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Popcorn Sales Question


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#1 beaglelover

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 01:52 PM

We had a CM come up with an idea about popcorn sales, but I cannot find an answer if it is OK to do or not, so thought I would ask here.

 

Can you take the extra popcorn sales from the scouts and then pool them together to get a prize for the pack?  

 

(e.g.  If scout A sells $600, but only qualifies for the $550 prize, can we take the $50 extra from his sales, add it to a group total by doing the same for the rest of the unit's scouts, and then use it to get a bigger prize for the whole unit)

 

Thanks!


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#2 Torchwood

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 03:04 PM

Just curious what the real point of the popcorn sale is for your unit. When I was Asst CM and then CM, the point of the sale was to raise the funds needed to make sure that we could pay the operating costs of the Pack and that we were minimizing what a family had to lay out in additional costs for outings (we never raised enough to not have to charge for them). The prizes were relatively cheap items, so nothing there that a Pack would likely need. So, back to my original thought- in the Cub Scout Promise, a Cub Scout helps the Pack Go, and in the Scout Law, a Scout is Thrifty, which is usually further explained as a Scout pays his own way. The funds raised are all for the good of the Unit, especially since according to National, individual Scout accounts are a no-no. The prizes for the Cubs are an additional incentive, since it is hard to explain all the details of Pack finances to 1st graders. I'm not sure what the end game of the Pack "winning" a prize too is all about, nor how you order said prize without doing something like creating a phantom Scout, which seems a little dishonest, and you also need to factor in that the prizes cost the supplier money, which ultimately raises the cost of the popcorn over time. It is bad enough that it doesn't come in the cool tins anymore, and that you get so little for the price of each bag.


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#3 beaglelover

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 04:38 PM

Popcorn is currently our only fundraiser.  The committee is tight lipped about what it spends on, but best I can tell, they use it to pay for handbooks, kerchiefs, slides, & advancements.  Most everything else is on the parents and/or den leaders.

 

Using the above method was suggested with future popcorn sales to help stock the pack inventory (e.g. I think at one level a tent was a prize, or maybe some sports balls or something).  It seemed a bit like cheating to us, but never having been in charge of selling popcorn before, we did not know if this was commonplace or not.  


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#4 mashmaster

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 09:21 PM

Popcorn is currently our only fundraiser.  The committee is tight lipped about what it spends on, but best I can tell, they use it to pay for handbooks, kerchiefs, slides, & advancements.  Most everything else is on the parents and/or den leaders.

 

Using the above method was suggested with future popcorn sales to help stock the pack inventory (e.g. I think at one level a tent was a prize, or maybe some sports balls or something).  It seemed a bit like cheating to us, but never having been in charge of selling popcorn before, we did not know if this was commonplace or not.  

A couple of things.

 

 The budget shouldn't be a secret.  I assume everyone is invited to the committee meetings and they should be covering the financials at each meeting.  Ask questions and they should tell you, if not, then ask again.  Careful, you may end up being treasurer.  I doubt anyone is being dishonest, they probably just are doing what they do.

 

If the scout was getting the popcorn scholarship, then it actually can pull money from the scout.  If he isn't then the group as a whole wins.   In our boy scout troop, all fundraising is put into a general pool for the troop.  Some maybe ear marked for a purpose but the troop works together.  For the top sellers over a prespecified amount or the top 3 sellers, they might get a special prize for doing well.  Like a caveman dinner with turkey legs cooked by the scoutmaster or something like that.


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#5 SSScout

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 10:33 AM

Yes to all the above.

**  The Pack budget and checkbook should be open to all interested parents. Come to the Committee meetings and raise your hand.

**   Likewise, the Pack Committee and leadership should be available  to all, not only to those "registered"  people.  Then too, why not just fill out that piece of paper and be counted?   "The work is done by whoever shows up."  In our neck of the woods, anyone showing up for the Committee meeting is on the Committee !

