Fall is synonymous with changing weather, football games, apple cider, and of course, Boy Scout popcorn sales. For one local Pack, selling popcorn is more than a beginner’s lesson in business; it’s a way to reach out to the community.
Elise Marks, the Cub Master of Cub Scout Pack 177, wanted to instill a sense of giving back to the community in her young son Ryan, then a first grader. The Boy Scout popcorn program offers donation levels of $30 and $50, but Elise felt those amounts were too high. She suggested thinking in terms of smaller amounts through saving spare change. Young Ryan saved his own change and asked friends and family for help. Instead of purchasing popcorn, Ryan’s great-aunt even offered to donate money to round him up to the closest donation level.
Last year, the idea spread to include their entire pack. The boys saved their change and enlisted the help of the community. Almost $500 was collected and donated to the Boy Scouts Popcorn for Troops project. The Black Swamp Council, comprised of 13 counties, pooled together the donations from the area counties to total $29,000. This money was forwarded to the National Boy Scout Council and then used to distribute popcorn to our troops.
Elise and Pack 177 again have a mission to give back to our troops, many of the guys who were probably Cub Scouts themselves as boys. This year, instead of being distributed nationally, the popcorn will reach Ohio troops. Through the Facebook page Buckeye Military Families, Elise was able to connect with Ohioans with family members serving. Pack 177 plans to collect spare change to buy popcorn that will be directly placed into care packages that Ohioan families are sending to their loved ones in the service. Elise plans to reach out the Blue Star Mothers. In addition, if you have a loved one in the service, plan to send a care package, and would like to be included in the “Spare Change Popcorn for Troops,” you can contact Elise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The boys of Pack 177 are saving their own spare change. They are enlisting the help of the community to collect additional monies. The Pack will be at Wauseon Ace Hardware Saturdays 10-2 and Sundays 1-3 from September 21 through October 28. They will also be stationed at First Federal Bank in Wauseon most Fridays from 3-5 and some Saturdays from 8:30-11:45. The Boy Scout popcorn sales begin Saturday, September 21 and extend through October 31. Orders may be placed with Scouts with delivery in November. If you visit Pack 177 at the above mentioned cites, not only can you donate money towards popcorn for the troops, but you can also purchase your own popcorn cash and carry.
Since 1983, Boy Scouts have been selling popcorn. Popcorn sales benefit boys by providing monies for special events and pack activities. Popcorn ranges from $10 to the $50 Ohio State tin.
Cub Master Elise Marks hopes the “Spare Change Popcorn for Troops” instills the spirit of giving. “I look at it as a double-good. You’re helping the boy scouts and the troops.” Each care package will include not only popcorn but also a picture of the Pack 177 and a thank you note signed by each member. Any boy in 1st-5th grade that is interested in joining scouting and being a part of this organization is welcome to join and can contact Elise at the above email.
Tammy Allison may be reached at email@example.com