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kadylaha
09-21-2013, 12:55 PM
Okay, this is my first year as a "Cub Scout Mama" and I am trying to be nice and fit in. The folks who run our Pack are very nice, kindly grandparents; I couldn't ask for better folks in charge. The leader lady is handicapped, and has frequent surgeries, but doesn't let that stop her from taking the kids on hikes, to water fights, etc. She is a wonderful woman.

However, we are starting the scouts' annual fundraiser, Popcorn Sales. When the leader lady asked me if I'd help the kids "sell popcorn", I guess my mind was in a time warp. I was picturing them buying the needed materials (unpopped corn, salt, cheese powder, ziploc baggies), 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.

Alas, times have changed. The "popcorn sales" were not a homey lesson in responsibility at all. Instead, I sort of think the boys are being made into... uh... corporate stooges. The word "exploitation" comes to mind.

First of all, the boys don't make the popcorn; it comes from a corporate distributor called Trails End. Okay, yes, I was a Girl Scout and I knew they didn't make their cookies, so my surprise there was only momentary. But... well, I attended a planning meeting and took notes, and these are the facts told to me, at least by the head Pack leaders from my area.

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).

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."

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.

(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.)

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!!).

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.

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?

Heidi M
09-21-2013, 01:09 PM
I used to take flack for this all the time, but we don't do popcorn either. I don't have anyone in scouts anymore but even when we did, popcorn sales were not part of our deal. It is a ridiculous way to fund scout camp especially considering the salary the scout executives make, at least in my state. I would rather make a cash donation to a particular scout (and have) to help them get to camp if that's what they want to do. I want 100% of my donation to benefit the kid, not some corporation selling crappy popcorn. It *is way over-priced and it isn't all that good.

Accidental Homeschooler
09-21-2013, 01:12 PM
That is really horrible and I thought the Girl Scouts was bad. It may be that you can't be part of the organization if you don't participate in the sale. This is the GS rule. There is a smaller fall sale and the cookies and you have to do one. The prizes for the girls are nice.

How do the the other parents feel? You could all order one thing and then make a donation to your own troop. That is sort of what the school my kids used to attend did. The gave up on the stupid sale and just asked the parents to donate what they could. Parents were so grateful the school ended up making more money.

kadylaha
09-21-2013, 01:22 PM
Yes, they kept saying "tell the people the money's for camp" but how much can camp cost? Is it at Club Med? Can't I just give him the money he needs when he needs it, instead of pimping him out?

I told my husband I wanted Aed and I to pop our own damn corn and sell it in ziploc bags for a dollar. I bet we'd make loads of money but he says that's a bit much lol!

Take2
09-21-2013, 02:37 PM
In GS, we can choose not to sell cookies, but cannot attend the event that the proceeds of the sales pays for unless a parent pays out-of-pocket

Starkspack
09-21-2013, 02:55 PM
I have nothing concrete to add but my sympathy. And a story - one day I was in the drive through at a fast food place. A woman with 3 little boys dressed in Boy Scout uniforms came up to my car window while I was waiting in line to place my order. They were so cute! But I was trapped and they were selling popcorn, and I felt I had to buy a bag. I gave it away to a relative, so I don't know if it was any good. Anyway, I said to the mom, "What's your address? Because in the spring when my daughter is selling girl scout cookies, I'm coming to YOUR house!!" We got a good laugh. I guess she didn't realize I wasn't kidding.

I just started as a Daisy leader with my DD's troop, and I'm one of three leaders. I was under the impression that the cookie sale (all sales) are optional, but I could be wrong. I'll have to check that out. As a troop we declined to participate in the fall sale - the math just did not work. I'd much prefer to give the troop $100 than go to the amount of trouble it would take to make that in the sale (small percentage went to the troop, just like you describe.) Ugh.

Seems to me if the GS (and BS) want to teach business skills, they would encourage them to start their own businesses - like your popcorn idea. :)

dragonfly
09-21-2013, 04:13 PM
Geez, that sounds horrible. Even if you convince someone that the 20 bucks is a donation, I wonder how many people would be willing to pay it if they knew that so little of it actually goes to the scouts.

Maybe you could write down your observations, particularly the money issue, and present it to the rest so they can see what a big rip-off it really is. Tell them that for every $1000, only $300 is retained by the scouts. If pre-orders cannot all be sold, who bears the loss?

I might also bring in some unmarked samples of popcorn--some homemade, some commercially available, like Smartfood (yum), and have them do a taste test comparison. Then tell them how much it cost, retail. I mean, if the popcorn is just a "thank you" for a $20 donation, why not buy a 3 dollar bag of Smartfood to give away, then the scouts would make a profit of $17!