**   Any fundraiser should be for the UNIT, not the individual (another discussion, another thread). This does not mean the Scout can't receive an "award" for his efforts, hence the Airhogs, and Starwars and even pocket knives (has he earned his Whittlin' Chip?) given out .  I suppose the parents could ENCOURAGE the Scouts to donate their award to the Pack, but I have not heard of REQUIRING  such sales numbers be pooled for the purpose of garnering a Pack prize.   I suspect the Council would frown on such things, but you never know.

**  Such "pooling"  might be a deterrent to some parents, if not the Scout.  "Why should I do work if I don't get credit for it?"   But that is part of the lesson to learn. Even the record popcorn seller in our Council ($26,000. gross !)  didn't make any issue of the fact that his Pack used their portion for a new PWD track, entrance fees for some trips for ALL the Scouts and other "group" items.   He was recognized for his record efforts with a certificate, applause and  some toys.

I know a Troop that bought a new trailer. The Scouts that pooled their "campbucks" for it knew they couldn't take it with them when they graduated from the Troop, so they bought the trailer, signed their names on the INSIDE  for bragging rights.   Off to adulthood they went.....


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#6 beaglelover

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 12:27 PM

Perhaps I should clarify, these are the prizes that are offered trough the popcorn company for hitting certain sales levels.  For instance, a level 1 prize at $150 sales, a level 2 prize at $300 sales, a level 3 prize at $500 sales, etc.  If a scout sells $450 in popcorn, he would qualify for a level 2 prize.  The committee member wants to then take the $150 in sales above the $300 required for that scouts prize , and add it to a communal sales total.  Then to use that communal sales total to get a prize (offered by the popcorn company) for the pack.  The individual scout would still get the prize they would have--the CM just wants to use the "extra" instead of letting it go to "waste".  Problem I see is how can you do this without either inventing a scout or giving one scout the credit but having them turn over the prize.  Doesn't seem the most scout-like plan to me, but like I said, did not know if it was common practice.

 

 

As for the budget, we are aware that the pack is using atrocious fiscal controls.  Our CC and treasurer are mother/daughter.  The only report on the bank account is a monthly word document from the treasurer, that as DL we used to get a copy of, but now that the mother of the treasurer has become CC, we no longer get a copy of.  We heard that they are going ahead with getting debit cards (against BSA policy) and last we heard the CC determined that the word document was sufficient reporting and that the bank statements would not be turned over to either the Cubmaster or Secretary for records.  All of this is secondhand, however, as the last "leaders meeting" we tried to attend we were kicked out of.  It is pretty much straight out of the "how to embezzle money" playbook.  But COR and Council have supposedly been made aware of it, and don't seem to mind.  Apparently we really trust this family.  If I had to guess, we don't actually have a written budget.  


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#7 jjlash

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 12:32 PM

[edit - the below response was being typed when the OP posted the above clarification so I didnt see it until afterwards]

 

My take on the OP is that the pooling is only for the prizes offered by the popcorn vendor - if that is the case, then the pooling does not affect anything else and thus there is no "credit" being shortchanged for any other purpose such as camp scholarships or payments.  

 

We did that in my Troop when I was CC.  As the OP indicated, the excess was used to get additional prizes.  In our case the Troop awarded these items for other things such as winners of a patrol challenge or uniform inspection.


Edited by jjlash, 10 March 2017 - 12:33 PM.

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#8 mashmaster

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 09:53 PM

Kicked you out?  That is an issue.  I would encourage you to find your unit commissioner and attend the next committee meeting with him/her in attendance.  I have never been a fan of related people holding critical leader positions in the same unit cc/cm/treasurer....  


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#9 Back Pack

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 08:02 AM

I wouldn't put any money in that Pack. I wouldn't raise any money unless they could show a detailed financial statement. I'd also let Council know what's going on.
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#10 David CO

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 10:33 AM

It is obvious that both the council and the CO are aware of what is going on. 

