Scoutmaster Musings - Popcorn - Behind the Scenes


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Scoutmaster Musings

Popcorn - Behind the Scenes
Trails' End Popcorn is the staple funding for many packs/troops, districts, and councils around the country. There's a good chance the scouts in your unit sell popcorn. Some love doing it while others hate the whole thing. From the average scout's, parent's, or even scoutmaster's point of view, the popcorn just magically appears at someone's house and they go pick up the items they sold.

Today, I had the enlightening opportunity to discover that the popcorn does not magically appear at that person's house. Actual people spend many actual hours of actual hard work getting it ready!

Our District Executive put out a request for folks to help sort popcorn. Since I was free today, I said, "Sure!" I didn't know that I was the only one that had that reply.

All the orders for a district are combined into one huge order from Trails' End. Popcorn is delivered on pallets in cases. Many pallets with hundreds of cases! All wrapped in plastic and waiting to be broken down and re-assembled into piles for each specific troop.

Our D.E. gave me one troop's order and told me to gather all the items 'over there'. I searched for Cheese Lovers and Three-way Tin Chocolate Lovers and Microwave Kettle Corn. After lots of searching through pallets, I finally had the lay of the land and the next order was easier.

You may not know this, but on every item and every case there is a symbol - a moon, circle, triangle, sun, or something else. You should look on your items. We had our own special language. We didn't say we needed 7 2.5 Pound Popcorn Tins - we said we needed 7 Triangles. I didn't even know what was in most of the cases for half the day. :-)

After 3 hours of picking and packing, the troops began to arrive for pickups. Then, we moved the orders to a loading bay and they checked off that we had the correct number of triangles, circles, and clovers (sometimes called 'clubs'). I was impressed - we only had a couple mix-ups and they were fixed.

So, when you get your popcorn, remember that someone put in a whole lot of work just to get those items to you so your scouting adventures could happen. Next year, consider volunteering to help sort your district's popcorn - it really was an interesting day. And, try the 'stars' - they're very good!

Scout On
Posted: 22:12 11-16-2007 258
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