Is there a local newspaper that would be interested in doing a story about this? It comes pretty close to sounding like a scam to me--I bet the public would be interested to know where their "donation" is really going.

farrarwilliams
09-21-2013, 05:34 PM
This isn't making me think any better of the BSA.

Sadly, in this litigious and fearful climate, they probably wouldn't let you pop and sell the popcorn yourselves.

Avalon
09-21-2013, 05:53 PM
We've been involved in Scouts Canada for years now, and I never participate in the popcorn sales. Personally, it just comes down to the fact that I can't ask my friends and family to buy a product that I wouldn't buy myself. I actually never inquired how much the Scouts make from the popcorn, I just dislike the product. They also do a huge bottle drive twice a year, and we make a big effort to work hard on that, so I have no guilt about opting out of popcorn sales.

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.

CrazyCatWoman
09-21-2013, 05:56 PM
30 to the organization selling is pretty standard. And I agree, a total rip off. After finding this out with stuff my kinder kid was supposed to sell for school, I ended up that I no longer participate in these things. I donate a straight amount - if the item is $20, I give them $20. And get nothing but thanks in reserve.

My kids go to an ALE in WA. Every year they do fund raisers to get money for things. Last year they bought a really nice microscope that parents can be loaned a week at a time. This year they are looking at getting a copy machine for parents to use when they have things like History Pockets that need to be copied.

So last year they sold butter braids. With lots of pushing to get kids to go to neighbors and such to sell these gooey, calorie ladden items. These things cost $12 each of which $4 goes back to the school. I bought one for each of my kids, an equivalent of each selling 4. But they did not get a prize or even counted for the prizes as they didn't actually sell any. All our family lives back east. Our neighbors are all employed by the same firm that is government related and in constant threat of shut down (even though it is nuclear waste clean up...) or, they have had things like gastric by-pass or are gluten sensitive. Heck, it seems like one out of 4 kids at the school can't eat wheat...yet this is what they are selling.

Me, I would rather have a once a month bake sale with parents donating home made items and giving their kids a couple of dollars, than to do this corporate stuff. Or, just go an ask people if they will donate...especially right before tax time. But, no one at the old school would listen to me, and no one here will either.

Our 4-H club, they do a few yard sales and bake sales a year to raise money to help kids with the costs of fair. The kids DO learn more about making money and are really proud of the effort that they put into the cookies that they made. 100% goes back to them...and they love it.

farrarwilliams
09-21-2013, 07:13 PM
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."

archaeomeg
09-24-2013, 03:36 PM
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.

Teri
09-24-2013, 05:59 PM
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
09-24-2013, 06:00 PM
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.

farrarwilliams
09-24-2013, 06:19 PM
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.

ksb427
09-24-2013, 06:26 PM
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.

Gummers
09-25-2013, 01:03 AM
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.

Sweden
09-25-2013, 08:04 PM
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.

Batgirl
09-25-2013, 09:00 PM
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%.

Our Pledge (http://www.trails-end.com/info/Our_Pledge)

wendygrace
09-26-2013, 09:35 AM
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".

Oceana
09-26-2013, 11:07 AM
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.




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.





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.




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)



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.



(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.



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/files/d/usr/11/GLFSC%20Popcorn/2013%20Spring%20Sales%20Guide%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

Oceana
09-26-2013, 11:08 AM
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 (http://www.trails-end.com/)

The company that owns Trails End
Weaver Popcorn Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weaver_Popcorn_Company)




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 =(

Melyssa
09-29-2013, 10:35 PM
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!

Oceana
09-30-2013, 01:51 AM
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.

ksb427
09-30-2013, 07:25 AM
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.

Pibroch
10-02-2013, 12:32 AM
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.

Heidi M
10-02-2013, 04:42 AM
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.

ljhoff
09-25-2014, 12:20 PM
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.

Free Thinker
09-28-2014, 02:00 PM
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.

Tanaqui
09-28-2014, 08:46 PM
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.

alexsmom
09-28-2014, 09:00 PM
Is it a $20 donation to boy scouts, or a $5 donation to Scouts and $15 to corporate greed?

Part of the problem is that the company making money off it is exploiting the kids. *Buy our product, its for a good cause*
Its the same as those door to door salespeople saying *help me pay for college, buy these $5 candybars or magazine subscriptions.* but so much easier to say no to some teen than some cute little boy we know is pressured to sell the crap to meet quotas.
And sales quotas? how is that even something that should be foisted on kids?

Heck with the little white lies. Stand up and say this is wrong!

Jyhwkmama
09-28-2014, 09:12 PM
Is it a $20 donation to boy scouts, or a $5 donation to Scouts and $15 to corporate greed?

