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  1. #21

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    I will try to address each incorrect bit of information. This is so confusing when you come in for the first time and it sounds like your pack does not understand the whole popcorn thing. I am going to bet your Popcorn Kernal is new and didn't attend the training session.

    Quote Originally Posted by kadylaha View Post

    making the stuff and packing it themselves, and selling it door to door for a dollar or two a bag. That's what I thought of, because I'm a crafter; I make and sell things all the time for my jewelry business. The idea excited me, because it would teach them how to make money by making something from scratch; a valuable lesson for young boys. I said it was a wonderful idea and I couldn't wait to be involved.
    In today's world selling homemade goods door to door is a liability =( It's unfortunate but it is what it is.

    Every organization has the thing they sell. For Cub Scouts it is popcorn. I am in GA and have been doing the popcorn thing for 5 years now. My kid becomes a Boy Scout "soon" and frankly I cannot wait for our sales to change from popcorn to pine straw.



    Quote Originally Posted by kadylaha View Post
    1. The pre-popped popcorn comes in several flavors (there were samples on the table, and lemme tell you, it was free and I was starving at that meeting, and I didn't take more than one bite; it was rubbery, stale and tasted like chemicals). It is sold in single bags SMALLER than a single bag of microwave popcorn that you make at home for 10 cents. They have the brass cojones to charge $20 AND UP for this. The cheapest bag is $20; there are many cheese and chocolate flavor options that range up to $80 for a "deluxe box" of three different bags together (or it might be 4 bags for $80, but we're still talking single bags SMALLER than a single bag of home microwaved popcorn).
    Since no popcorn has been distributed yet the free popcorn was likely what was left over in someone's garage since last year... yum? Some of the popcorn is gross but some is pretty tasty. They dropped it but last year they had something with caramel and chocolate and yogurt and it was so good!

    The microwave Popcorn is pretty good and it is what we buy for our house. It is not as good as popcorn made in my mom's old air popper thing but it hits the spot for quick and easy clean up.

    The bags are not smaller than a single bag of micro corn. Each type ranges the largest which is $75 includes 5 different bags of popcorn in a tin and the amounts are 2 at 17oz, 2 at 14 oz and 1 11oz

    a single bag of microwaved popcorn fully popped is 4.5 cups fully popped (no kernals) and does NOT weigh 11oz even on the best of days. According to the bag of BSA popcorn I just popped and weighed it was a whopping 2 5/8 oz.

    The microwave popcorn tastes on par with the Redenbocker brand micro corn. I do prefer the full butter. If I want to watch my calories I just don't eat popcorn.

    Keep in mind though that the fancy popcorn weighs more because chocolate and other toppings weigh more.

    They do have offerings at $15 for some disgusting cheese and $10 for Classic Caramel. What I do at home is buy the micro corn and some caramel and I put 1 part caramel for 4 parts micro corn and spread it out a little longer offering the savory with the sweet for movie nights.


    Quote Originally Posted by kadylaha View Post
    2. There was much discussion at this meeting about people being "too cheap" to pay $20 for a bag of popcorn. Various strategies against this thriftiness were presented. One of the men in charge said: "Just tell people that they're NOT buying a $20 bag of popcorn. They are making a $20 DONATION to Boy Scouts, and we GIVE them the popcorn to say thank you."
    This is true and it is not about people being cheap. In this process you can take straight donations with no popcorn. When you take a straight donation 100% of the money goes to your pack. None goes to Trails end and none goes to district (we will get into that in a moment)

    Quote Originally Posted by kadylaha View Post
    3. I asked how much of the money goes to the Scouts, and they said it was 30 percent. I couldn't believe it so I wrote it down: 30 cents on the dollar; that means that $20 bag of popcorn earns SIX dollars for the Scouts, who run around all month selling their hearts out in their irresistible little uniforms. And the corporate conglomerate gets FOURTEEN dollars.
    This is flat inaccurately communicated information. 70% of each sale goes to Scouts. However, the money gets distributed in different ways. Your pack gets about 30%. According to the MI crossroads council website it is 43% to your unit. This may be an extra confusing bit of information as 30% may go into YOUR son's camping account and the rest to your pack. They should really be able to answer this more clearly. Often in troops (on the boy scout level) boys have personal scout accounts. The purpose is they should not ask Mom and Dad to pay for camp they should earn it. They should also decide how to spend that money. A camping trip or a new tent?


    The district and council each get a cut of what is left which would be 27%. The money kept in your pack pays for whatever the Pack Committee decide to use it for. Sometimes it is used to supplement leader training or for scholarships for boys whose families cannot afford the council or pack dues. It can pay for uniforms for these boys or it can be used to keep your dues lower and still pay for awards and events. Each of those patches cost money and your pack has to buy them. Each snack and each pinewood derby kit costs and the money has to come from somewhere.

