youth development

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Scout Popcorn

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Scout Popcorn

It’s fall again. The kids are back in school and all over America, you’ll find Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts set up in front of grocery stores, hardware shops, and restaurants, selling popcorn. You may also find them going door to door with a wagon full of popcorn behind them. Not only is this a vital fundraiser for these local scouting units and councils, but it’s a  So here are five reasons you should buy scout popcorn this fall.

1. When You Buy Scout Popcorn, You Fund Life-Changing Program

Whether it be earning their way to Scout Camp, funding the purchase of needed program supplies for their pack, or pay for that high adventure trek – the programs that scouts receive change their lives for the better.Whether it be making them more likely to go to college, get a better job, or be a contributor to their community – the Scouting program teaches young men to be leaders. It teaches them to set goals, and reach those goals. Best yet, they’re learning to pay their own way.

They’ll learn a wide variety of skills that will last them the rest of their lives. For starters, they’ll learn to cook their own meals and clean up after themselves. They’ll also explore careers and hobbies through their advancement programs. And they’ll learn to remain calm in an emergency. Our scouts save lives.

And above that, they’ll learn values. They’ll learn the value of reflecting on ideals, like those presented in the Scout Oath and Law. They’ll learn the importance of making the right ethical choices. The scouting program teaches kids the benefits of helping others, doing their best, and working as a team.

Because that’s what you’re getting when you buy Scout Popcorn. What other snack-food purchase could possibly give you all of those benefits?

 

2. You’ll Help Them Learn Salesmanship

buy scout popcorn

How can you say no to this face? Photo by shawncampbell

Salesmanship is one of the most important skills we can learn in our lives. We’re selling our whole lives. At some point, selling became a dirty word, but at its base, it’s just using the power of your words to convince another person that something we have will help them.

On a job interview, we’re trying to convince a potential employer that hiring us will benefit their company – even if that job has nothing at all to do with sales.

It’s hard to ask someone we don’t know to do… anything. But it’s a skill that we all need to develop in order to be successful in life. And interacting with you in a positive way, even if you don’t buy anything, is giving them a valuable learning experience. Of course, if you do decide to buy something, all the better.

Feel free to ask them questions about what they’re selling. Ask them what their favorite flavor is. Maybe also take a minute or two to ask them what they like most about Scouting.

The exercise of developing their sales pitch, giving you the benefits of buying, addressing your concerns, and talking to you in an open and friendly manner will help them build this valuable skill.

3. You’ll Help Them Build Confidence

The fear of rejection can be a tremendous limiting factor in our lives. It can hold us back and prevent us from reaching our fullest potential. The biggest part of accomplishing anything worthwhile in your life is the belief that you can. The idea that someone will buy what you’re selling is a tremendous confidence booster.

And if that someone isn’t mom or dad, or an aunt or an uncle, but someone they’ve never met, it’s all that much more powerful. This mom’s Facebook comment says it all.

You being friendly makes a huge difference. Your friendliness in talking to a young scout can help him to overcome shyness, help get him out of his shell, and help him build confidence. For me, that’s the best part of buying popcorn from a scout. Even better than the product itself.

4. You’ll Help Spread Scouting to More Families

In order for a child to benefit from the scouting program, they first have to join the program. They need to be recruited into the program and have that program run by the highest quality, best-trained leaders available. When you buy scout popcorn, a portion of the proceeds goes to support local Scout councils, whose job this is. They, in turn, provide support in starting new scouting units and recruiting new scouts into the program. In addition, they also provide financial assistance to ensure that no child is denied the scouting program because of a families financial need.

They also train leaders to make sure that scouts get a safe, exciting, quality program.

 

5. And oh yeah, You’ll Get a Great Product

As I’m writing this, I’m enjoying a bag of caramel corn that my wife bought from a Cub Scout selling in front of our local Target this weekend. I like it. You will too.

Posted by Mike Cooney in Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Fundraising, Fundraising, Grow Your Group, Scouting
My Top 10 Reasons to Sign Your Son Up For Cub Scouts

My Top 10 Reasons to Sign Your Son Up For Cub Scouts

This September is a great time to sign your son in Kindergarten through 5th grade up for Cub Scouts. All over the country, Cub Scout packs will be welcoming new members. They’ll be holding joining nights where you can sign up your boy for an adventure that will prepare him for life.

