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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1
I have been a Popcorn Kernel for 5 consecutive years (four with my son's Cub Scout pack and 1, currently, with my son's Boy Scout troop). There is one family in my Troop I am dealing with (a mother/Scout pair, but I deal with the mother almost exclusively) that has me wonder about this. From her style of interaction during this selling season (unresponsive to inquiries, non-compliant with conventions and practices set forth and agreed to, sells solo and without interacting with other Troop members), to what she has reported being sold and how she has gone about doing the reporting (multiple sheets of anonymous military donations - really?), to the means and manner in which receipts were delivered (a shoebox full of 1's; greater than $5K; all at the 11th hour), all leading up to (you guessed it), her son being #1 in the Troop (and, last year, he was astronomically higher performing than that), has me thinking that the celebrity, benefits, and status attendant being a top seller were "bought" vice "earned". Given the past performance credited this Scout (five figures), the Troop's leadership is totally in the mother's back pocket. The Scout has served as an excellent propaganda tool (not just for the Troop, but for our Council) as well as bringing substantial revenue to the coffers of both. So, I was just curious what all of you other folks out there have experienced regarding something like this? My thoughts are that if I act on anything unilaterally, I should just plan on leaving the Troop and, if I plan on reporting anything up the chain of command, that the same fate awaits. Any feedback would be appreciated. Email response preferred to Popcorn2012@comcast.net

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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 32
I am a bit confused as to what you feel this family has done that needs to be "reported up the chain of command" (not to mention who that "higher up" would be).

I am also a bit confused as to why you are dealing with the mother, and not the Boy Scout.

I get it that the mother is a bit hard to deal with, and does not respond to questions. However, while that can be a pain in the rear, it is hardly cause for "reporting" her.

What "conventions and practices" have they not followed?

What is so bad about selling "solo"? Why must all selling be done with other Troop members?

Even at the Cub level we encourage the boys to sell to their neighbors, and for their parents to take a sheet to their workplace. Why would Boy Scouts not be allowed to do this?

Let's face it, if a boy is going to sell $5,000+ worth of popcorn, he is not going to do it selling only at Troop booth sales.

For the multiple sheets of military donations, personally I think that is great, and what I would encourage my family and friends to do. You help Scouts, you help the military, and you don't have to eat popcorn you don't really want. There is no need to sign your name to the sheet as there is nothing to be delivered.

I do not understand why you say this Boy Scout has not "earned" his top seller status. You were not there with him, and do not know how much of a contribution he made to the sales. Even if you are correct, and his parents were the only ones to actually purchase any popcorn from him, he still "sold" it.

As to the shoebox with 5,000+ dollar bills in it, yes, that would tic me off a bit. However, have you considered that they might have done that as a kind of payback for how you treated them during the sale? No, that does not make it OK, but at least it makes it understandable.

For popcorn sales my main sticking points are -

1) Are the Take-Order forms turned in on time?

2) Is the product picked up in a timely fashion?

3) Is all money due turned in on time?

If I do not have to try to add last minute orders after the drop dead date, threaten with collection to get money, or eat a loss, I am a happy Popcorn Kernel.

Not having to call, and chase, to reach that goal would be extremely nice too, but I am realistic, and do not expect miracles! wink

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