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WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Show Me the Money

Ideas from the field: Ensuring payment in money-earning projects.

What do you do when a Scout sells popcorn, but his parents don’t turn in the money? Scouter D.S. is facing this sticky situation and asked for advice.

ESTABLISH GROUND RULES We emphasize and repeat the following during the entire popcorn sale: “Any popcorn ordered is the responsibility of the Scout and his family to purchase once the order is placed. This includes popcorn that is purchased where a bounced check is received from the purchaser. To help your Scout, we recommend collecting all monies at the time of the order. Therefore, any and all popcorn checks will have cleared prior to popcorn distribution.”


I’m an assistant Scoutmaster, and my son, a new Boy Scout, keeps coming to me during troop meetings to ask questions or leave me his handbook or neckerchief. Many times he leaves ranks and comes over to me when I’m discussing other matters with my fellow leaders. How do I get him to remember that, at meetings, I’m one

of his leaders and not his father? Assistant Scoutmaster R.S. SOUND BEACH, N.Y.

SHARE YOUR SOLUTIONS and read more answers by visiting We also solicit new questions and pay $50 for each one used in this column. Or, send your submis- sions to Scouting magazine, P.O. Box 152079, Irving,TX 75015-2079.

20 SCOUTING ¿   If a popcorn check

bounces, our pack will try to help the Scout by selling that popcorn at a pack site sale. However, we don’t usually advertise this to keep the amount of unsold popcorn to a minimum.

Pack Advancement Chair C.H. CARLISLE, PA.

RECRUIT REINFORCEMENTS We turn the names into our Scout Council office, and its attorneys take care of it.

District Popcorn Chairman P.S. FORT PIERRE, S.D.

TALK PARENT TO PARENT We’ve had this happen a few times. We have the popcorn chairperson contact the family directly and find out the reason. Sometimes, it’s as easy as setting up a meeting point. In rare circumstances, we’ve had to make other arrangements. Once, a dad

took off and left a mother and son with no money. We made arrangements for her to pay it back over time. We never involve the Scout in those meetings. They’re handled as a business transaction.

Cubmaster J.W. LAPORTE, IND.

CALL THE LAW Let the parents know the date the money is due. If they don’t pay on time, tell them they will be turned over to the police for stealing. In this area, we’ve had pack or troop treasurers serve jail time for stealing from their pack or troop. Judges dislike people who steal from the Scouts.

Assistant Scoutmaster P.D. VENETIA, PA.

DO YOUR BEST In four years as popcorn chairperson, I’d never encoun- tered this until last year. A family would not return

e-mails or phone calls. We knew that the family had financial problems, and we were more than willing to eat the costs. But they wouldn’t talk to us. We finally came to a decision as a commit- tee that the Scouts could no longer participate with the pack until the debt was paid. Unfortunately, they never paid, and their Scouts missed out on advancement.


NO CHECK, NO CORN Do not deliver their popcorn. Sell it to other units or clear it through show-and-sells. You cannot damage the unit’s finances because of a few families who are using your product to float themselves a loan. The non-delivery is between the family in ques- tion and their customers. The challenge is that it’s too late at this point. We


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