Part of the problem is that the company making money off it is exploiting the kids. *Buy our product, its for a good cause*
Its the same as those door to door salespeople saying *help me pay for college, buy these $5 candybars or magazine subscriptions.* but so much easier to say no to some teen than some cute little boy we know is pressured to sell the crap to meet quotas.
And sales quotas? how is that even something that should be foisted on kids?

Heck with the little white lies. Stand up and say this is wrong!

?

Trails End does make some profit on the popcorn, but the BSA is a non profit organization. You might could argue that you think they have higher than needed organizational overhead, but there is no corporation profit. They actually do fund many things like camp scholarships for kids, fee scholarships for kids, and inner city scout programs. Of the 70% of the popcorn dollars sold come back to the scouts with 30% going to the individual kid.

alexsmom
09-28-2014, 10:19 PM
Its trails end that deserves no profit..... ask the parents for straight up donations, send them out with IRS charitible donation receipts and have em collect from their peers, neighbors, in front of grocery stores, wherever.... leave the responsibility for selling away from the kids, and take out the middle man with $80 popcorn.
Then all the money goes directly to scouts. A $20 donation then is $20 to scouts.

JenWrites
09-28-2014, 10:21 PM
That is really horrible and I thought the Girl Scouts was bad. It may be that you can't be part of the organization if you don't participate in the sale. This is the GS rule. There is a smaller fall sale and the cookies and you have to do one. The prizes for the girls are nice.



That's not actually correct. I'm an assistant troop leader and our troop does not do sales of any kind. We are allowed to pay for everything we do out of pocket and not participate in any kind of sales. any fundraising outside of the fall nut sale and the cookie sale has to be submitted and pre-approved by Council, but we have never bothered with even trying to do anything like that. I'm sure they don't say "yes" to much if a troop is not selling cookies and nuts. We just try really hard to keep our activities as affordable as possible.

As for BSA, I'm not nearly as familiar with the guidelines. We'll be bumping up against that in a few years, but my impression is that it is far more expensive than GSA, and therefore much harder to pay out-of-pocket and avoid selling stuff. I have bought popcorn from adorable family friends and my nephew, and it was pretty low-quality in my opinion. Definitely not worth the big bucks I shilled out if popcorn was the only reward. I just reminded myself that I was supporting a Scout I loved, but I TOTALLY get feeling icky about the whole thing. Corporations and kids generally make for unsavory company (pun intended).

MNDad
09-29-2014, 06:37 AM
My children don't do any fundraising whatsoever because we have philosophical objections to using children in this way. Children participate in organizations for their developmental opportunities, not for the chance to sell something. And the inducements to children really creep me out. "Sell $x and you get this mp3 player."

While I understand the principle of "no money, no mission" and that kids who have some "sweat equity" in the organization may have a higher level of commitment, I don't really want my kids selling products as a entry fee. We pay with the fund-raising escape clause.

I figure it's the responsibility of the organizational leadership to make the activities affordable and seek out funding sources - grants, business donations, sponsorships, etc. And it's the parents' responsibility to figure out the true cost of participation. That said, we (parents) do participate in fund-raising to the extent that it provides what we would have purchased anyway. There are ways of doing that now with minimal effort and which don't involve selling food items like this.

halfpint
09-29-2014, 09:11 AM
Anyone know of any groups that do work to pay for activities? I remember when I was a kid the BSA would collect newspapers and aluminum cans and sell them to the recycling center to earn $$ for activities. The kids got sweat equity, no corporations involved, and it was a good incentive to save recylable from the trash! Here they also come 'round after Christmas and pick up old trees, and ask for a donation.

When I was in college I was in a sports club that cut and split firewood to sell - now of course you're not going to have 8 year olds doing that, but they could do something, right?

saripants
10-01-2014, 03:39 PM
I'm a Den Leader for my son. I actually really hate it because I don't feel qualified AT ALL to be a leader of boys in the field of scouting, but I was the only parent willing to take the responsibility.

We got involved and stay involved because we live in a rural community. We have a very diverse scouting group and many of the boys who participate don't have fathers at home. I feel like it's a good way for my son to be around boys of all colors and classes.

Anyway, we sell popcorn, but we also do other fundraisers like a pancake supper and a car wash. The kids are really involved with those activities.

And with the money we have raised, we were able to buy 3 tents so that families who can't afford one of their own can borrow one and participate in camp-outs. We've also bought supplies to play games and have a raingutter regatta.

I think that many Packs collect fees from parents to pay for these costs. We try not to rely on that because it could be exclusive.

