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In one weekend of Popcorn sales or other Fundraising, a Cub Scout or Boy Scout
can earn enough in his Individual Youth Account for a year of adventures!
Scouts learn personal management not by lectures but through life experiences.
Here are Popcorn sales tips and tools to help you have a great sale!

Targeting Popcorn Sales and other great resources are available here.

Each fall, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts kick off their annual popcorn sale. Typically about 1/3 of the proceeds from this fundraiser are given back to the local unit (Packs and Troops) to pay for Basic Expenses. Another 1/3 goes back to the local council for facilities, staffing, program materials, and other resources.

Many councils provide a patch to every Scout who sells over some basic amount. In addition, Scouts can also earn prizes. Some councils allow units to take about a 5% higher profit if they do not take the prize program. Prize programs often work best with younger Scouts. Some councils also offer $50, $75, or $100 gift cards for every $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 you sell.

Many councils give their Scouts a variety of ways to earn money with popcorn:

  • "Take Orders" - orders taken for later delivery.
  • "Show and Sell" - sales are often made in front of large grocery or other stores for immediate delivery.
  • "Show and Deliver" - like Take Orders except the Scout takes popcorn with him for immediate delivery.
  • "Selling Online" - Scouts to email a link to family and friends. Orders go directly from the company to anywhere in the US!
  • "Support the Troops" program where popcorn can be sent directly to our troops around the world!

Popcorn can bring more than fun and adventure. Scouts learn that with hard work they can save enough in their Individual Accounts to reach their goals. Scouts learn personal management. Self-reliance is learned from real-life experience not a lecture.


How it works

Packs and Troops often set their annual dues between $70 and $120 to cover registration, Boy's Life subscription, books, advancements, recharter, and basic needs. In one day, a Scout can sell enough popcorn to cover all of this and more!

A Scout who knows the Basic Sales Tips below can average $75 to $150 in sales per hour in Take Order sales, depending upon area. At a 33% profit, that is $25 to $50 an hour. Many jobs don't pay that well!

In one day, a Scout with a good Popcorn Plan could sell $600 to $1,000, earning $200 to $300 for his Individual Account. A Cub Scout might earn enough for a year of fun plus have money in his Individual Account for Day Camp and trips. In two days, a Boy Scout can cover his basic expenses plus have enough to cover Summer Camp and other camping experiences.

Unit Popcorn Plan

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Based on: Trails-end Popcorn, Westchester-Putnam Council - Capitol Area Council - Santa Fe Trail Council

  1. Plan out your unit calendar for at least the next 12 months and set a unit budget.
  2. Make sure that your Fundraising Chair is trained by your council or district in Popcorn and attends kickoffs, etc.
  3. Ask each family to fill out their Personal Popcorn Plan to set their goal. Use these to set unit goals.
    • How much do they need for the next year for: Dues? Camp? Trips? Activities?
    • Determine additional amount Webelos need to take with them when they bridge.
  4. Establish Scout Accounts to help each Scout and his family with his Scouting expenses.
  5. Have a short Popcorn Kickoff session at a unit meeting to tell the Scouts and parents about the popcorn sale.
  6. Have a "Sales Blitz Day" or "Fill a Card" day or other kickoff day with special prizes.
  7. Sell popcorn by various methods such as TAKE ORDER, SHOW AND SELL, SHOW AND DELIVER, and SELLING AT WORK.
  8. Scouts should continue until their goal was met (usually 3 or 4 afternoons or weekend days).
  9. Recognize top sellers and hold a victory party at sale’s end.

Pack Popcorn Plan

Want to know what makes Pinewood Derby Cars go?   It's not gravity.   It's Popcorn.
Without Popcorn many packs and troops could not exist.   Day Camps and Summer Camps could cost twice as much.

Your Pack Popcorn Plan begins with your Pack Calendar. Your pack calendar is so busy for the next twelve months with trips, camps, museums, picnics, hikes, and ball games. The Scouts will want to do it all!

