For the previous two years, Pack 194’s Liam Brougham, currently an Arrow of Light Scout, has been the Pack’s top seller and has helped his entire Pack raise funds for Scouting. Sure, he enjoyed the prizes, accolades, and delivering the ceremonial pie in the face to Pack adult leadership – twice! But the 2018 fundraising season was a little different. In fact, the Pack almost did not conduct a popcorn fundraising event because there were no adult volunteers to be the Popcorn Kernel. Liam overheard his Pack 194 Committee Chair explaining this so what did he do? He demonstrated great Scouting characteristics and said, “Can I be the Kernel?” Did he do it for the prizes? Absolutely not. Because Liam further said, “I’ll stop trying to be the top seller by myself and help out the whole Pack instead.” And help he did.
Of course, first the Pack had to discuss the idea with the District Executive explaining how a Scout wanted to be Kernel. It was a bit of a surprise as Cub Scouts don’t usually lead such a pivotal Pack role and coordinate, promote, and lead all Kindergarten through fifth grade Scouts AND all their parents. But while ensuring proper youth protection was maintained with emails and interaction with others, Liam was off to the races.
Liam attended Regional Kick-Off training, asked questions, helped assemble presentation material, and spoke at Pack meetings on what Pack 194 was going to do. He set up five Store Front Sales and even went to meet with the store manager in his Scout uniform to show respect and commitment to raising important funds for his Pack’s Scouting effort. Liam had help with the ordering system, but it was he who analyzed the sales in prior years and predicted what popcorn the Pack would need to order. He made the orders (several of them), helped inventory at pickups, helped set up Store Front Sales and have sales material and popcorn on hand, helped train new Scouts, collected the end of sale proceeds, kept account of which Scouts were credited with sales, ordered the entire Pack’s prizes at the end, and answered other questions and placed more orders for Take Orders from the Pack. He learned how spreadsheets work and how they can be used to calculate. He practiced his math skills and REALLY enjoyed counting all the money (a lot of it as it turns out). And finally, he learned how internet sales and transactions worked and even upgraded the Pack’s technology to allow touch and chip credit card payments.
So how did Pack 194 do with fundraising under the leadership of Popcorn Kernel Liam Brougham?
The Pack vastly exceeded expectations. The original 10% growth target was left in the dust. The end result was more than double last year’s sales: that’s over ten times more funds available for Pack 194 Scouting events in 2019.
The entire Pack 194 enjoyed the experience of a Cub Scout in charge and shared in the benefit of Popcorn Fundraising. And Liam’s reward? Adulation from his Pack (sure), learning great life skills in sales, communication, logistics, accounting, … (OK those all definitely happened), but the REAL REWARD… a ceremonial THANK YOU by way of a pie TO HIS FACE for a job so very very well done.