As much as I dislike the cost of the popcorn and the way it is sold, I only sell to my family members and point out that it is really a donation to our little Pack. And, because some of my family are retired military, many of them buy the packages that are sent to troops serving overseas.

crazyme
10-01-2014, 04:06 PM
Scouts is far from perfect, but I do like what it provides to my boys. Unfortunately, things aren't free, there is a cost. And as Saripants pointed out, many of the kids that benefit the most from a program like Scouts can't afford it. I'm guessing that there could be a lot of cost savings for the organization if they reorganized the corporate side of it, but there are so many more, important issues for the organization to resolve right now. Our troop is having a fundraising meeting tonight to look at our options and plan for the year. I haven't met anyone that likes the popcorn or candy bar sales, but in the end it's about how to raise money so that everyone can participate.

alexsmom
10-01-2014, 05:20 PM
Dear Saripants and Crazyme,

Would family and friends be just as likely to donate cash as to buy overpriced popcorn or candy?
If the troop had to sell 5000 worth of popcorn to earn 3000 for the troop, could that 3000 be earned just as easily by asking for straight donations? Since many people consider the popcorn purchase a *donation*, why not have it go 100% to scouts? And it will send a message that this candyselling scam that corporations use to make money off our kids is not a viable one or one that is going to be tolerated. Presumably the families with less disposable income wont be able to donate as much as families with bountiful funds, but better that they arent buying overpriced popcorn anyways.
The need for funds is understood, and its understood that not all families would be able to *donate* the same amount, but since theres not intrinsic value in the overpriced popcorn (unlike really tasty girl scout cookies!), why allow a third party to pilfer off some of the hard-earned contributions?

Sent with love and respect,

Alexsmom

Aroura
10-02-2014, 11:49 PM
After reading the thread more thoroughly, it sounds like the way they spend the money I similar to Girl Scouts. So edited to delete all my inaccurate assumptions. :o

Aroura
10-02-2014, 11:59 PM
?

Trails End does make some profit on the popcorn, but the BSA is a non profit organization. You might could argue that you think they have higher than needed organizational overhead, but there is no corporation profit. They actually do fund many things like camp scholarships for kids, fee scholarships for kids, and inner city scout programs. Of the 70% of the popcorn dollars sold come back to the scouts with 30% going to the individual kid.
Oh, I missed this! This is pretty similar to GS number then. It is often misleading when you hear how little the troop gets, but makes more sense when you understand that most of the money stay IN THE AREA.

Still, $20 a bag? That's crazy. Some Boy Scouts were selling beef jerky at the mall here last winter for only $2 a stick. I bought a couple. Is that just a local thing or do all Boy Scouts also have this jerky sale that is more reasonably priced?

reefgazer1963
11-16-2014, 01:05 PM
I'm a little late to this party and I know popcorn sales are nearly over, but my 2 cents:

I'm the popcorn kernel for our pack, and we sell Pecatonica River popcorn, which is utterly delicious and fresh and the popcorn sells itself. I've heard the Trails End stuff is horrible. Because it's so dang expensive, a few canisters adds up to each boy's $150 sales requirement. If a boy does not want to sell popcorn, for whatever reason, he can opt out and pay the $50 fee to the troop (in addition to the joining fee of $45). I hear lots of parents complaining about "exploiting the boys", high costs for pack fees, etc... But selling the popcorn teaches the kids sales techniques and how to present themselves well; I don't consider it exploitation and my DS has a blast selling popcorn. Of course the stuff is expensive - it's a fundraiser, not a Wal-Mart, how-cheap-can-we-get-it sale. It is primarily a donation to the pack, with the payment for popcorn a minimal part of the cost.

We've had a few parents leave the pack because of the popcorn fee requirements and the fact that they saw it as completely unacceptable that they had to give $50 in fees (either through popcorn selling or through outright payment). But those fees cover pack costs, and if they weren't obtained through a flat $50 fee or through sales of $150 worth of popcorn, parents would be paying for every.single.thing their kid did individually and it would require one additional volunteer parent just to collect that petty cash once/week. Apparently, those parents felt other pack members should just pay their freight. I also didn't see those parents volunteering to collect the $2 here and $1.50 there every week for all those costs.

