When Trail’s End announced the Poppin’ in the USA challenge – collecting one order from each of the 50 states – First Class Scout and Patrol Leader Michael Browning of Troop 492 was really excited. He had set a low popcorn sales goal this year, since we are not willing to let him do any in-person sales due to COVID-19. But an order from every state? That inspired him!
Michael had me film a Facebook Live video of him explaining the challenge, being careful to not mention his last name or where he lived. He shared a bit of his story, why he loves Scouting so much, and how achieving his goal would help both his troop and him. He showed the map of the 50 states that he had printed out, and promised to keep updating everyone. Michael asked everyone to share his video with their friends. I set the video to ‘public’ and added his Trail’s End web address.
The next two days were crazy! Michael’s video was being shared like crazy, as were all his updates. Friend of friends of friends were tagging people they knew in states Michael still needed. As it progressed, Michael stayed busy handwriting thank you notes to everyone I could get addresses for. A little less than 48 hours after starting, Michael got the last state: South Dakota!
Or so he thought. I emailed Trail’s End to verify, and they replied a day later to let me know he did not have Oklahoma. What?? It turns out the lady in Oklahoma did order…but shipped the order to her daughter in California, so it counted as a California order! We updated on Facebook again, and everyone shared like crazy, and an hour and a half later, Michael got an order from Oklahoma. He did it! All 50 states!
Today Trail’s End sent Michael two e-mails. The first notified him that he was one of the first 20 Scouts in the country to get an order from 25 different states, earning him a $50 Amazon gift card. And the second notified him that he was one of the first 5 Scouts in the country to get an order from all 50 states, earning him a $150 Amazon gift card!
In achieving this goal, Michael not only surpassed his goal from last year and earned another free week at Goshen, he learned a lot of important lessons. The first is that huge goals are achievable one small step – or state – at a time. The second is that sharing your goal with enthusiasm gets others excited to help you reach that goal. And finally, not only was it thrilling for Michael to achieve his goal, but everyone who was cheering him on was excited too! Lots of people have been thanking him for giving him a fun challenge to follow and share in the excitement of. And best of all, he has been able to help his beloved Troop 492 at a time when the troop is going to need more equipment to make socially distanced events safe and possible.