    BTW the funds going to your pack is also eligible for bonuses. in Atlanta attending the kick off and training for the Kernal means an extra 10% to the pack.

    The money that goes to your Council and District get used in other ways such as upkeep on Scout owned property. Most scouts camp on scout owned property. Here in GA we have paid staff who run Cub Scout dens as in afterschool programs located at schools that are at risk. Kids who otherwise be at risk for dropping out of school are in scouts to give them a reason to come. Can't go camping if you don't go to school and get good grades. This popcorn money goes to send these boys to summer camp and buy them uniforms. It is a wildly successful program in our area. I can tell you first hand when I had these boys at summer day camp they were some of the best behaved and really enjoyed the adventure they were on. They knew that scout camp was as good as Disney world.

    Quote Originally Posted by kadylaha View Post
    (At this point at the planning meeting, my eyeballs were turning red trying to hold my mouth shut; what they want to teach my son isn't how to be a resourceful, worthy earner of money from his own hard work; what they want to teach him is how to get exploited and turned into a frogging corporate stooge! So what they said next almost made me laugh out loud.)
    Not quite, they do learn the responsibility through the whole scout account thing but honestly I think this lesson is lost on kids younger than 8. The lesson to be taught is they have to work to pitch in for the upkeep of their pack. Sometimes the lessons are not huge affairs and sometimes they are also not nefarious.

    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!!).
    Now this I will give you is crazy talk. Assuming you are in teh Great Lakes District here is your infromational guide

    http://www.michiganscouting.org/file...de%20GLFSC.pdf

    This said popcorn is sold 2 ways.

    Show and Sell and DOOR TO DOOR

    In my experience show and sell is the pack buys corn and schedules show and sell events then they sell right away corn purchased by the pack. This way has no burden on the family at all except time.

    Then door to door which is what you are thinking, Just do the door to door and give lump sum information to your kernel at your deadline. I don't personally do door to door at all with my boys. Our neighborhood is very highly owned by poor retired people. One elderly Russian lady who spoke no English gave my kid a quarter donation and I pulled it in. My boys make an annual movie, we email it to family. They make a second one for my husband's work and he emails it out and his co-workers come to him if they want to buy corn or make a donation. Beyond that I aim for about $200 in sales per son and buy a little for our house and move on with my life. This is a month project and it isn't my favorite but it does serve a purpose. I don't think on it too hard.


    To be continued

  2. T4L In Forum Dec
  3. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by kadylaha View Post
    Trails End sure makes out well on the deal, hey? 70% of the absolutely insulting profit, plus a free work force of thousands of irresistible little boys. It makes me want to barf.
    Yes Trails End does make some money but it is NOT 70% Look at your order form and you will see a giant blue circle that says OVER 70% goes to local SCOUTING. Even their website totes those numbers
    Trail's End Popcorn

    The company that owns Trails End
    Weaver Popcorn Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Quote Originally Posted by kadylaha View Post
    I cannot morally support this; I felt dirty attending the meeting planning it. Here's my question: Is anyone else a bit off-put by this popcorn business? Is it done everywhere there are Scouts, or only in my area? What are your opinions? And how on earth do I maintain my friendship with my nice leader lady, who is of no fault in this? How do I say, "We can't do this" without hurting her feelings?

    Opinions, all?
    I really think the guy doing the meeting did not know much. My best suggestion would be to contact your district representative and ask these questions. Do go into it with an open mind. I think a few miscommunicated bits soured the experience and then nothing could go right. Attend a round table and talk to other people within the organization.

    I do not like the whole anti gay leadership thing in scouting. I can see where the policy came from but do not approve. I however concluded nothing would change unless I was inside. I get a survey from BSA every 3 months to see how my experience is and every time I mention that discrimination is wrong. Enough people say this in a way they will hear the more likely these changes will come along.

    My boys wanted to be scouts and I knew it was a risk for other people guiding my kids so I became the leader. A little controlling? Sure but it means I know what my boys are being exposed to and guided through.

    If you don't want to sell corn, don't! Make a donation and see what happens next. I really hate that popcorn hits so early in the year that no fun is yet being had but work is asked for =(

    If you have any further questions please feel free to PM me here. Hope I have helped to clear some things up. The guy doing your popcorn seriously does not know his stuff =(

  4. #23
    Senior Member Evolved Melyssa's Avatar
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    Ugh! I always hated this about Girl Scouts. After the first year I just gave the troop a check for what the minimum was required for each girl to sell, for whatever thing they were saving up for, usually a field trip to an amusement park or whatever. I just couldn't get into the whole "business" side of scouting. It totally went against my grain!
    Melyssa
    Homeschooling my 16-year-old daughter Brenna in Westminster, CO

  5. #24

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    I can see that but

    Now that my kid is becoming a Boy Scout I can see the point of the boys having to load the pine straw and sell it and then they never ask me for a dime for equipment or fees.