As for the pack's costs and what your money covers: The dues of $45 (or whatever they are) cover the cost of the pack's charter. Here, I think the charter is close to $2K/year. Since the pack only gets to keep 1/3 of the cash it makes on popcorn, it's not like the pack is keeping all that dough; they are only keeping 1/3 of it. I addition, our pack pays for all the awards the scouts get at their ceremonies (pins, belt loops, patches), the blue and gold banquet, the raingutter regatta boats, the space derby rockets, the pinewood derby cars, admission to district events for the previous acitvities, the moving up ceremony and hats/neckerchiefs for each kid at the moving up ceremony, the fees at various campsites we use during the year, and the food for campouts. In addition, the pack has to periodically replace the raingutter for the regatta, the track for the derby, and miscellaneous stuff like a bridge for crossover ceremonies. That stuff adds up really fast, especially the pins/beltloops/awards. It is much easier for the pack to buy this stuff than for individual parents to buy it because the pack can get their tax-free and quantity discounts on things. One woman in our pack said she never had to sell popcorn in her old pack, but when pressed, she kvetched about being nickel and dined to death because she had to buy every. single. pin/belt loop. The popcorn sales or opt-out fee prevents that nickel-and-diming of parents for every trivial item.

reefgazer1963
11-16-2014, 01:13 PM
If they are an incorporated business, why would they not deserve to make a profit? That's how our economy works. They are not a charitable arm of the BSA.

alexsmom
11-16-2014, 01:51 PM
I think the *problem* is with kid sales in general - they and (in this case, BSA) are being used by a *greedy corporation* to make ridiculous profits while providing an uninspired, low quality product (be it popcorn, wrapping paper, whatever).
If your kid said *uncle Phil, i need money to pay for my scouting this year, would you make a flat-out donation of $10* instead of using the same appeal to buy $30 of junk to give the same benefit to scouts plus twice as much profit to the other corporation.... it would be a lot better.

Nobody is doubting that things cost money, or that its easier to collect it all at once instead of nickeling and diming. Its just that every Uncle Phil is being expected to give $10 to good cause, and $20 to the pocket of a greedy corporation.
Do they deserve the title of greedy corporation? Absolutively! Their entire business model is predicated (predatorated!) on making money off of what people assume to be non-profits, and exploiting kids as an emotional pull for people to support.
Giving it a bs mantra (and please dont take this personally its something a lot of proponents say) that it teaches kids how to sell themselves or gives them an example of work ethic is ridiculous. We want our kids to grow to be industrious and work with integrity, honesty. This type of business or selling is nowhere near that.
*end rant*

CrazyMom
11-16-2014, 03:13 PM
I will not support the Boy Scouts until they change their position of not only not allowing GLBT people in leadership roles, but also Atheists and Agnostics.

Screw them. (not the kids, obviously....the corrupt leadership)

I would love to support the kids, but I won't support a hate-group. If the little boys ask me to buy their stuff, I say, sorry, I can't due to political reasons. Ask your parents.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/05/25/boy-scouts-gay-god-column/2357959/

Interestingly, the Girl Scouts have no such bans or prejudices. While they do allow prayer and integration of religion, they do not require it, nor do they require faith to be a leader.

Sorry kids....I'll take half a dozen boxes of cookies, but you can keep the popcorn. It's the only way the Boy Scouts will learn to be inclusive and live in the present.

halfpint
11-16-2014, 04:05 PM
I think the *problem* is with kid sales in general - they and (in this case, BSA) are being used by a *greedy corporation* to make ridiculous profits while providing an uninspired, low quality product (be it popcorn, wrapping paper, whatever).
If your kid said *uncle Phil, i need money to pay for my scouting this year, would you make a flat-out donation of $10* instead of using the same appeal to buy $30 of junk to give the same benefit to scouts plus twice as much profit to the other corporation.... it would be a lot better.

Nobody is doubting that things cost money, or that its easier to collect it all at once instead of nickeling and diming. Its just that every Uncle Phil is being expected to give $10 to good cause, and $20 to the pocket of a greedy corporation.
Do they deserve the title of greedy corporation? Absolutively! Their entire business model is predicated (predatorated!) on making money off of what people assume to be non-profits, and exploiting kids as an emotional pull for people to support.
Giving it a bs mantra (and please dont take this personally its something a lot of proponents say) that it teaches kids how to sell themselves or gives them an example of work ethic is ridiculous. We want our kids to grow to be industrious and work with integrity, honesty. This type of business or selling is nowhere near that.
*end rant*

I agree with parts of what alexsmom and reefgazer said. I think that it's good for the pack to collect money and then provide all the stuff for the kids. And it does cost money!

I also don't like the idea that there's a "middleman" involved. I am FOR giving $$ to the kids, I am FOR the kids earning it. I am AGAINST a portion of that $$ going to a for-profit corporation.

When my brother and I did scouts, we did the sales (which we hated), but also made money by doing WORK. Like collecting recyclables, splitting firewood, raking/mowing yards, bake sales, etc.

