farm Fresh we had four boys there, two of them mine. Each time a person bought some popcorn, he credited it to each boy in turn, alphabetically, to keep it even and fair. By the end of our two hours, both of my boys had credit for $30 in sales and we happily went home. That gave us $50 in total for each between the two sales days which earns the popcorn sale patch, and that was all mine cared about. Another boy in our den is a budding salesman and sold over $900 worth of popcorn. Most sell much less. The sales all go into the pack as a whole, so the boys who sell a lot sort of make up the difference for the boys who sell only a little, and everyone gets to do the activity. Several of the moms just donate directly to the pack and call it a day, and don't bother having their kid sell. The direct donations stay with the pack while popcorn sales go through BSA corporate and we keep less of the money per pack, so they're definitely better. You're not allowed to solicit donations but you can accept them if offered.

    My mom is a Scout commissioner. This is how popcorn sales have been at least back into the 1990s, probably before that. I don't think it's ever been selling homemade popcorn. That seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen - there are a lot of laws with regard to food production and sales. As to how much profit stays with the company instead of the Scouts and the free sales force, well... Girl Scout cookies are the same, school fundraiser sales are the same, unfortunately as crappy as it is, it seems to be the nature of the beast. The popcorn is far more insanely overpriced than the cookies, though. I can't believe there's a bucket that's $50. Someone actually bought one from the $900-worth-of-sales kid in our den. Apparently the guy figured out a cost-per-ounce and decided that was the best deal. Unbelievable.

    Anyway I would say if you don't want to participate, donate $30 to the den/pack directly and say you just can't do the popcorn sales.
    Megan
    homeschooled hippie homeschooler
    twin boys, fourth grade 2013-2014

  4. #13
    Senior Member Arrived Teri's Avatar
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    That's the way it has always been with the popcorn and BSA. Would you expect girl scouts to bake their own cookies?
    The show and sell thing is new though and GS is also doing that this year.

    Joseph sold popcorn as a cub scout (his boy scout troop does not do popcorn) and one year he hit the top level of sales and earned a Nintendo DS. I think he had to sell like $2500 worth? That was a huge feat at our house because we do not have relatives that will buy or a dad that will take it to the office and sell it. So that was all out pounding the pavement and knocking on doors.
    Teri
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  5. #14
    Senior Member Arrived Teri's Avatar
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    Girl Scouts DEFINITELY but BSA some have limits on fundraisers that you can do if you do not participate in the cookie/popcorn thing. The girl scouts don't allow other fundraisers at all. BSA does, but you better be sure you are making your contribution to council.
    Teri
    Joseph (5/00), Libby (10/01), Caroline (9/02) and Alex (4/89)
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  6. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teri View Post
    Girl Scouts DEFINITELY but BSA some have limits on fundraisers that you can do if you do not participate in the cookie/popcorn thing. The girl scouts don't allow other fundraisers at all. BSA does, but you better be sure you are making your contribution to council.
    That makes me feel even more like they're corporate shills. I mean, I get it, deals and all, but I feel the same about all those exclusive soda deals with school districts and things like that. It's just kinda sleazy.
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  7. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by kadylaha View Post
    4. Someone asked the man in charge of the meeting about how the orders would be taken. Having been a Girl Scout, I assumed it would be the same way they do their cookie orders: First, go around door to door and write down people's orders and take their money in little envelopes. Next, order the needed cookies and give them to the customers. But that's NOT how it's done at Trails End, apparently. They were very clear that there will be NO "Take Orders" as they call the Girl Scout method. No, they use the "Show and Sell" system which works this way: The parents PRE ORDER a whole load of stuff before selling anything to anyone, by trying to estimate how much the son will sell. Then the boy takes it around and sells it: "Here, buy this." I think they insist on that method because the company knows damn well it has no value. At least Girl Scout cookies are good, and cheap! Anyway, if the kid doesn't sell all the (truly awful tasting, outrageously overpriced) pre-ordered popcorn, his parents have until a certain date to return it (otherwise "you are responsible for it as parents"... which means we pay for it!!).
    Actually, my son just passes around the flyer to perspective customers, they choose what they want and then it's ordered. I guess other troops do it differently.
    Karen

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  8. #17

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    Girl Scouts here aren't allowed to sell cookies. In fact I don't even know if they are allowed to do any official fundraising. I think parents just have to foot the bill for everything.

    I'd be pretty upset about the popcorn thing and I likely wouldn't do it either. When my oldest had to sell crappy magazines for school I refused that as well on principle.
    Homeschooling two awesome girls aged 11 and 7.
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  9. #18
    Senior Member Enlightened Sweden's Avatar
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    That just sounds horrible. The popcorn is really nasty, too. My husband bought some from a neighbor's kid and we ended up throwing it away. I tried giving it away, but nobody wanted it.
    Mom to two daughters, aged 7 and 9. There is also a hubby around. And some fish that have survived for 3 months as of August 2014.

  10. #19

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    I thought their buttered popcorn was okay. My boys loved it and were sad when they finished their last pack. On the Trail's End web site it actually says that 70% goes to the local pack, not 30%.

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  11. #20
    Senior Member Enlightened wendygrace's Avatar
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    Actually, corporate doesn't make the decision on how the sellling is done. It is decided by council or troop depending on the area.

    Our forms at our council said right on the forms how much went to the scout and my son still sold tons to random people. I can't remember what it was but I remember it was clear on the pages.

    The one at the new council we're in does not say but they also have different popcorn options which brings me to the next point. Council decides what popcorn you sell (from a list from Trails end) and for how much. How much you sell it for determines how much the pack/troop gets back.

    In our area you do not have to sell popcorn but if you don't, you pay the yearly dues out of pocket (and all other fees). We don't sell to get out of the fees though. We do it because my son loves selling popcorn. It is one of the few things that he truly enjoys doing and motivates him. He sells door to door and he sells at storefronts. And he'd do it year round if he could. He loves is. MOF, I'm pretty sure he will be a salesman when he grows up. It has taught him so much about how to market, how to talk to people, how to meet a potential buyer where they are at, how to manage and handle money, and lots of other things.

    If you don't like selling popcorn though, you should talk to your council or troop leader. There should be an "out".
    Homeschool mama to dd, 9 and afterschooling mama to ds, 11.

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Boy Scout Popcorn Sales? Can my info be right? Opinions please...