My mom signed me up as a Cub Scout in 1985, in the basement of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Putnam. The program changed my life. Next June, I’ll be signing my now 4-year-old son up for the program. Now, you might be on the fence as to whether or not you should register your son. Here are my 10 reasons why I think you should. There are thousands more.

To listen to this as a podcast, click here.

 

10. He’ll Try New Things

The first mountain I ever climbed came during my time as a Cub Scout. My mom, who was also my den leader, climbed it with me. Mount Monadnock is the second-most climbed mountain in the world (because it’s easy to get to, and not terrifically difficult.) But when you’re 10, it’s a big deal. I remember getting to the summit. You see the world differently from up there. It’s a perspective that you can’t get anywhere else. You see that this really is a great big world, but you also see that if you keep working, you can get just about anywhere.

Cub Scouts launch rockets. Sometimes they’re model rockets. Maybe they’ll be water rockets. Sometimes air powered, but they launch stuff. It always gets oohs and aahs. There’s a certain amount of awe and confidence gained when the model rocket that they built shoots into the sky.

There will be lots of life-changing experiences like this. It could be the first night ever staying over in a tent. Maybe it’ll be the first time cooking their own food (with supervision, obviously.)

Cub Scouts is like the weather in New England. It always changes. One week they’re building birdhouses, the next, visiting the local firehouse, and the next they’re doing a community service project.

As life is varied, so is Cub Scouts. Nobody just does one thing. Throughout our lives, we play many roles, and in Scouting, you get to try out a lot of those roles.

 

9. You’ll Get to Experience Cub Scouts With Him

Cub Scouting is a family program. For kindergarten and first grade boys, it’s a “parent and me” program. You get to jump in with your boy. You get to be silly. The two of you will get to work together, going on adventures, and play together. You’ll probably learn things at the same time he does.

You get to be there when he does this impossible. You were there for his first step and remember his first word. Why wouldn’t you want to be there when he spends his first night in a tent, catches his first fish, or is awarded his Bear Badge? How much fun will it be to work with him building that Pinewood Derby car? Or baking that cake together?

Our kids grow up really fast, and these are moments that only come once in a lifetime.

cub scout photo

Photo by jillccarlson

 

8. He’ll Learn By Doing

There’s an old Chinese proverb, “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”

Scouts get to try things. They get to experience being a leader. He’ll get to build things. There will be exploring. He’ll see what it’s like to go to the TV station. Through “Go See Its” he’ll discover how things work.

He’ll learn to help his community by… helping in his community. Scouts in the US do over 13 million hours of community service each year.

 

7. Cub Scouts will Help Him Overcome Shyness

I think on some level, everyone has some level of shyness. Maybe you remember the old Jerry Seinfeld joke about people being more afraid of public speaking than death? Well, there’s really only one way to get over that fear, and that’s to actually get in front of people. Cub Scouts get to try out performing songs and skits in front of their whole Pack.

Now, this video may not be the same as acting on a Broadway stage, but it takes a great deal of bravery to get up in front of your friends to perform like this.



6. He’ll Make New Friends

A Scout is Friendly is a point of the Scout Law, but Cub Scouts learn to make friends. In Cub Scouts, the kids from the country get to meet and play with kids from the big city. As they get older in the program and go to more events, they more they’ll meet.

Through scouting I’ve made friends from all over the country, and all over the world. In the course of my time in Scouting I’ve made friends from all over the country, and all over the world. One year on camp staff I roomed with an exchange scout from Egypt. The biggest thing you get isn’t how different people are, but how similar they are. Sure, the climate and landscape of Egypt and Connecticut are different. The cultures are vastly different – but Shicco was amazing at working with the kids. He also got a lot of text messages from his friends who I don’t think realized he was on the other side of the world, so his phone buzzed at 3 a.m. rather often.

When you’re six, your world is pretty small. You know your family, your friends, your teachers, and the kids at school. And that’s about it. But through Scouting you can meet people you otherwise would never come in contact with. You’ll get to realize that while, sure, there are lots of things that make us different, at the end of the day, we’re more similar than we aren’t.