Until recently, I sought out and bought GS cookies, but wouldn't buy the BS popcorn because the price point was too high. I would give a $5 donation instead. Now, though, I refuse the BS based on the gay scouts/leaders issue. I have a gay Eagle Scout cousin who will not get to have the amazing experience with his kids that he and his dad did. Boo on BSA.

reefgazer1963
11-16-2014, 06:21 PM
I agree with you on the selling; I don't particularly *like* that my DS sells popcorn even though he seems to enjoy it and has learned from it, but it's how we avoid the $50 fee. I have no problem with someone opting out of selling. I have a major problem with parents who opt out of selling and then kvetch about the $50 fee and think their kid's freight should be carried by the rest of the pack because they have some philosophical opposition to selling or paying the required fee. Quite frankly, I was happy to see those families leave the pack for that reason.

I also agree with you that it is much more efficient and cost-effective for Uncle Phil to donate $10 to their kid's organization, rather than spend $100 on an order so that the pack can make $10. The problem is, most people won't stroke that check. Hence, the sales. If people would pay the fee required in lieu of selling popcorn, that would be great - it would save me the hassle of volunteering for that PITA job. But we also have people who are tight on funds and this allows their kid to pay their way, indirectly, without the cash coming out of their pocket. A parent always has the option to opt-out and pay the $50 directly instead, and many do take advantage of that option.

Of course corporations are greedy- their job is to make money. *shrug* The best way to avoid being taken advantage of by these companies is to make sure everyone in the pack pays the $50 fee. Unfortunately, there are those who can't, so these companies have the opportunity to make money off those parents who cannot or will not pay the flat fee.

I disagree completely that selling teaches kids nothing about how to present themselves. The change in my DS from the time he was in first grade to now (fourth) is astounding, and he is now a pretty good little salesman for his popcorn. 'Course, he believes in his product and so do I (I've got the extra 10 pounds to prove it), but it seems as if we have a much higher quality popcorn than your pack has. He watched other older scouts sell their product and learned from them. He learned how to approach people to sell, how body language doesn't always indicate a buyer (or refuser), and how to keep track of his sales and his share of the pack profit. Since we *all* sell ourselves to someone at some time in our lives (college admissions committee, prospective employer), I'd say that's a darned valuable skill to have and I'm glad he developed that talent through watching and practicing on something as benign as popcorn.



I think the *problem* is with kid sales in general - they and (in this case, BSA) are being used by a *greedy corporation* to make ridiculous profits while providing an uninspired, low quality product (be it popcorn, wrapping paper, whatever).
If your kid said *uncle Phil, i need money to pay for my scouting this year, would you make a flat-out donation of $10* instead of using the same appeal to buy $30 of junk to give the same benefit to scouts plus twice as much profit to the other corporation.... it would be a lot better.

Nobody is doubting that things cost money, or that its easier to collect it all at once instead of nickeling and diming. Its just that every Uncle Phil is being expected to give $10 to good cause, and $20 to the pocket of a greedy corporation.
Do they deserve the title of greedy corporation? Absolutively! Their entire business model is predicated (predatorated!) on making money off of what people assume to be non-profits, and exploiting kids as an emotional pull for people to support.
Giving it a bs mantra (and please dont take this personally its something a lot of proponents say) that it teaches kids how to sell themselves or gives them an example of work ethic is ridiculous. We want our kids to grow to be industrious and work with integrity, honesty. This type of business or selling is nowhere near that.
*end rant*

alexsmom
11-16-2014, 07:38 PM
I agree philosophically about boycotting BSA for their anti-gay, anti-athiest viewpoint.
My point of opposition, though, is ANY use of kids to hawk overpriced goods in the name of *fund-raiser*. Itd be far better all around if the fundraising project could involve the kids with parent support / oversight. I know some groups / school sports teams sell labor for a fundraiser - kids paint houses, weed yards, do age-appropriate tasks. There are other ways to raise money that are more ethical than making Uncle Phil shell out $30 for a tin of stale popcorn, of which most of the money goes to Greedy Unethical Corporation.
We went car shopping this summer - not to perpetuate stereotypes, but the salesman who had the obvious slimey salesmanship training was rather repulsive to us. His tactics might have sold cars to other people, but we gravitated towards the *im a real person doing this job, I think you will like this car better* personality.
Selling overpriced popcorn using the pitch of *its for a good cause* (when the money goes to make profit for 3rd party) and relying on emotional pressure to help kids / relatives is training in that slimyness, imo.
As a neighbor, Id be much more likely to come up with some task to allow scouts or any other group to earn some money, than to buy overpriced crap going to line the pockets of some other company.

