Popcorn Fundraising FAQ

2017 Cub Scout Popcorn Fundraiser FAQ


2017 Cub Scout Popcorn Fundraiser FAQ

The following are some frequently asked questions about the popcorn fundraiser. If you have any questions or concerns about this year’s popcorn sale, please read through this FAQ first.

Q:  Why is it important to participate in the popcorn fundraiser each year? A:  Advancement patches, belt loops, pins, Pinewood Derby car kits and trophies, entertainment for the Blue & Gold Banquet, neckerchiefs, slides, and handbooks … it all costs money.

Each year, our pack receives a portion of our popcorn sales total to use toward these expenses. Without this fundraiser, our pack’s budget would be thousands of dollars smaller, which means it would be much more expensive for your son to be in Scouts.

Fundraisers like the popcorn sales also teach boys valuable lessons and skills, such as:

  • how to set and achieve goals

  • how to communicate effectively

  • build confidence

  • salesmanship

Q:  Why is the popcorn so expensive?

A:  Only 27% of the cost is for the popcorn itself. The other 73% goes to Scouting, some to our Northern Star Council, some to our pack, and some to the individual scout (i.e., their scout account).

So we aren’t really selling popcorn—we’re selling Scouting!

Q:  When is this year’s selling period?

A:  Sales start on Friday, September 22nd at 5 PM and end on Sunday, October 29th at midnight.

Q:  What types of payment can I accept?

A:  You can accept checks made payable to “Pack 508,” or cash. At the end of the selling period, you will need to write a check for all the cash you collected before turning it into the Popcorn Kernels.

Q:  What is the “storefront sales” option?

A:  Storefront sales is where we set up a table just outside of a store and sell pre ordered product to customers entering and exiting the store. Scouts, along with their parents, sign up for a two-hour time slot and sell on-hand popcorn for cash. (The sign up for this year’s four storefront sale dates is online at this link.)

Scouts who participate in the storefront sales will each receive a $35 deposit in their Scout Account. In addition, the total amount in sales for the storefronts is divided equally among the scouts who participate, which goes toward their individual “sales total” for determining incentive prize levels.

Q:  What is the “take-order form” option?

A:  The “take-order form” option is where scouts go door-to-door without product in hand, recording orders on a form and collecting money for future delivery. The form and all payments are due to your scout’s den leader or the popcorn chairs at the end of the selling period.

When the product arrives in late-November, each scout is responsible for hand delivering orders to their customer.

Q:  What is the “show-and-deliver” option?

A:  This is where you have the product with you as you sell it. Adding show-and-deliver results in an average of 45% increase in total sales.


  • less time selling, because you don’t have to visit the customer twice

  • more people are willing to buy because they get the product right on the spot


  • product is preordered, so it’s a guesstimate on what types and quantity of popcorn customers will want

  • deadline for no-risk early returns on preorders is only two weeks into the selling period

Scouts who sign up for show-and-deliver will receive starter pack (based on what types of product our pack sold last year) to sell. Each starter pack is valued at $235 and contains 15 bags of popcorn. (Additional popcorn can be ordered if the scout sells their entire starter pack.)

Scouts will be responsible for their unsold starter pack product after Friday, October 6, 2015. If they don’t think they can sell it all, they can return the unsold product to the popcorn chairs no later than October 6th, no questions asked. After October 6th, if they still have unsold product, the scout and his family is responsible for covering the remaining cost, either by continuing to try and sell it before the end of the selling period (October 29th) or by paying for it themselves. This is a firm deadline, no exceptions.

The sign up for the “show-and-deliver” option is online at this link.

Q:  What is the Hometown Heroes (HH) program?

A:  Hometown Heroes (HH) is the same as the military donation program from previous years, except they have expanded the program to include fire, police, EMS, etc. to encourage more people to support it. In addition, our pack has the option of directing any dollars collected to our local HH instead of the areas our council has historically given to (e.g., Red Bulls, Camp Ripley, etc.).

There are two levels of HH support: $25 and $50. Record the donation collected on your take-order form like you would any other product, so your scout will receive credit for the “sale” when calculating his incentive prize level.

Q:  When are the take-order forms and final payments due?

A:  All order forms and payments are due to the Popcorn Kernels by Monday, October 23. Please total all of the columns and include your scout’s prize selection(s), based on their sales total (including show-and-deliver, storefront, and online sales).

Checks must be made payable to “Pack 508.” If you collected any cash payments, you will need to write a check to the pack for the amount.

Q:  When will take-order form orders be available for delivery?

A:  The product will be available for pick-up at the Popcorn Kernels’ home in late November. The address and exact dates and times will be communicated via ScoutBook messaging.

Q:  Is there an online sales option this year?

A:  Yes! You and your scout can sell popcorn online via the Trail’s End website. This is a great option for selling to long-distance friends and relatives.

To sell online, create an account at sell.trails-end.com. (Our council is Northern Star, our district is Three Rivers, and our pack is 3508.) Then use the “Spread the Word” email tab to send a link to potential customers. Any sales made through that link will be credited to your scout and our pack.

The product for online sales will be shipped directly from Trail’s End to the customer. (Please note: Because the online ordering is a national program, the products offered and pricing will be slightly different than what is on the take-home order forms. Also, each scout will earn 40% commission on all non-military donation online sales.)

Please include a printed copy of your scout’s online sales when turning in your order forms and final payments at the end of the selling period. And don’t forget to include this amount in your scout’s sales total for determining their incentive prize level!

Q:  Where do I get the popcorn my scout sells?

A:  All popcorn (except for online orders) will be at the popcorn chairs’ home in Ham Lake. Available pick-up dates and times will be communicated via ScoutBook messaging.

Q:  What are this year’s incentive prizes?

A:  Each year, our council provides awesome incentive prizes to help motivate scouts to achieve their popcorn sales goals.

This year is very similar to years past with a choice of prizes at predefined sales levels, as well as bonus prizes for things like Base Camp Extravaganza invitation, Crayola Experience Passes, and bonus adventures like a LEGO Brickbuilders event, a private screening of Star Wars: Rogue One, Conquer Ninja Warrior Package, Nickelodeon Universe unlimited wristbands, Valley Fair tickets, and even a chance to win a trip to Disney World!

All incentive prizes are clearly defined in the take-order form inserts..

Q:  I have more questions. Who can I contact?

A:  You can send an email to the popcorn chairs, Brenda & Darrin Thomas, at pack508popcorn@gmail.com.