The Popcorn Kernel is a vital job. The position guides popcorn sales that fund half the pack’s program expenses. Our dues would likely be $150/year instead of $75/year if it wasn’t for popcorn.
The Kernel guides all popcorn-related sales, distribution, and financial matters. It is important for that person to attend Circle Ten Council’s Popcorn Kernel training. In it, they explain how to do the job and comply with legal and administrative requirements.
Suggestions that make popcorn sales work better in our pack:
- The popcorn blitz is a good way to kick off the annual popcorn sales season. This is often the Saturday following our September water bottle rocket launch. Kids meet at Hexter at a designated time, typically 9 AM. The Popcorn Kernel divides up the greater Hexter area into 1-3 block lengths. Each boy gets a block assignment. Everyone meets up at 11 AM, and the highest sellers get immediate recognition, usually small prizes.
- Make sure new families are aware of the basics, such as how they have to collect cash in advance and that they must deliver on time when done. Also, boys should wear the full uniform when selling.
- Remind people how much of our dues are covered by popcorn sales!
- It’s VERY important that we provide good customer service by delivering on time. All deliveries should be completed by the boy who sold the popcorn within a couple of days of distribution.
- Families should avoid combining popcorn funds with personal monies. For example, cash should not be deposited into the family’s checking account, and checks must be made out to Pack 862, not to a family member. Otherwise, this is commingling of funds, which some consider a breach of trust. Families must hold popcorn funds strictly separate from other funds until they are turned into the pack. An exception is when a customer who is well-known to the family cannot pay before orders must be turned in. This sometimes happens when, for example, remote family members purchase popcorn and expect to pick it up when they see the Cub Scout next. In that case, it may be OK for the family to front funds on behalf of that family member and then collect reimbursement when that popcorn is delivered.
- Encourage checks instead of cash. This reduces the risks of cash management. But be sure to tell the customer that the check won’t be cashed until November!
After sales are over and it’s time to deposit all funds, the deposit goes more quickly if checks can be grouped and tallied by amount. That is, put all $10 checks in one pile, all $15 checks in another pile, all $22 checks in another pile, etc. Then count the number of checks in each pile. Provide a printed table to the treasurer that indicates how many of each check amount is in the deposit (e.g., 19 $10 checks, 12 $15 checks, 43 $22 checks, etc.) and provide the checks in order of amount. If the bank teller finds any discrepancies, that will make figuring them out an order of magnitude faster.