For the Popcorn Orientation, each family is asked to complete their Personal Popcorn Plan. You can give printed blank forms ahead of time or cut and paste the sentence below and email it to everyone in your pack:

Please fill out your Personal Plans for the Popcorn Kickoff: http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Popcorn_Plan

The plan covers the basic costs of registration, Boy's Life, books, and then lets you pick your activities to show you how many sales you will need. It even helps you find your best 50 prospects! (Print copies for those that might forget.)

Popcorn Orientation
  • Make it Quick and FUN!
  • At a Pack Meeting in the late spring or summer, ask some of your top-seller to share their secrets.
  • Den Leaders collect the Personal Popcorn Plans and total them on their Den Popcorn Plans Microsoft Word DOC document.
  • The Pack Fundraising Chair totals the Den Popcorn Plans on the Pack Popcorn Plan Microsoft Word DOC document.
  • Rank the Den Goals on a poster board and announce the goals from lowest to highest. Have each Den take a bow as their goal is read.
  • Have every Cub Scout who turned in his Popcorn Plan come up front to get something fun such as a balloon, etc.
  • Have each Cub in a Den with 100% participation come up front for a additional small prize (dollar store item).
Forms can be sent with a friend or emailed in.
  • Tell them about your "Popcorn Kickoff" and "Popcorn Victory Party."
Popcorn Kickoff
  • Make it Quick and FUN!
  • Consider having your Popcorn Kickoff at a Pack Meeting or at your Pack Olympics.
  • Pass out your orders forms and sales ideas such as Targeting Popcorn Sales and How to Sell $1000 in Popcorn in 8 hours.
  • Ask the boys if they would like to challenge their moms to sell as much as they do. Pass out order forms to their moms!
  • Ask the boys if they would like to challenge their dads to sell as much as they do. Pass out order forms to their dads!
  • The Pack Fundraising Chair totals the Den Popcorn Plans on the Pack Popcorn Plan Microsoft Word DOC document.
  • Rank the Den Goals on a poster board and announce the goals from lowest to highest. Have each Den take a bow as their goal is read.
  • Have every Cub Scout who turned in his Popcorn Plan come up front to get something fun such as a balloon, etc.
  • Have each Cub in a Den with 100% participation come up front for a additional small prize (dollar store item).
Forms can be sent with a friend or emailed in.
  • Tell them when the "Victory Party" or "Order Turn-In" is.
Victory Party
  • Your Popcorn Victory Party can be a fun part of a Pack Meeting or a special event such a pizza party.
  • Pass out council popcorn patches for every Scout who sells at least the basic amount required.
  • Present Unit Chairmans Circle Certificates to your top 20% of your salesman. Mount their patches on these great certificates. Announce their sales amounts. For the top three, put them in $3 frames!
  • Present prizes they have earned.
  • Make it a big deal. They deserve the praise.

Cub Scout Personal Popcorn Plan

Popcorn Plan

We teach Scouts to use checklists for camping, hikes, trips, and first aid. Good activities start with good plans. It is just as important for each Scout to have a Personal Popcorn Plan.

Here is a simple plan that lets each Scout and his family set their own goals. It also shows you how to easily sell $1,000 in your first week. Just pick which version is best for you:

Basic Sales Tips

Asking is the key to selling.

Target Your Customers - Add up all the easy prospects you can think of starting with the "Perfect 10":
___ 10 Sales to Family Friends, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, Labor Day parties, etc.
___ 10 Sales to your mom's friends at work, clubs, youth groups, teams, etc. Challenge your parents to each make 10 sales! 10 Sales.
___ 10 Sales to your dad's friends at work, clubs, youth groups, teams, etc.
___ 10 Sales to closest neighbors.

That's your first 40 sales! At an average of $20 each, that is your first $800 in less than a week.

