Pack 565 Popcorn – Sales Guide

Document available here as a pdf file

Pack 565 Popcorn Sales

The Definitive Guide

Popcorn is THE biggest fundraising event of the year, and is critically important to our ability to provide a quality Scouting program for the Pack.  This is where we earn 95% of our operating budget for the whole year!

Popcorn sales are broken into three phases each year:

  1. Show & Sell – this is where we “set up shop” outside various businesses and offer popcorn for sale
  2. Take Order – this is where we take orders via order form from friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc. and distribute the popcorn to them at a later date.
  3. Online Sales – just as it sounds, people log on to and order popcorn that your Scout (and the Pack) gets credit for selling. More info on how to set up online sales accounts at the end of this document!


Each phase of popcorn sales has specific dates:

  1. Show & Sell:
    1. Starts: September 15th
    2. Ends: October 22nd
  2. Take Order:
    1. Starts: August 1st
    2. Ends: October 22nd
  3. Online Sales:
    1. Starts: September 15th
    2. Ends: October 22nd


We have goals!

  • Pack Goal: In order to fund the Scouting year fully, we need to sell about $21,000 in popcorn this year.
  • Scout Goal: With right around 50 Scouts in the Pack, that’s a goal of nearly $600 in total sales per scout.


But how do we get there?

  • Over the past few years we have seen an average of $120 to $200 per 2 hour shift in total sales. $600 in sales will require 3 to 5 shifts.


A note about First-Year Scouts and Popcorn Sales:  For any Scouts where this is your first year in Scouts, you are not required to sell popcorn, however if you would like to do so then we’d love to have you participate!

Here is the assortment of Popcorn available this year:

As mentioned at the Pack Popcorn Draft and first Pack meeting, we are doing things differently this year.

We will not be doing prizes at the Pack level.  Rather, we will be implementing “Scout accounts” for each Scout that sells popcorn this year.  There are still prizes available at the District and Council levels – more details on those later in this document.

Here is how it will work:

  • We have a goal of $600 in popcorn sales per Scout. This can be from Take Order, Show-n-Sell, Online Sales, or any combination thereof
    • The first $425 in sales counts towards covering the cost of Scouting ($200 per Scout per year, minus the $50 collected when you joined/re-chartered each subsequent year= $150 delta)
    • Anything sold after that point will be credited to your Scout’s account


We receive a 35% commission on popcorn sold.  If your Scout sells $600 in popcorn, here is how that breaks down:

  • The first $425 covers the cost of scouting
  • The next $175 in sales * 35% commission = $60 that goes directly into your Scout account. This can be used for anything scouting related – a new uniform, a t-shirt, paying for campouts, overnighters, etc.  You can even use it to pay for Scouting related equipment such as sleeping bags, tents, etc.

Some examples of how much goes into your Scout account for different dollar amounts of popcorn sold:

Total Amount Sold Total Commission (35%) Amount to Pack Amount to Scout Account
$   600 $   210 $150 $60
$1,000 $   350 $150 $200
$2,000 $   700 $150 $550
$2,500* $   875 $150 $725
$3,000 $1,050 $150 $900

*Note:  If you reach the $2,500 mark, Trails-End will also set up a scholarship account in your Scout’s name.  Six percent of all sales goes into this scholarship account, and this is separate from our Pack Scout account.   More information, including how to sign up and how to collect on the Trails-End scholarship accounts here:


Show-n-Sell Popcorn Selling FAQ

There are definitely some things that you’ll want and need to know to have the most effective Show-n-Sell season this year.

  1. Where do I sell?
    By now you should have some shifts picked out already – either from the draft process or afterwards – but if you haven’t yet gotten your shifts there’s still time!You can do the following

