Cub Scouts kick off 
traditional popcorn sales

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Cub Scouts Austin Revolorio Muise and Braden Garcia stand ready to sell gourmet popcorn at the Cassville Walmart. Fall kicks off the traditional and popular popcorn season for the scouts, the sales of which help cover scouting activities, camps and fees throughout the year, as well as support the scouting program itself, which teaches boys core values, outdoor skills and character traits such as honesty, responsibility and good citizenship. Contributed photo

Annual sale about more than just popcorn

Annual Boy Scout gourmet popcorn sales have started with all the favorite flavors, including the traditional unbelievable butter and caramel corn.

But, there's a story behind the sales, and it's more than just popcorn.

Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from Pack 76 will be selling at various sites throughout the community and door-to-door through Oct. 31. Scouts will be at the Wheaton Gulf Gas Station on Oct. 10, the Seligman Neighborhood Market on Oct. 11, the Cassville Walmart on Oct 17 and 18 and the Chili Cook-off in Cassville on Oct. 24. The scouts are from the Seligman, Wheaton, Washburn, Exeter and Cassville communities, and proceeds go to help the boys with den supplies and activities through the year.

Available popcorn flavors include: unbelievable butter microwave, classic caramel corn, premium caramel corn with almonds, cashews and pecans, kettle corn microwave, white cheddar cheese corn, jalapeņo cheddar cheese, white chocolatey pretzels, chocolatey caramel crunch, butter light microwave, and popping corn. Also available are the chocolate lovers collection, which includes four different types of chocolatey popcorn in a gift tin, the sweet and savory collection, which includes butter toffee, white cheddar cheese corn and chocolatey triple delight in a gift box, and the cheese lover's collection which includes white cheddar cheese corn and jalapeņo cheddar cheese in a gift box. A popcorn purchase is also available to send military personnel overseas.

When people buy a bag of popcorn, they are doing more than just enjoying a delicious treat, but helping to support a much larger goal and supporting the very fabric of historical American values, which scouts represent and keep alive. For each purchase, 70 percent goes to local scouting and 30 percent goes to the troop or pack to help fund programs. Half of the 30 percent goes to individual scouts to pay for activities, like camping, field trips, adventure outings and invaluable lessons about life.

"Any activity can be funded using the proceeds from popcorn, and that's why it's so important to support the scouts," said Dawn Annecharico, Pack 76 Cubmaster. "Every purchase is supporting the boys with activities, membership fees and supplies that the individual dens and entire pack needs throughout the year. The older Cub Scouts will go on campouts and sales help support scouts' expenses for the trip.

"Scouts are about teaching our youth to be good, productive citizens for our community. It takes a lot of resources to teach them in a fun manner. The boys learn responsibility, giving and sharing, as well as other things through the activities the dens do. They learn to respect the earth as well as people. We base all our teachings on our 12 core values, which are: citizenship, compassion, cooperation, courage, faith, health and fitness, honesty, perseverance, positive attitude, resourcefulness, respect and responsibility, something all children would benefit from in today's society."

Scouts are taught to live by the scout oath, scout law, motto and slogan, which call for them to do their best and to serve God and country.

Popcorn can also be purchased online by going to the website at www.trails-end.com, entering the zip code of the local council which is 65808, selecting Ozark Trails Council, then the troop/pack number 76, and the scout they want to support, who are listed by first name and initial of last name.

People may also call Annecharico at 417-342-1948, Popcorn Treasurer Lois Deener 417-846-6961, Assistant Scoutmaster and Popcorn Kernel Bill Sims at 417-846-5056, or Troop 76 Scoutmaster Roy Edmondson at 417-846-3693. Scouts will take orders for any items not in stock, Annecharico said, and will also accept general donations to help the boys.

The story behind the popcorn began about 30 years ago. Had it not been for a certain chain of events, scouts might be out selling socks instead.

"There was a council in Indiana looking at a product sale to generate money for scouts," said Scott Gibbins, assistant scout executive who is based in Springfield, has a son in scouts and has been helping scouts sell popcorn for several years. "They had approached Weaver Popcorn company to ask if they would help the Boy Scouts and had a board meeting on whether they would sell popcorn pails with unpopped kernels, or tube socks, and I guess the popcorn won only by a handful of votes. Otherwise, it could have been Boy Scout tube socks had it not gone that way. The second year, there were 8-12 councils selling popcorn. Now, there are over 250.

Everyone knows that butter makes the popcorn, and the scouts have the market cornered.

"Unbelievable Butter has by far been the biggest seller," he said. "It doesn't matter where you're at, it's the most popular."

Gibbons said they use a butter flavoring that is contained in a capsule that, once popped, explodes with flavor and aroma.

"You'd think it would be the Butter Lite with everyone being so health-conscious," he said. "Next would be the Caramel Corn. And lately, we've been seeing more of the flavors becoming more popular. Weaver Popcorn is a parent company. The product line we sell is Trails End, and it's not sold by anyone else. This is a premium line.

"When people are buying popcorn they're not just buying the popcorn they're buying into the scouting program and what it delivers for the scout. If you are out in front of a store and pay $10 for a bag of popcorn, that person knows you can get it cheaper, but over 73 percent of every dollar spent stays locally to scouting."

Gibbons said his son will be out selling popcorn, too.

"My son knocks on the door and asks if they want to help with the experience, the leadership development, character education and the fun and outdoors, and in return they get a bag of popcorn," he said. "It's a donation to help that scout in scouting."

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