___ Hair salon, insurance office, bank, etc. You give them your business. 3-10 sales?
___ Friends at your religious institution: 3 - 5 Sales?
___ Everyone you have sold anything to in the past. Did you keep their names and numbers? 1 - 50 Sales or more.
___ The next 25 neighbors in each direction. (60% should buy!)

That's 40 to 100+ easy sales! At $20 each, that's $800 to $2,000 in sales! You can make $260 to $660 to pay unit dues with the rest going into your Individual Account.

Target Your Times

⃞ "Sell early, sell often." - Start selling as soon as you can, preferably before school starts and everyone else is selling something.
⃞ Once school starts in the fall, everyone will be selling something,. Get to as many people as you can before school starts.
⃞ Saturday morning is often the best time.
⃞ Saturday afternoon is next best.
⃞ Sunday afternoon is very good.
⃞ Sunday evening is good.
⃞ Weekday evenings after 5:30 can be good as well.

Target Your Uniform

⃞ Wear your uniform shirt, hat, and shorts if possible.
⃞ Cubs, wear your vests. They love your patches!

Target Your Territory

⃞ Start with your own friends, family, and neighborhood if it is safe.
⃞ Target safe neighborhoods likely to buy.
⃞ Leave “Sorry I missed you” notes. Some will call you back or remember when you come back.
⃞ Give Thank You notes asking for additional orders.
⃞ Keep a copy of forms you turn in as a backup.
⃞ Ask them to pay by check when they place the order. It is much harder to get the money the second time.
⃞ Ask if they can pay by check so you don't have to carry much cash.
⃞ Save your names and phone numbers so you will know who to ask & who to avoid next year.
These and many more great ideas are in the Targeting Popcorn Sales.doc Microsoft Word DOC document It is a doc file that you can customize for your unit.

Show and Sell

Show and Sell
Show and Sell opportunities are everywhere! Walmart is just one of a list of major retailers and grocery stores that often allow Scout units to sell in front of their stores for immediate delivery. In one Saturday, your unit might sell $1,500 in popcorn at a single store!

When you plan your Show and Sells, consider these opportunities:

  • Do you have a Walmart or other major retailers in your area?
  • Could you have a stand at festivals, car shows, and other events in your area?
  • Would your Chartered Organization host a show and sell?
  • Would local churches or other religious organizations allow Scouts who are their members to sell after services?
  • What are their busiest times?

How many Show and Sell opportunities do you have? Limit shifts for Cub Scouts to 2 hours or so. Remember safety first. Many Packs require an adult with each Cub Scout. Every Tiger needs a handler!

Overcoming Objections

Customer Objections
  1. We can't eat popcorn. Would you like to "Support the Troops" and send popcorn to soldiers overseas? How about as gifts for others?
  2. We already bought. Can I practice my sales pitch with you anyway? (Many will still buy again!)
  3. That seems too expensive. Tell them what you do. Show them your patches! 2/3's of the money helps local Scouts.
  4. I don't have any money. No problem. You can pay by check now and it will not be deposited until ___.
  5. Not home. Leave your "Sorry I Missed You" note.
Parent Objections
  1. We're too busy. For one day? For one morning? To just take forms with you to work, etc.?
  2. We aren't sure he's staying in. Not taking a morning to sell may mean that he will have to drop out. Please sell and give him the option.
  3. "We'll just pay whatever it costs. Could you at least take forms with you to work, friends, neighbors, etc.? He is learning self-reliance.
  4. We are already selling other things. Would you let your friends and family choose which they want?
Unit Leader Objections
  1. We already do other fundraisers. Why not just make this available to your Scouts who might be interested?
  2. Too much of the profit goes to the council. The unit gets 1/3 and the council gets 1/3. The council's third pays for facilities, camps, staffing, and resources that help keep your costs down.
  3. We can't sell in our area. Then don't. Do you have any other areas within 30 minutes where you could sell?
  4. We don't need to do fundraising. Popcorn is about more than fundraising, it's about self-reliance. Why not allow your Scouts the chance to decide for themselves?


See also

External links

Personal tools