 

There are circumstances in which it it entirely appropriate for a CO and its unit leaders to conduct closed meetings. This sounds like it may very well be one of them.

 

It has been made perfectly clear that beaglelover is not allowed to take part in these meetings.  At this point, if she were to persist, (if I were her IH) I would fire her.


Edited by David CO, 12 March 2017 - 10:37 AM.

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#11 Back Pack

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:16 AM

"Fire" volunteers? ROFL. Okay.
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#12 Stosh

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:37 AM

"Fire" volunteers? ROFL. Okay.

The only way one can "Fire" volunteers is to have the "Ready" and "Aim" in front of it.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#13 Back Pack

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:44 AM

I was in a similar Pack. Wanted to help at the committee level, suspected some financial and awards shenanigans but waited until I had more information to pass judgment. Was told to run my den and mind my own business. After that we never attended Pack meetings, did our awards at den meetings. Went to blue and gold but sold nothing. My den told the power that be if they won't supply a financial stanrment all they'll get from us is our dues. Pack chair tried to kick out the den but Council said they couldn't.

When it came time for them to leave for Boy Scouts we took over, grew the pack and set up a solid line of succession for those behind us. Sometime you just have to wait out the morons and focus on yourself.

Edited by Back Pack, 12 March 2017 - 11:47 AM.

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#14 David CO

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 12:00 PM

"Fire" volunteers? ROFL. Okay.

 

The only way one can "Fire" volunteers is to have the "Ready" and "Aim" in front of it.

 

I don't like to make jokes about refusing someones participation in the unit.  It is one of duties that I enjoy the least.  


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#15 Back Pack

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 12:18 PM

I don't like to make jokes about refusing someones participation in the unit.  It is one of duties that I enjoy the least.


You're the one who said fire volunteers. I'm still trying to figure out what the OP did that you'd consider firing her.

I wasn't aware volunteers could be fired. No joke.
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#16 Stosh

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 01:21 PM

I have worked as head of a faith-based organization, I have worked as head of a community based organization, and I have worked as head of multiple BSA unit organizations from Cubbing through Venturing including Exploring.  Never have I ever come across a situation where a volunteer was ever fired.  They might get "shuffled off to Buffalo", but unless National pulls their registration for whatever reason they deem fit, a volunteer can't be fired.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#17 David CO

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:35 PM

I don't know how to respond to people who believe that a volunteer can't be fired.


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#18 Back Pack

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 05:39 PM

I don't know how to respond to people who believe that a volunteer can't be fired.


There's no contract of employment. You can ask them to stop being den leader or events chairman, but you can't fire them. BSA can revoke their membership, so that might be firing them. But asking them to no longer be a volunteer is not firing someone.
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#19 RememberSchiff

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:05 PM

Let's not get tied up in terminology.

 

I do not know the full story of the OP's situation, but as to question can a registered BSA volunteer leader or non-registered volunteer adult be removed (fired, banned, ...) from a scouting position or activity?  Yes and it is unpleasant.

 

IMO, if you see a problem with your unit and the Council or CO does not see it or refuses to rectify it, then it is time to find another unit or another activity.


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#20 David CO

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:14 PM

I was in a similar Pack. Wanted to help at the committee level, suspected some financial and awards shenanigans but waited until I had more information to pass judgment. Was told to run my den and mind my own business. After that we never attended Pack meetings, did our awards at den meetings. Went to blue and gold but sold nothing. My den told the power that be if they won't supply a financial stanrment all they'll get from us is our dues. Pack chair tried to kick out the den but Council said they couldn't.

When it came time for them to leave for Boy Scouts we took over, grew the pack and set up a solid line of succession for those behind us. Sometime you just have to wait out the morons and focus on yourself.

 

A den doesn't belong to the den leader.  It belongs to the Chartered Organization that owns the unit.


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