While in school he may learn about other countries, but it’s a far different experience to actually meet them.

5. He’ll Lose at Pinewood Derby (And Build Character)

Cub Scouts build Pinewood Derby Cars with their parents or grandparents. They learn some basic physics. They see that the streamlined car goes faster. That weight distribution on the car matters. But more important than that, they learn sportsmanship. They learn how to be a good loser when things don’t go their way, and a gracious winner when they do.

I jokingly say that physics don’t apply to Pinewood Derby cars. So he’ll learn how to lose, and try again next year. In life, lots of things go wrong. Some of them we can control, and some are beyond our control – but either way, we need to be able to deal with it, and move forward.

From failure, we learn resilience. We learn to keep trying. We learn from our mistakes, and we learn that some things are the end of the world… and some things are not.

Scouting is a safe place to fail – and more importantly, to learn from that failure to succeed.

 

4. It’s Remarkably Safe

The Boy Scouts of America has a remarkable record of safety and abuse prevention. Their Youth Protection Policies work. No adult is ever one-on-one with a child that is not their own. Every leader undergoes a full background check when they register. Each and every leader is required to complete Youth Protection Training every two years – and you can take that training online yourself right now.

There’s a whole guide to tell leaders what activities the kids should and should not be doing, and at what age – that you can read yourself. Leaders are required to complete specific training before they take youth on outings, and it’s not just specific to the activity, but to the age of the youth. There’s a vast difference between taking a 7-year-old and a 17-year-old camping.

3. They’ll Get Great Role Models

You might be the most impressive person on Earth, but in this mortal coil, we are limited. Everybody’s good at something, but nobody’s good at everything. Through scouting, your child can meet (and learn from) adults from all walks of life.

It’s amazing the range of volunteers you find in Scouting. It may not be obvious at first (because the leaders are usually in uniform), but you can have lawyers and business leaders, construction workers and farmers all leading the same Pack. They’ll get to see great examples of productive people, and community leadership.

But it will be in an informal, silly, and comfortable environment. They’ll see that the firefighter they look up to isn’t all that different from them. At some point, they’ll make the connection that the people they look up to used to be just like them.


 

2. Cub Scouts is Fun

Cub Scouts giggle. A lot. The one thing you can be sure to see at just about any Cub meeting you go to is kids having fun.

I’ve always thought of Cub Scouts as a big magic trick. A good magician shows you what he wants you to see while hiding what they’re actually doing from view. This is how your grandfather made the quarter appear behind your ear.

The kids see the fun. They see the games. They see the pinewood derby cars, the rockets, the hikes, the swimming, and the other activities. What they don’t realize until later is what they were actually learning. Character. Citizenship. Fitness. Self-confidence. Empathy. Leadership.

They just think they’re having fun.

1. Cub Scouts will Improve His Life

It will prepare him for life. A Tufts University study tracked over 2,000 scouts and non-scouts in the Philadelphia area over the course of two-and-a-half years and studied the changes in their behavior and their attitudes. They did this so that they could control for the attitudes and values of the young people over the course of the study – to counter the argument that “Scouting merely attracts better young people instead of helping make them.”

The study found that scouts had huge increases when compared to non-scouts when it came to cheerfulness, kindness, hopeful future expectations, trustworthiness, helpfulness, and obedience. Scouts in the survey were more likely to respond with answers like “helping others” or “doing the right thing.”

The study shows us that the program actually does what it claims to do. It does improve lives. It does build character. The values that Scouting teaches actually do improve the lives of young people. As it turns out, repeating and reflecting on the values contained in the Scout Oath and Law has an impact.

The point of Cub Scouting is not to make the world’s best 9-year-old, though that’s a nice side-effect. The point is to prepare them to have well-rounded, successful lives.

To find a pack near you for your son, go to beascout.org.

If you didn’t see your favorite reason, feel free to list it below.

Scouting units and districts, please feel free to copy this material for your website, I just ask that you link to the original when doing so. Thanks.

 

 

Posted by Mike Cooney in Cub Scouts, Grow Your Group, Marketing, Recruiting, Scouting, Volunteering