  6. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oceana View Post
    I can see that but

    Now that my kid is becoming a Boy Scout I can see the point of the boys having to load the pine straw and sell it and then they never ask me for a dime for equipment or fees.
    Exactly. Backpacking can be expensive, so I'm glad my older son is able to help pay for his equipment. Right now he needs a new sleeping bag which he's going to have to work for. We can't afford it, but we will most likely when he's done selling popcorn. At least it will put a good dent in the cost of one.
    Karen

    B1 - 11 (6th grader)
    B2 - 15 (10th grader)

    Homeschooled for three years, but due to various circumstances, we put them back into public school. Still here because I feel like I found my tribe.


  7. #26

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    I am a Beaver Scout leader in Canada. For us, over 60% of the proceeds from Scout Popcorn sales stays with Scouts. Our prices range from the $10 bag of popping corn to the $60 Chocolate Lovers Collection in a fancy tin.

    I've heard how great the popcorn here is, but we don't buy a lot for ourselves. It's hard to sell something that doesn't really fit in with our personal diet or nutritional beliefs - but we're Food Nazis and other people don't have the same concerns that we do - and we talk about that.

    My oldest son is now selling popcorn for his third year - and he loves it! We do door-to-door, we do the table at the local rec centre & grocery store, we hit up family and co-workers. I do it because I believe in Scouts and the amazing things it can teach my kids. He does it because he thinks it's the bee knees.

    This year his (well, my) goal is to sell $2,500 of popcorn. If we do that, Trails End will start a scholarship for my son & continue contributing to it each year that he sells popcorn. To me, that's a great deal. And we're almost there with nearly 2 weeks left to go in the campaign. But I'll be the first to admit that he's really doing it more for the Walmart gift card reward & the enticing thoughts of new Lego that brings to mind....

    I think that it helps to teach kids that they have to work for what they want. That they can achieve their goals if they work really hard. And those are good lessons, in my mind...

    But I understand the "corporate stooge" argument. I feel that, too. It bothered me a lot the first year, and still bothers me now.

    But I think of my 10 years in Girl Guides. Selling cookies. And I came to the conclusion that - for us - the good can far outweigh the bad. It's another one of those "teachable" moments that I work so hard to turn into something lasting & special.
    Pibroch: like classical music for the Highland Bagpipes, traditionally passed on by "singing" the melody

    Homeschooling two very busy boys, ages almost 10 and 7, in Alberta

  8. #27
    Senior Member Enlightened Heidi M's Avatar
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    I do not like the whole anti gay leadership thing in scouting. I can see where the policy came from but do not approve. I however concluded nothing would change unless I was inside. I get a survey from BSA every 3 months to see how my experience is and every time I mention that discrimination is wrong. Enough people say this in a way they will hear the more likely these changes will come along.

    My husband felt the same way and also filled out his surveys with his thoughts about their discriminatory policies. After a while, they stopped sending him surveys.

  9. #28

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    The popcorn sales are indeed a scam in my opinion, it doesn't benefit the scouts, although maybe it teaches them how unfair life can be if you work hard, do a job, then have 70% of your paycheck taken? We only did scouts for a couple of years, and when the popcorn sales came around we simply didn't sell any and just had our son allow people to donate directly to his scout camp. I'm sure people will say doing it that way opens the door for people to use the scout camp $$ for other things, but to me, its about time the troops simply come up with another way to allow people to donate directly to the scouts without the hassle and scam of the popcorn or other products.

  10. #29

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    IMO/E all fundraisers are rip-offs for those doing them. I gave up years ago, and now I have a set amount that I donate straight to the organization (if I approve, I do not w/ BS for other reasons). With high-school aged kids, who do fundraisers for several different groups and clubs, I say 'Here's $20, split it as a donation between your favorite clubs.' If the group is only going to get $5 of my $20, I'd rather just hand them $5 and skip the icky food, overpriced wrapping paper or whatever else they are selling.

    The only one I do buy is the FFA apple boxes, and those not a rip-off for us.
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  11. #30

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    One of the men in charge said: "Just tell people that they're NOT buying a $20 bag of popcorn. They are making a $20 DONATION to Boy Scouts, and we GIVE them the popcorn to say thank you."
    Which is the truth, at least. Just say you found you have a sudden commitment that won't allow you to sell popcorn, but you'd like to chip in so and so much as a straight-up donation to your troop. It's a harmless white lie, and you do what you want to do anyway, which is help give money to the organization.

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