Often times when I go around the country to talk about selling popcorn, I consistently get the response, “Boy Scouts do not sell popcorn, only Cub Scouts do.” Additionally, I will get the comment, “It is easy for Cub Scouts to sell. They are still cute,” or “Boy Scouts do not want to be seen in their uniform, so they will not sell.” I am here to tell you that nothing can be further from the truth.
There are three main reasons Boy Scouts should sell more so than Cub Scouts:
1. Boy Scouts costs more than Cub Scouts
The average cost nationwide of the primary outdoor delivery method, Boy Scout Camp, is around $300 for an exciting, fun-filled week. Then there is the cost of equipment, other camping, transportation, uniforms, awards, registration, etc. The average Cub Scout could easily have the entire year paid for with $300.
2. Boy Scouts can fulfill requirements for merit badges, including Eagle-required merit badges
It is not to say that Cub Scouts cannot earn anything by selling popcorn, they can. We will talk about developing an actual program around the popcorn sale in a future blog. However, there are certain requirements for Personal Management and Communication merit badge that can be met through the popcorn sale. A Boy Scout can earn the Salesmanship merit badge completed through the popcorn sale. In addition, there are several other requirements of other merit badges that a Boy Scout can complete including American Business and Public Speaking.
3. Boy Scouts should have a large database of clients
If a Scout went through the Cub Scout program selling popcorn, he should keep a copy of his old order forms. When the sale starts, the Boy Scout asks his current ‘client base’ if they would like to re-order what they ordered last year or upgrade to something else. When I evaluate which fundraisers my son and I participate, I look at the amount raised versus the amount of time spent. By asking your list of previous year’s customers, the amount of return vs. time is extremely beneficial. In an interview with the top ten selling Scouts last year, all of them stated they started with their existing client base on the first day of the day.
By the way, 8 of the top 10 selling Scouts in 2012 were Boy Scouts.
If you can think of another reason, feel free to share below.