I do admit to making the exception for girl scout cookies though - theyre tasty and seem a more reasonable value. I usually buy $20 worth each time I see them, so maybe $40 worth each year. But do those teach girls how to sell? I dont think so, they pretty much sell themselves. They learn how to negotiate sales transactions, and to be polite to buyers. Am I a hypocrite? I dunno, but the thin mints call my name!

reefgazer1963
11-16-2014, 08:32 PM
See, I am not arguing that your bolded POV is wrong. Anyone who thinks that way has the right to think that way. But, if you are a scout parent in our pack, you have to follow through on that stance and pay your $50, otherwise you are a burden to the pack and sending the kids a really bad message about not having to pull their share. That's it; pretty simple.


I agree philosophically about boycotting BSA for their anti-gay, anti-athiest viewpoint.
My point of opposition, though, is ANY use of kids to hawk overpriced goods in the name of *fund-raiser*. Itd be far better all around if the fundraising project could involve the kids with parent support / oversight. I know some groups / school sports teams sell labor for a fundraiser - kids paint houses, weed yards, do age-appropriate tasks. There are other ways to raise money that are more ethical than making Uncle Phil shell out $30 for a tin of stale popcorn, of which most of the money goes to Greedy Unethical Corporation.
We went car shopping this summer - not to perpetuate stereotypes, but the salesman who had the obvious slimey salesmanship training was rather repulsive to us. His tactics might have sold cars to other people, but we gravitated towards the *im a real person doing this job, I think you will like this car better* personality.
Selling overpriced popcorn using the pitch of *its for a good cause* (when the money goes to make profit for 3rd party) and relying on emotional pressure to help kids / relatives is training in that slimyness, imo.
As a neighbor, Id be much more likely to come up with some task to allow scouts or any other group to earn some money, than to buy overpriced crap going to line the pockets of some other company.

I do admit to making the exception for girl scout cookies though - theyre tasty and seem a more reasonable value. I usually buy $20 worth each time I see them, so maybe $40 worth each year. But do those teach girls how to sell? I dont think so, they pretty much sell themselves. They learn how to negotiate sales transactions, and to be polite to buyers. Am I a hypocrite? I dunno, but the thin mints call my name!

CrazyMom
11-16-2014, 11:25 PM
According to the Girl Scouts of the United States of America website, approximately 70% of the proceeds stays in the local Girl Scout council to provide a portion of the resources needed to support Girl Scouting in that area, including a portion that goes directly to the troop/group selling the cookies. The balance goes directly to the baker to pay for the cookies.

I pay $4.00 for a box of cookies. Girl Scouts get to keep $2.80. (some money goes to the girls who sell, some to the local council) Only $1.20 is paid to cover the manufacturer and special labeling. (Girl Scout cookies are made by Kelloggs, but they don't say Kelloggs on them....they say GIRL SCOUT COOKIES.....what a shocking concept, no?)

Why are the Girl Scouts SO much smarter than the Boy Scouts about fair business practices, ethical treatment of participants, respect for constitutional freedoms and civil rights?

Why can't the Boy Scouts be fair, inclusive and smart with their money.....like the Girl Scouts?

I hope those of you in Boy Scouts will ask these questions of your leadership.

reefgazer1963
11-19-2014, 05:24 PM
Girl Scout structure, rules, and financing are completely different than BSA. The BSA works as it does because their methods have been successful over the years. It really doesn't matter what the Girl Scouts do; what the Cub Scouts do works for well *them* and has been working well for them for over a century. They feel that selling is a useful skill to promote; I agree with them, and the option to pay the bill in another way is there for those who disagree. You seem to be contradicting yourself about being anti-selling on principle, while still promoting the GS way of raising money (selling something else - cookies). Or maybe you just don't like the taste of popcorn? Either way, it sounds more and more like an apology for deadbeat parents who don't want to teach their sons to contribute to the support of the pack, but I may be misreading that.

I'm not sure what inclusivity has to do with the principle of selling popcorn and paying one's fair share, but boy scouts have chosen not to be all-inclusive, and that's their right also. All troops (GS and BSA) have expenses, and those expenses have to be met in some way. BSA has chosen popcorn proceeds or direct payment by parents to meet those expenses. Like I said, pick one payment method and pony up.

QUOTE=CrazyMom;177307]According to the Girl Scouts of the United States of America website, approximately 70% of the proceeds stays in the local Girl Scout council to provide a portion of the resources needed to support Girl Scouting in that area, including a portion that goes directly to the troop/group selling the cookies. The balance goes directly to the baker to pay for the cookies.

I pay $4.00 for a box of cookies. Girl Scouts get to keep $2.80. (some money goes to the girls who sell, some to the local council) Only $1.20 is paid to cover the manufacturer and special labeling. (Girl Scout cookies are made by Kelloggs, but they don't say Kelloggs on them....they say GIRL SCOUT COOKIES.....what a shocking concept, no?)