    • View the Pack Grid (shift schedule) by going to:
    • Review the available shifts, and determine which shifts you would like to work
    • Send an email to John Bryant (Committee Chair) at with the list of shifts that you would like to be assigned to work and we will get them assigned to you on the grid
  2. What do I bring?
    • You should plan to bring a small folding table
    • Some kind of tape – duct tape works best. This is for holding down the poster, assuming you get one.
    • Cash for change: be sure to bring your own “bank” of change with you. A recommended starting point is $20 in $5 bills and $30 in $10 bills.  All of the prices this year end in either a 0 or a 5, so change should be easy.Here is an example of a station setup:
  • Where do I get the popcorn to sell?
    • When you have a shift to work, you’ll pick up your popcorn from the Popcorn Kernel’s house. When you get to the Popcorn Kernel’s house, you will sign out an allocation of popcorn to sell, depending on the number of shifts you have coming up. We ask people to bring back popcorn and money each night so that we have popcorn to give out to people selling the next day, especially on weekends.
  1. What’s a Popcorn Kernel, you ask? They are volunteers who help the Pack by coordinating the handout and return of the popcorn, collecting the money, and ensuring that we keep track of the inventory for one of the three weeks of Show-n-Sell season.We ask for four volunteer families to help out as popcorn kernels – one for each of the three weeks of Show & Sell so that no one family gets overly burdened.  See page X for the list of popcorn kernels for 2017 and their contact information.
  2. Uh oh, I showed up to my shift and there was someone else there? What do I do?
    • Call either John Bryant or Chris Thomas and we’ll help get it resolved. Sometimes there are errors on the pack grid (either ours or another pack’s), so we always use the District Grid as the ruling source. We have access to the District grid to confirm who’s in the right place.
  1. What about handling/collecting the money? How does that work?
    • Well, there are a few things to know. First, of course we accept cash – both for purchase of popcorn as well as donations.
      • Cash for popcorn sales: be sure to bring your own “bank” of change. A recommended starting point is $20 in $5 bills and $20 in $10 bills.  All of the prices this year end in either a 0 or a 5, so change should be easy.
      • Cash for donations: Easy – just put them in the donation jar that you are given when you pick up your popcorn
    • We also accept credit cards via Square. By now you should have received and accepted an invite for a square account and gotten your free reader in the mail. We do have a small pool of readers that can be checked out this year.  However, if you don’t end up getting a reader for your shift then you can still use Square by manually keying in the credit card info into your phone or tablet.More details on Square can be found in the “Using Square” addendum at the end of this document.
  • How are donations handled?
    • We accept any donation amount, and at the end of Show & Sell we pool all of the donations to apply to Military Popcorn in $30 and $50 increments.
  • But I have a question that isn’t answered here?!
    • That’s ok – we’re here to help. Reach out to Chris or John and we’ll help.  If we don’t know the answer ourselves, we’ll get an answer to you ASAP.

Selling Rules


  • Scouts need to be in full Class A uniforms (this is the normal Scout “dress” uniform, consisting of the blue (or brown for Webelos) shirt, neckerchief, hat, etc)
  • Parents should to be in Pack T-­‐Shirts (parent Leaders in Uniform)
  • No inappropriate attire (sport shorts, etc). This goes for you too parents! JJ
  • ALWAYS smile and introduce yourself
  • BE READY to tell your customers why you are selling popcorn
  • REMAIN STANDING for your entire shift (parents too!). It shows that you’re attentive, interested and READY
  • KNOW the different kinds of popcorn you are selling
  • ALWAYS say “Thank You” -­‐ especially when someone says “no” (It may change their mind!)
  • Bring your own bank (change) to give out ($20 in ones and $20 in 5’s is a good start)
  • Record all sales and donations on the inventory form you are given with your shift
    • Cash Sales
    • Credit Card sales through Square (be sure to write down the time and last 4 digits of the credit card)
    • Donations – for Military, and for the Pack
  • As mentioned at the draft, Parents need to stay with their Scout during the whole


Selling Tips

  • Give your son an incentive to sell -­‐ here are some ideas:
    • For every x number (10 / 20 / etc) of “No’s” they get, they win a prize
    • If they sell half of their shift allotment of popcorn in the first hour they get a prize
    • If they sell all of their shift allotment of popcorn by the end of the shift they get (another or bigger/better combined) prize

There are already prizes from both Council and the Pack for total amounts sold, so we suggest keeping the shift prizes limited to each shift (or shifts if working back-­‐to-­‐backs) – the more “immediate recognition” nature of the incentive keeps them interested and engaged.

The incentives don’t always have to be things that cost money. For instance, one of the incentives I gave my boys was that we would have a “backyard camping night” at our house if they sold at least $150 of their popcorn in a single shift.

Sales Pitch Script
For Show ‘n Sell, you really don’t have a lot of time for complex dialog/scripts. Keep it simple: “Hi, would you like to support Scouting by buying some popcorn, or make a donation?” (Always say “Thank You” when you are done).
Note – it’s NOT “Would you like to buy some popcorn” but rather “Would you like to support Scouts/Scouting by buying some Popcorn”.  This is proven to work MUCH better.