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It's POPCORN Time!

posted Sep 1, 2009, 9:12 AM by cub leader
Pack 565 families,

We had a wild time at our swim party last Friday night. Vocal outbursts exceeded the Princeton Mill noise ordinance decibel level, one of the goals going in. We conducted our second annual cannonball contest. Even though we had to abandon the pool, we got in a crazy relay in the tennis courts and did a bunch of running around.

We also handed out the new popcorn packages for the year. If you didn’t get one Friday, please contact your Den leader as soon as you can. WHY, you ask?

Before I tell you about the incentives for the Cubs, let me give you the adult reason. Popcorn revenues count for over half (actually 60%) of our Pack income. It covers things like the Cub Scout rank handbooks and neckerchiefs we hand out at graduation, the awards (belt loops, pins, badges, and patches – i.e., the Bling), craft supplies (like for Rockets!), Pinewood Derby car kits, camp cooking equipment, and many of our activities where we cover the Cub Scout costs. These include camping fees, admission fees for Den go-see-its that meet an advancement requirement, life guards for swimming, and bowling. On the other hand, the $60 annual dues you pay in September just about cover our costs for BSA national and the Atlanta Area Council.

As you can see, we really need each and every Cub Scout family to do their share of popcorn selling. To make our annual operating expense budget, our goal is $250 worth of popcorn sales per scout.

Not everyone is a door-to-door salesperson. That’s why we have several ways to meet this goal. We are giving you five options:

§ Sell door-to-door in your neighborhood or at work. This is where you shamelessly hit up your neighbors, family, and coworkers. Hey! They’ll be hitting you up for their kids’ stuff at some point (or they did in the past). So don’t be afraid to ask them. How could they turn down a cute looking kid in uniform?

§ Participate in Show-and-Sell. Many families prefer this option. We will have Show-and-Sell dates almost every Saturday and Sunday between mid-September and early November out in front of local merchants. We sell actual popcorn (instead of promised popcorn) and take donations. (Donations count twice as much toward your $250 goal!) We’ll be signing people up for Show-and-Sell slots soon.

§ Donate a fair share out of your own household activities budget. $125 would meet the target goal because donations count twice as much as sales. If you decided that selling popcorn is too much trouble, but you still really feel you owe the Pack (because you do, you know!), we will happily accept a check for $125. What other kid activity do you know where you get as much value as you get from Cub Scouts over the entire year for the measly cost of $185 ($125 donation + $60 dues)? You’d deprive your boy of any popcorn prizes, but it sure would be an easy thing to do. Make your checks payable to Pack 565.

§ Donate your time to the Pack. I call this the community service option. We can always use volunteer help. Come to think of it, that’s why Cub Scouts is such a good deal. I don’t think any of the Pack 565 leaders have gotten a raise lately. (And we’ve cut way back on the vacation home and yacht expenses, too.)

§ Do some combination of the above four options.

Frequently Asked Question: Why do we have to sell popcorn? Why can’t we sell something better like the Girl Scouts do? What many people don’t realize is that the profit margin on a box of Girl Scout cookies is quite small. They have to sell a lot of boxes to make any money. And most of that profit actually goes to their national organization. We Cub Scouts actually keep 70% of the cost of any popcorn sold. Half of that stays right here in our Pack and the other half goes to the Atlanta Area Council. That’s why we count donations at about twice the rate of popcorn sales. C’mon everyone. Embrace popcorn! It’s excellent quality – better than anything you can buy in stores. And it makes an excellent holiday gift.

In fact, you should buy some microwave popcorn for yourselves (our favorite is Butter Lite) – enough to last all year. Or maybe you have some hard-to-buy-for family members. Right before we turn in the order form in October, we calculate how much we need to buy to get to the next award level.

Okay. What are the kid incentives? We have many.

First off there are the official BSA prizes. This year the prize vendors are actually well known companies: Nintendo, Lego, Coleman, and Razor. This isn’t junk! Take a look at the flyer in your popcorn packet. Show it to your son and see what he thinks. I’m sure he’ll be motivated. Just remember. For the BSA popcorn awards (on the glossy flyer in the packet), the only sales that count are the ones documented on the order forms. However, all sales and donations count toward the Pack prizes and the $250/Scout goal.

Speaking of that, we are also giving out our own Pack awards. AND………like last year, if your boy sells $500 worth, he will get to throw a pie in the leader’s face of his choice. This was a big hit (so to speak) last year. I believe we had about a dozen boys who got to do that. Man, were they amped up! It feels like I haven’t had a pie in my face in over three days now. (Someone felt that we had to do a demo last Friday night.) Remember, too, that $50 in donations counts as $100 worth of popcorn for the Pack prizes.

All kids that make the $250 goal will get a pizza party. I want to see the whole Pack at that pizza party. We’ll also have milestone prizes at the September 1nd and September 29th Pack meetings. Whoever has sold the most and the second most popcorn up to each of those points will get more prizes.

All popcorn forms, money, and prize selections must be turned in by Thursday, October 15.

Didn’t get your form? Filled it up and need a new one? Need another to bring to work? Have questions? Please feel free to contact Joseph C., our new popcorn kernel, at popcorn@pack565ga.org.

The earlier you get out there, the better your chances of being the first one to canvas your neighborhood (and of maximizing your results). We have our packages very early this year, which is a GOOD thing.

I’m feeling a craving for a late-night popcorn snack right now…

Happy Popcorning!

Carl / Joseph