Why are the Girl Scouts SO much smarter than the Boy Scouts about fair business practices, ethical treatment of participants, respect for constitutional freedoms and civil rights?

Why can't the Boy Scouts be fair, inclusive and smart with their money.....like the Girl Scouts?

I hope those of you in Boy Scouts will ask these questions of your leadership.[/QUOTE]

ResearchPrevails
11-07-2017, 12:22 AM
Yeah um, you didn't even read the first post nor have you done you research. Here's the disgusting truth:
At this time when the cookies were $4 a box the troop got a mere $.84 thats a mere 21% of the sale price (now that they're $5/box they still get 21%). So if Boy Scouts get 30%, by my math they're ahead 9%. Girl Scout cookies are not and never were made by Kelloggs, they're made by ABC Bakers (ABCsmartcookies.com). What the mom was saying is that the troop would be better off by her making a cash donation than spending more than 3 times the money buying popcorn, not that she's a teaching her son not to contribute. Shame on you for saying that anyone is a "deadbeat parent" for choosing to not participate in something she doesn't believe is a good fit for her. It's her son, her decision. You obviously know nothing about either organization and refuse to educate yourself. If you want to use your child to sell this stuff, we won't judge you as you've judged us. If you think Girl Scouts is smart with their money, explain why they are not transparent about the funds? Every box of cookies cost the same amount, wouldn't it be easier to just tell us exactly how much money from each box goes to the troop, council and overhead? That's what cookie buyers want to know, but instead we get ambiguity like "And guess what—100 percent of the money stays local! " (GirlScouts.org). What does that even mean? It could mean the council gets 99% and the troop gets 1% it could mean it's split 50/50. I know from experience the troop gets a little over $1. So, I could buy 10 boxes of 8 ounce cookies and spend $50 only $10 of which the troop would get or I could just donate $10 and save myself $40, accomplishing the same thing. I also know that at the end of cookie season the council sells cookies to troops for $3 a box, but makes the troop sell them for $5. This means at $3 a box they STILL make profit. So why not do that all the time seems like it's in the girls best interest. And really does anyone believe this is teaching them entrepreneurship skills?! Then why hasn't GS published any facts about how many of their members go on to become successful entrepreneurs? It is a guise. Who needs to be an entrepreneur when little girls can aspire to be the CEO of Girl Scouts and make nearly $400,000 a year according to the New York Post?(She (http://nyp.st/1dCTeoP)) Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts doesn't give us a dollar amount for a reason, because nobody would buy the stuff if they knew the harsh and disappointing reality. 😱

asndyer12359
04-07-2018, 05:12 PM
That is really horrible and I thought the Girl Scouts was bad. It may be that you can't be part of the organization if you don't participate in the sale. This is the GS rule. There is a smaller fall sale and the cookies and you have to do one. The prizes for the girls are nice.

How do the the other parents feel? You could all order one thing and then make a donation to your own troop. That is sort of what the school my kids used to attend did. The gave up on the stupid sale and just asked the parents to donate what they could. Parents were so grateful the school ended up making more money.


Actually, the Girl Scouts earn LESS THAN 25% OF THE MONEY BACK. Per one 4$ box, girls earn 68 or 72 cents back.

jenh
09-08-2018, 03:35 AM
I know this is a pretty old thread, but I feel like it is still relevant and would like to respond from my perspective as a Cub Scout mom.

I'm sorry you thought the popcorn was terrible. In all fairness, it was probably an old bag. I have three sons who have been involved in selling popcorn for 6 years now. I have opened my fair share of bags that I've bought for myself and they are actually quite good. I was very surprised because I, like most people, was a little taken aback at first by the price. I agree the prices are a little steep, but the lowest priced item is $10, and there are also a few $15 items.

A lot of the comments in this thread have the fee structure wrong. Trails End does NOT keep 70%, they keep 30%, but in addition to giving 70% of the purchase price to local scouting, they offer scholarships for certain levels of sales. The local council gives up to 35% of that directly to the pack/troop. The other 35% goes to the council which helps pay the salary of all the executives and helps pay to run the local scout camps. So for a $10 bag of caramel corn, our council and our pack get a total of $7.

Not every council uses only the "show and sell" system. My boys have been knocking on doors for the past few weeks. One of the bullets of the scout law is thrift. We teach the scouts thrift by providing them an opportunity to earn money to pay their own way. They learn that everything of value is not free, hard work is rewarded. They are under no obligation to sell if they don't want to.

Again, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with this, but please don't turn it into a "bash all Boy Scouts" fest because of it. Your experience is not the norm.